The function of the Hillsborough Community College Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to oversee the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects involved in research at the College. All research that involves human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to initiating recruitment of subjects or data collection.
What is research and what is a human subject? (45 CFR 46, §46.102)
Research is defined by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Code of Federal Regulations as “a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.” If you plan to publish or share your data or findings outside the College, it is probably research.
A human subject is defined as “a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains
1) Data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or
2) Identifiable private information.”
What research does not require IRB approval?
Federal regulations require that each IRB is comprised of at least five members who are chosen on the basis of their experience and expertise, further detailed in the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR 46, §46.107). HCC’s IRB is composed of administrators who have oversight of research and student affairs, academic assessment and institutional researchers, the Grants Manager, one faculty member, and one outside member. Additional content-expert faculty members are appointed on an as-needed basis. The human subjects review process is administered through the office of Institutional Research & Grants in the division of Strategic Planning & Analysis.
If you have any questions whether your research requires IRB approval, please contact the chairperson of the HCC Institutional Review Board: