VII. IRB Membership
In accordance with Federal regulations, Muhlenberg College’s IRB shall have five members, with varying backgrounds to promote complete and adequate review of human subject research activities conducted by members of the College community. The IRB at Muhlenberg College is constituted by:
• 3 faculty members elected by the faculty at large for 3-year terms
• 1 student member selected through an application process by IRB members in consultation with the Student Council President for a 1-year renewable term
• 1 community member appointed by the Signatory Official in consultation with IRB for a 1-year renewable term
In compliance with federal guidelines, the IRB must include at least one member whose primary concerns are in scientific areas and at least one member whose primary concerns are in nonscientific areas. The IRB must also include at least one external member who is not affiliated with Muhlenberg College and who is not part of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with Muhlenberg College. These regulations shall inform the selection of the community members who may serve on IRB. In addition, the Signatory Official will ensure that the committee is sufficiently qualified through the experience and expertise of its members, and the diversity of the members, including consideration of race, gender, professional and cultural backgrounds, and sensitivity to such issues as community attitudes.
The standing faculty members of IRB shall identify students who may serve as members of the IRB through an application process requiring faculty recommendation and selection.
A member of the IRB may not participate in the Board’s review of a proposal that they have submitted, sponsored, or in which they otherwise have a direct conflicting interest, except to provide information requested by the IRB.
The IRB may, in its discretion, invite individuals with competence in special areas to aid the review of issues which require expertise beyond that available on the IRB. These individuals may not vote with the IRB.
The IRB will work with academic departments to support departmental efforts to oversee research with human subjects conducted by faculty and students .
Departments are encouraged to select a faculty member(s) to serve as a Departmental Coordinator of Human Subjects Research. Until the proposed faculty member has been selected and trained, all human subject research proposals from the department must be submitted to the IRB. The Departmental Coordinator must be a faculty member familiar with the criteria for reviewing research with human subjects. The Departmental Coordinator for a given department need not be a member of that department.
Departmental Coordinators are ex officio members of IRB and may be invited by the IRB Chairperson to attend a particular meeting, but, in general, they are non-voting members and do not attend IRB meetings on a regular basis, except in cases where they are selected by the IRB chairperson to replace a board member. At the beginning of each academic year, the IRB Chairperson will call a meeting of these ex officio members to review the criteria for classifying proposals (as exempt, expedited, or requiring full review by the IRB) and for reviewing training requirements. IRB will consult with Departmental Coordinators throughout the year and receive a report of proposals reviewed annually. Departmental Coordinators must employ forms substantially similar to those used by the IRB and must follow the same record keeping requirements. In the event that the Departmental Coordinator submits a proposal, another faculty member must be appointed to evaluate the proposal. The alternate must not be affiliated with the project in any way. Any other internal procedures may be established by the department, including review of proposals by one or more additional department members, in accordance with federal guidelines and discipline-specific ethical standards.