Statement of Principles Regarding Research on Human Subjects

All research at Allegheny that involves human participants must be approved in advance by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and be conducted in accord with the principles outlined in the “The Belmont Report,” which is available on the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website or the Allegheny College Institutional Review Board’s website.

In planning a research study, the Principle Investigator (PI) has the responsibility to make careful evaluation of its ethical acceptability, taking into account the following principles for research with human beings. To the extent that this appraisal, weighing scientific and human values, suggests a compromise of any principle, including those that involve the privacy of the participants, the PI incurs an increasingly serious obligation to seek ethical advice and to observe stringent safeguards to protect the rights of the research participants.

Project review will apply to all research involving human subjects including: experiments of all kinds; surveys and questionnaires, whether mailed or personally administered; and all types of participant observation work (intensive interviews, oral histories, systematic observation). Project reviews will be conducted in accord with local state and federal regulations, and research guidelines of the academic discipline where appropriate.

The review procedure to be followed in individual cases will depend upon two factors: who originates the research project within the college community and who will be the research subjects. All off-campus research (i.e., research involving people who are not members of the college community) must be approved either by the Institutional Review Board or its adjunct committee, the Administrative Review Board. Research conducted on members of the college community, on the other hand, will be reviewed in one of three ways: by department and multi-department review committees when faculty or students within those departments devise classroom or other research projects; by the IRB when faculty or students originate research projects in departments that do not have already established review committees; or by the ARB when research projects originate in administrative offices, college committees, Allegheny Student Government, or any other official student organization. 

(Updated January 2014)