The Institutional Review Board was established at UNK in January 1992 following the integration of Kearney State College (now UNK) into the University of Nebraska system.
The mission of the IRB is to assist researchers in the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects as mandated by federal law, 45 CFR 46.103(b) (3). Three ethical principles that guide research with human subjects are:
Researchers must respect human subjects by treating them as autonomous agents. And people with diminished autonomy are entitled to protection. Respect of persons demands that subjects are provided adequate information about the research, and they agree to participate voluntarily.
Beneficence obligates researchers to do no harm and to maximize possible benefits of the research while minimizing possible harms.
Justice means that researchers recruit subjects fairly and without discrimination in order to distribute the burdens and benefits of research equitably for both the individual and societal good.
These principles provide the framework under which the IRB reviews all human subject research activities conducted by UNK students, faculty, and staff to ensure that all volunteer subjects enrolled in research are adequately protected. The IRB has the authority to approve, require modification in, or disapprove all such research activities. The review process also includes proposed changes in previously approved human subject research as well as continuing review every 12 months or more frequently where advised.
Meet the staff and representatives of the IRB, an independent university committee comprised of faculty from a variety of academic divisions, individuals with medical expertise, and community members. If you have questions about IRB policies or procedures, please contact the IRB director, administrative associate, or one of the IRB members.