Institutional Review Board

What is the Institutional Review Board?

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is an administrative body established to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects recruited to participate in research activities conducted under the auspices of the institution with which it is affiliated.

The IRB is charged with the responsibility of reviewing, prior to initiation, all research involving human participants. The IRB is concerned with protecting the welfare, rights, and privacy of human subjects. The IRB has the authority to approve, disapprove, monitor, and require modifications in all research activities that fall within its jurisdiction as specified by both the federal regulations and institutional policy.

The IRB board at Western Seminary is made up of four members that include the director or assistant directors of the doctoral and Th.M programs and a representative from the counseling program. The chair of the IRB committee is appointed by the Academic Dean.

When Do You Need to Have a Project Approved by the IRB?

Whenever your class project or research involves people (human subjects) outside of Western. If your project only includes a literature review or reviewing previous data or research, you do not need to have it approved by the IRB.

Written Assignment/Class Research

There are times when you may be asked to complete some form of research-a survey or other research project. This might be part of a class assignment or you may want to complete some preliminary research prior to starting your dissertation. All research including people (human subjects) needs to be approved by Western’s IRB committee. Most research of this nature can be handled in an expedited manner. The following steps need to completed in order to conduct the research:

  1. Send Dr. Aguilera an email to let her know that you would like to conduct research.
  2. Follow the steps on this website including completing the application that is on the website and uploading it to a One Drive folder
  3. If you are the principal investigator, you need to go to the NIH link and take the course. The course certificate should be included in your One Drive folder.
  4. Share the One Drive folder with Dr. Aguilera – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  5. Dr. Aguilera will review the application and consult with committee members as necessary
  6. Dr. Aguilera will let you know a decision regarding the research in writing.

Steps for Research Candidates

  1. Watch Western’s IRB training video.
  2. Complete the PHRP online training (you will need to purchase this course).
  3. Consult with your first reader about the research questions/topics that you will use with the research candidates.
  4. Complete the docxIRB application. (Refer to our pdfsample consent form to help you develop your informed consent form for application item #22.)
  5. Go to OneDrive and set up a folder where you can upload documents including the NIH certificate.
  6. Share the folder with Dr. Mary Aguilera – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  7. Dr. Aguilera will contact you to set up a zoom meeting to go over any questions
  8. Dr. Aguilera will review the application and consult with committee members as necessary

Dr. Aguilera will let you know in writing a decision regarding the research.