About the Institutional Review Board

Pitzer College maintains an Institutional Review Board (IRB) in order to ensure (1) that researchers who are part of the College community protect the dignity, privacy, and safety of the participants they recruit for their research, and (2) that the dignity, privacy, and safety of members of the Pitzer community are protected when they choose to participate in research. Pitzer’s IRB deals only with research involving human participants; research involving nonhuman subjects must be reviewed elsewhere at The Claremont Colleges.

College policy requires that all research involving human participants and all information-gathering regarding individual human beings carried out by the students and faculty of Pitzer or taking place on campus should follow the principles set forward in The Belmont Report and that all such research and information-gathering must be submitted for IRB review, with the exception of procedures carried out by students under the direction of their instructors and involving, in the view of the instructor, neither greater than minimal risk, nor conflicts of interest regarding his or her own research, nor participants who may be unable to give informed consent.

Research Involving Human Subjects

Research is defined by federal law Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 46 as "a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. A 'systematic investigation' is any methodical collection of data. This includes interviews, surveys, tests, observations, or other experiments, regardless of content, even if it is a pilot study."

A research project is considered to have human subjects if it involves "a living individual about whom an investigator . . . obtains data through intervention or interaction with the individual or identifiable private information." §46.102

The only exceptions are class projects (see FAQs 11 and 12) carried out by students under the direction of their instructors and, in the view of the instructor, does not pose greater than minimal risk to the human participants, does not create conflicts of interest regarding the instructor's own research, or does not involve human participants who may not be unable to give informed consent.

Application Procedure

All projects that involve data collection at Pitzer College must be approved by the Pitzer College IRB regardless of whether the principal investigator (i.e. the primary faculty, staff, or student conducting the research) is affiliated with Pitzer College or some other institution. Principal investigators affiliated with Pitzer College who wish to collect data at other institutions must gain IRB approval at Pitzer College and at those institutions.

Please allow a minimum of two weeks for your application to be processed and reviewed. Only complete applications will be reviewed.

Principal investigators and all members of their research teams must complete the Protecting Human Research Participants (PHRP) course offered online through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Upon completion of this course, a certificate is generated by the online training program. Copies of these certificates for the principal investigator and all team members must accompany the application for IRB review. Note: completing the online PHRP course takes approximately 2-3 hours.

Contact Information

Norma Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Chair of the IRB
Professor of Psychology
Broad Hall 106
Pitzer College, Claremont, CA

Cece Manoochehri
Sponsored Research and IRB Administrator
Fletcher Hall 205
Pitzer College, Claremont, CA