Institutional Review Board

As an institution of higher learning, University of the Southwest is committed to highest level of ethical conduct and maintains such standards in keeping with the university mission. Research affiliated with USW, particularly that involving human subjects, is guided by and consistent with the ethical principles and standards outlined in Title 45, Part 46 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. Additionally, research projects associated with the university observe the ethical practices and standards outlined in the The Belmont Report – Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research, as well as the Declaration of Helsinki. The IRB policies and procedures outlined in this handbook apply to all university-affiliated research (funded or non-funded) that is conducted by USW students, faculty, and staff. Such research will also be consistent with the foundational ethical principles outlined below.

  • The participation of human subjects in research may present ethical and civil rights questions. Such research will be appropriately reviewed and guided by the IRB and polices/procedures outlined in this handbook.
  • All research activities involving human subjects must afford for the appropriate rights, health, and safety of all participants.
  • Research participation must be completely voluntary and comply with requisite informed consent guidelines. Participants do not forfeit any rights by agreeing to be a part of research activities. Participants are allowed to refuse participation and/or withdraw from research activities at any time without any adverse consequences or penalties.
  • The benefit derived from the research must fully and completely outweigh the risk to the participants.
  • The researcher must take every reasonable precaution to safeguard personally identifiable information about the participants.
  • Protecting the rights, safety, and health of participants rests with the researcher supported by USW as outlined in the IRB policies and procedures.