Do I Even Need IRB Approval?

The IRB has created a web-based decision guide to help researchers determine if their project meets the definition of Human Subjects Research as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations, 45 CFR 46.102. Projects that meet this definition must be reviewed by the IRB.

This guide is based on the Human Subject Regulations Decision Charts published by the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). It is intended to assist researchers in their decision-making process and should not be considered an official determination by the Swarthmore IRB or other institutional agencies.

For more information about human subjects research, please refer to the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR 46) at or contact the Swarthmore IRB at


          Human Subjects Research Decision Guide