Any institution that receives federal funding to conduct research with human participants, such as NIU, is required to establish an IRB to review all research that directly or indirectly involves human subjects and to set forth institutional policy governing such research. The primary responsibility of the IRB is to safeguard the rights and welfare of human research subjects. The confidentiality and human subject protection requirements are intended to protect research study participants from risks that may result from either a breach of confidentiality or any physical harm due to their participation in a study. The IRB is chaired by a faculty member and is directly responsible to the Vice President for Research. The membership, appointed by the Vice President for Research with the concurrence of the President, is composed of NIU faculty, staff and community representatives who have no other affiliation with NIU.
All research that involves the use of new or previously-collected data from human subjects, from interviews to the collection of bodily fluid samples, must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to initiation of the research.