Research Involving Human Subjects


The purpose of this policy is to provide a single, comprehensive standard of protection for human subjects of research conducted by students, staff, faculty, or visiting researchers at Mount Holyoke College.

Scope / Responsibilities

The intent of this policy is to assure

  • that investigators do not unduly put at risk or harm humans who are the subjects of research,
  • that the subjects of such research are aware of their rights, as defined by the U.S. Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (also known as the Common Rule)
  • that all investigators (students, staff, faculty or visiting researchers) comply with the College’s Statement of Principles and Ethics (below).


Oversight by Mount Holyoke College’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) is required for all research involving human subjects, such as: the collection and analysis of data from questionnaires, interviews, observation, manipulation, sampling, and direct experimentation (not an exhaustive list).

Mount Holyoke’s Institutional Review Board is registered with the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Human Research Protections (#IRB00001900) as the official institutional body that may rule on issues pertaining to the conduct of human subjects research at the College under IORG0001455 and the Federal Wide Assurance FWA00001676.

Policy Violations (if applicable)

Violations of college policies are adjudicated according to procedures outlined in the Student Handbook and the Staff Handbook, with disciplinary consequences imposed by the adjudicating authority up to and including dismissal. Some offenses are punishable under state and federal laws.

Full Policy