The purpose of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to ensure appropriate steps are taken in protecting the rights and welfare of human subjects in a research study. The review board may conduct a risk-benefit analysis to determine if the research should be completed. The conclusion of the IRB process is approval or rejection of the applicant’s involvement in the proposed project.
IRBs are commonly used for studies in the fields of health, social sciences (including anthropology and sociology), psychology, and all studies involving observation of children and/or vulnerable populations. Such studies may include trials of new drugs or devices, studies of personal or social behavior, opinions or attitudes, or studies of how health care is delivered and might be improved.
U.S. educational institutions may require research students to receive Institutional Review Board approval for their involvement in a research project. Some schools always require IRB review where human subjects are involved, no matter where the research is conducted. Others will require it if the results of any research conducted in Denmark or Sweden are to be made public or published in the U.S. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm whether an IRB review is needed from their home institution before coming to DIS.