The IRB is composed of full-time faculty members from across the university who review applications throughout the year to ensure all Niagara University research involving human subjects complies with American and Canadian federal regulations governing the protection of human subjects (45 CFR 46; Tri-Council Policy Statement).

Each application is reviewed by members of the board to ensure the following criteria are met:

  • Risks to subjects are minimized
  • Risks to subjects are reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits
  • Selection of subjects is equitable
  • Informed consent is adequate and appropriately documented
  • Data is collected in such a way as to ensure the safety of subjects
  • Adequate provisions are made to protect the privacy of subjects
  • Adequate provisions are made to maintain confidentiality of data
  • Appropriate additional safeguards are included to protect vulnerable subjects

Typically, two IRB members independently review each properly-submitted application. Reviewers recommend approval, approval with conditions, disapproval, or exemption of the research from the purview of the IRB. The IRB Chair then considers reviewer recommendations before making a final decision. The average processing time for each application is two weeks, though applicants are advised to allow at least a month.