Institutional Review Board

About the Board

The purpose of the Ashford University Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to ensure ethical research practices among its faculty and students. Individuals affiliated with Ashford who are conducting research projects must receive approval from the IRB before commencing the study. For the purposes of students completing a dissertation, the IRB must approve every dissertation, regardless of the research methodology employed.

The IRB is housed within the Division of Research adn Innovation in Learning (DRIL). IRB Policies and Procedures apply to all research involving human participants, funded or non-funded, sponsored or not sponsored, and carried out by Ashford faculty, staff, and students, on or off campus, whenever human participants are included.

Statement of Ethical Principles

Ashford University is committed to the highest ethical standards in conduct of research. For projects involving humans as participants, Ashford is guided by the ethical principles set forth in the Declaration of Helsinki, the National Commission for the Protection of Human Participants of Biomedical and Behavioral Research’s Ethical Principles, and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Participants of Research: The Belmont Report. In addition, Ashford is committed to ensuring that all human participant research, regardless of funding source, follows the requirements set forth in Title 45, Part 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

The following broad principles are the basis for Ashford policy concerning review of research involving humans:

  • Whereas the participation of humans in research projects may raise fundamental ethical and civil rights questions, all such research, funded and unfunded projects, sponsored and not sponsored, which is carried out by Ashford students, faculty, or other Ashford employees, on or off campus, shall be covered by the Ashford Institutional Review Board (hereinafter referred to as IRB) for the Protection of Human Participants in Research Policies and Procedures covered by this document.
  • All activities involving human participants must provide for the rights, safety, health, and welfare of each individual participant.
  • The direct or potential benefit to the participant and the importance of the knowledge gained must outweigh any inherent risk to the individual.
  • Participation in research must be voluntary and informed consent procedures must conform to the IRB Policies and Procedures.
  • An individual does not abdicate any rights by consenting to be a research participant. A participant has the right to refuse to participate or may withdraw from research at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which the participant would otherwise be entitled.
  • Safeguarding information about an individual that has been obtained in the course of an investigation is a primary obligation of the principal investigator.
  • The primary responsibility for protection of human participants rests with the principal investigator and with support, approval, and monitoring by Ashford as set forth in the IRB Policies and Procedures.

All proposals to conduct research must be submitted to the IRB through the application process. The investigator must obtain IRB approval before undertaking the research and beginning data collection. All principal investigators submitting proposals must show certification of training within the last five years or undergo training, and submit the appropriate documentation of successful training along with each proposal. Proposals should be submitted electronically in word .doc or .docx format, and sent to IRB@ashford.edu.

Institutional Review Board