SBER IRB Notification on Student Investigators

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Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research Institutional Review Board (SBER IRB)
FWA 00002063
(Medford Campus and Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy)

Dear Faculty Members, Researchers, and Program Directors,

In response to faculty members request to clarify policies regarding research involving human subjects when students are the investigators, the SBER IRB convened an ad hoc committee consisting of faculty (both IRB members and non-IRB members) and professional staff to develop policy that addresses the important issues of research practica and research involving human subjects when the investigators are students and the role of the IRB process. These policies apply to social, behavioral, and educational research reviewed under Tufts Federal Wide Assurance 00002063 and reviewed by the SBER IRB located on the Medford campus. This includes human subject studies conducted by all investigators from the Medford campus, as well as social, behavioral, and educational research conducted by investigators at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

The first policy on research practica addresses the important need for students to learn to conduct research involving human subjects and identifies Tufts University�s application of federal regulations to exclude such practica from IRB review. The second policy on research on human subjects conducted by student investigators addresses the important regulatory issues that this type of research entails and the role of the IRB process. The distinction between these is explained in the policy statements; however, if you require any additional information please contact Helen Page, IRB Administrator at 617-627-5197 or

We are currently opening a comment period for faculty and other researchers on these two policies until July 14, 2006. The policy will be finalized by August 1, 2006 and all relevant information and forms will be posted on the SBER IRB web site at that time.

Thanks you for your attention to this matter.