On 5 Sept 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food & Drug Administration approved Bethel University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) and its membership.
The IRB is required and regulated by Federal Law (National Research Act 1974) and Federal Regulations (Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 46) for any institutions that perform biomedical or behavioral research involving humans. The IRB's are empowered and required by the Federal Government to approve, monitor and review all research involving humans. The IRB's primary role is to make sure the research is ethical, that informed consent of the participants has been obtained, to ensure the privacy of the participants, and to protect special populations. A secondary role is to insure that research is conducted in a scientific manner by appropriately trained professionals.
IRBs are responsible for critical oversight functions for research conducted on human subjects that are 'scientific', 'ethical', and 'regulatory'. The IRB may only approve research for which there is a bona fide informed consent process for participants, for which the risks to subjects are balanced by potential benefits to society, and for which the selection of subjects presents a fair or just distribution of risks and benefits to eligible participants.
All research at Bethel University involving humans must be approved by Bethel University’s IRB in addition to approval by one’s program Director or Chair and the appropriate Dean or Vice-President.
The creation of this IRB allows Bethel University to be eligible for millions of dollars of research money and represents a large step in the advancement of the University, the Community and all those who may have their lives improved through better medical care and education.