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Institutional Review Board

Institutional Review Board Overview

The mission of Institutional Review Boards (IRB) is to protect the welfare of human subjects in research projects conducted by university faculty, staff and students. IRB committee members receive training in federal regulations governing research involving human subjects; they are also conversant with The Belmont Report, which outlines the ethical principles that provide the foundation for all IRB work.

Those principles are:

  • Respect for persons (protecting personal autonomy by providing subjects with information about the planned research)
  • Beneficence (ensuring that the proposed research maximizes benefits relative to risks)
  • Justice (ensuring that research is conducted in a way that is fair and non-exploitative)

Protocols for Human Subjects Research (HSR) conducted by UAS faculty, staff, and students are reviewed by the IRB at UAF.

All protocols must be submitted for review using IRBnet.

Submit a Protocol via IRBnet

All protocols and supporting documentation (consent forms, questionnaires, etc.) must be submitted via IRBnet.

For instructions on IRBnet, please visit the UAF Instututional Review Board page.

New users can create an IRBNet account by clicking on the New User Registration link located just under the log-in fields in the upper right-hand corner of the page.  This link will walk you through the steps to create your account. Make sure you select University of Alaska Fairbanks as your organization.  Once you have created your account you will receive an activation email, be sure to click on the link in the email to activate your account.

Required Training

All PIs, student researchers, and associated study personnel must complete human subjects research training via the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) before approval of their proposed research.

You must create an account at CITI by clicking Register. Select University of Alaska Fairbanks as your organization and proceed with registration. All UAS faculty, staff and students should affiliate with UAF during CITI registration.

For further instructions, visit the UAF Institutional Review Board Training site.

IRB Exemption Categories

To qualify for exemption, research must fall under at least one category of exemption. Most anthropological, behavioral and educational research qualifies for exemption categories 1 and/or 2.

  1. Educational Research — This exemption category includes research in educational settings, such as schools or universities, and involves 'normal' educational practices. Such research may study or compare curricula or the effectiveness of different instructional approaches or classroom management methods.
  2. Research involving surveys, interviews, observation, or educational tests — This exemption category includes surveys, interviews, observation of public behavior, and administration of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, or achievement). To qualify for the exemption, no data may be recorded that identifies the subjects (e.g., names, ID numbers, social security numbers. Numerical or alphabetical identifiers may be used as long as they are disassociated with personal identifying information. For research involving children, this exemption may only be used for educational tests (e.g., not for surveys or interviews with children) and / or when observations of public behavior are being conducted and the investigator is not involved in the activity being observed.
  3. Research involving public officials or candidates for office
  4. Research involving existing data — This exemption category refers to samples, data, documents, or specimens in existence before the research begins. This category applies if the materials are publicly available and / or if the data is recorded by the PI in a way that ensures that the research subjects cannot be identified.
  5. Research evaluating public benefit and service programs
  6. Research on taste and food quality

Institutional Review Board - Professional Standards

University of Alaska Fairbanks IRB Professional Standards

Office of Research Integrity