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Institutional Review Board

Swarthmore's Research Ethics Committee functions as our Institutional Review Board for the purpose of the Department of Health and Human Services' Federal-wide Assurance of Protection for Human Subjects. In accordance with federal guidelines it monitors all research activities which involve people, including surveys.

Some research activities require a formal IRB review and approval process, and some may be "exempt" from review, instead requiring just a form identifying the project and which conditions (from a checklist) apply that may make the research exempt.

While survey research is often conducted in a way that makes it exempt, this is not always the case, and so the IRB requirements should always be carefully reviewed. It is your responsibility to submit the proper forms to the IRB concerning your research.