Research Involving Human Subjects

Purpose of the Policy

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. 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 in Title 45, part 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and
  • that all investigators comply with the College’s Statement of Principles and Ethics.

For purposes of this Policy, a “human subject” is any specific living person who is the subject of research, or information about such a person. “Research” is a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.

Oversight by Mount Holyoke College’s Institutional Review Board is restricted to research involving human subjects, such as: the collection and analysis of data from questionnaires, interviews, oral histories, observation, manipulation, sampling, and direct experimentation.

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.

Comment on this Policy

The goal of this policy is to allow for the conduct of responsible research involving human subjects, and to protect the health and welfare of those individuals who are subject to such research. If you believe this policy could be improved, either to afford better protection to human subjects or to facilitate responsible research, please contact the Institutional Review Board. Comments at any time are welcome, and will be reviewed as received.

Policy approval date: 06/02