The Vassar College Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for ensuring that research involving human participants is conducted ethically and in accordance with the appropriate federal regulations.  Vassar College is committed to protecting the rights, welfare, and privacy of individuals participating as subjects in research. 

The Vassar IRB is guided by the ethical principles set forth in the Belmont Report and federal regulations (HHS regulations 45 CFR part 46). In accordance with these principles, the IRB strives to create a culture of respect for, and awareness of, the rights and welfare of research participants that is also conducive to the scholarly pursuits of the Vassar community. 

All research involving human subjects conducted at Vassar College by faculty, students, or staff must be approved by the IRB before the project begins (including recruitment of participants).  Such research may include surveys, questionnaires, observational research, structured and semi-structured interviews, and experiments.  The IRB reviews proposed research in accordance with the principles and procedures contained in the federal regulations (HHS regulations 45 CFR part 46).

There are three categories of review conducted by the IRB. These levels of review are exempt, expedited, or full board review.  These are explained in greater detail in the “Categories of IRB Review” section of this website.  An overview of the application process is available under “Application.”  Even if your project does not constitute research, or is otherwise exempt from IRB review, under New York state law it likely still requires the use of a release form signed by participants or their parents if it involves audio or video recording (see the “Forms” section of this website).

If you have questions about your research project or need assistance during the submission process, please contact the IRB administrator, Gail Garrison, at or 845-437-7368.