Step 1 – IRB Quiz

The first step in this process is to figure out if you even need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. Please take this quiz to find out if you need to move further along in seeking IRB approval.

Wondering if you need IRB approval?

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is the group that oversees all research at Kalamazoo College by faculty, students, or staff that involves human subjects.

You MUST apply for approval from the IRB (federal government requires it):


A. This is “RESEARCH”

  • you expect or intend to publish the results, or
  • you expect or intend to present the results at a conference, or
  • you are doing this project as part of a SIP or CD (class assignments do not count)


B. This is research “ON HUMAN SUBJECTS”

  • it involves interacting with living people, or
  • gathering information from them (e.g. personal beliefs) that would ordinarily be private, or
  • observing behavior in a context where they would reasonably expect privacy


  • the people themselves are the subjects of the research

Please Note: interviewing your physics professor to learn about black holes does not count, since the subject of your research is black holes; interviewing the same professor to learn about his/her values, experiences or behavior, however, is research on human subjects.

Did you know?

Applying for IRB approval is not difficult and approval of nearly all human subjects research at Kalamazoo College is fairly routine. Most applicants receive a positive response in about a week.

All applicants for IRB review must complete ethics training before applying for IRB review of research methods. See your SIP advisor and review the rest of the IRB website for information on ethics training.

Still have questions?

Contact your IRB area representative!

Please check back in September for information regarding faculty representation on the IRB. In the mean time, please send any questions regarding the IRB review process to Brittany Liu (

This quiz was adapted with permission from Carleton College.

Step 2