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Human Subjects Policy

All research conducted by Clark faculty, staff and students and involving human subjects (whether externally funded or not) must be approved by the Institutional Review Board for Protection of Human Subjects (IRB). The IRB is responsible for protecting the rights and welfare of individuals who serve as subjects of research. Approval must be renewed annually.

All research involving human subjects or living animals should follow the safeguards established by the University for such work and on file in the Office of Sponsored Programs.

IRB approval is an institutional permission to conduct research. It is not an agreement for the university to provide data on Clark students, staff, or faculty (including contact information) for recruiting human subjects. Please also note that the university will not assist in disseminating surveys or interview requests using university email addresses. Recruitment of subjects must be conducted by the principal investigator through other means.

The names of current members of Clark's IRB may be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Programs. Questions concerning protocols for the protection of human subjects should be addressed to the Office of Sponsored Programs.


Safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects involved in research and training at Clark University, or off campus with funds administered by Clark University, is the responsibility of the institution. The Public Health Service policy states that no grant, award, or contract for the support of research involving human participants shall be made unless the research is given initial and continuing review and approval by an appropriate committee of the applicant institution. This review shall assure that:

  1. the rights and welfare of the individuals involved are adequately protected with respect to security, privacy and confidentiality, (embarrassment, discomfort, and harassment);
  2. the methods used to obtain informed consent are adequate and appropriate; and
  3. the risks to the individual are outweighed by the potential benefit to him and the importance of the knowledge to be gained.

Proposal Application Guidelines for information about projects involving human participants are available in the Research Office. Download the proposal application.