Institutional Review Board
Consistent with federal regulations (CFR 45 part 46), if you plan to conduct a research project involving living human subjects on the Hobart and William Smith campus, or are a Hobart and William Smith faculty, staff, or student member involved in such a project elsewhere, then you will need approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) before you proceed. In addition to obtaining approval from the IRB, external (non-HWS) researchers also need to obtain approval from the Vice President for Student Affairs to do research on Hobart and William Smith students, or from the Provost to do research on Hobart and William Smith faculty or staff.
Many research projects pose little or no risk and may be exempt from full IRB review, but must be reported to the IRB and certified as exempt by the Board. All other research will be formally reviewed by the IRB, although the review of course-based student research follows a different procedure from full reviews of individual research. Researchers should consult the materials under Policies and Procedures on the right to determine the appropriate steps for receiving IRB approval.
The application form, along with any consent forms, questionnaires and other relevant documents, should be emailed (hardcopy no longer required) to Melissa Weaver in the Office of Academic and Faculty Affairs. In addition, all submissions must submit a completed COVID-19 In-Person Research Addendum document available in the life of IRB forms. Please consult the schedule below for the deadlines.
Please note that the IRB’s definition of ‘original research’ might be more broadly construed than in some disciplines and may include data collection for administrative purposes, for example. You can access a glossary of IRB related terms at right. Questions regarding IRB procedures can be directed to the IRB Chair or the IRB Coordinator.
Policies and Procedures
- Written Procedures and Policies (PDF)
- Identity Questions Policy (PDF)
- IRB Determination Tree (PDF)
- Guide for preparing research proposals (PDF)
- Glossary of Terms
- Research Exempt from Review (PDF)
- Protected Categories (PDF)
All forms, along with relevant documents, should be emailed to Melissa Weaver in the Office of Academic and Faculty Affairs for dissemination to the IRB.
- COVID-19 In-Person Research Addendum: to be submitted along with all IRB applications (Word)
- Form A: Application to Conduct Research with Human Subjects (Word)
- Form A-Continuation: Application for Continued Research with Human Subjects (Word)
- Form B: Application for Exemption from IRB Review for Research with Human Subjects (Word)
- Form C: Application to Conduct Course-Based Student Research with Human Subjects (Word)
- Form C-Continuation: Application for Continued Course-Based Research with Human Subjects
- Form D: Application for Exemption from IRB Review for Course-Based Research with Human Subjects
- Institutional Authorization Agreement: Template for Single IRB collaborations with external organizations
- Federal Guidelines and Policies (OHRP)
- 2020 International Compilation of Human Research Standards
- Researchers must complete online certification training through the following site:
- CITI Training and Certification
Please register under the Organization Affiliation: Hobart and William Smith Colleges
- CITI Training and Certification
- Information on Consent Forms:
- HWS Policy on Intellectual Property
- Research Integrity Policies and Procedures