The Holyoke Community College Institutional Review Board is responsible for safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects who participate in research activities conducted by the college community. The IRB is also responsible for safeguarding the rights and welfare of members of the college community who participate as subjects in research studies conducted by researchers outside of the HCC community.
Any faculty member, student, or staff member who proposes to engage in research involving the use of human subjects must have the project reviewed and approved by the IRB. Researchers not affiliated with Holyoke Community College who conduct research with HCC students, faculty members, or staff members also must have their research projects approved by the IRB. This policy applies to all research regardless of methodology (e.g., surveys, interviews, observational studies, experiments).
Individuals requesting authorization to conduct research must complete the "Holyoke Community College IRB Application for Research Involving Human Subjects." Applications should be submitted by mail as well as electronically to the IRB Chair. There are three categories for IRB review:
These categories are based on an evaluation of risks and benefits of the study and protection of confidentiality of participants. All researchers must submit the "Holyoke Community College IRB Application for Research Involving Human Subjects," and the IRB Chair will decide which type of review is appropriate. Principal investigators cannot make the determination that their research is exempt from IRB review.
IRB approval is required before data collection can begin. Please note that the IRB cannot approve a proposal submitted after research is initiated. To avoid delays in starting your research, you should plan to submit your proposal as early in the semester as possible. The HCC IRB meets quarterly throughout the academic year. Proposals qualifying for Exempt or Expedited Review are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Proposals requiring full board review will be reviewed at a regularly scheduled meeting and should be submitted three weeks prior to the meeting date.