The primary mission of the Saint Joseph's University IRB is to ensure the protection of rights, privacy and welfare of all human participants in research programs conducted by SJU and associated faculty, professional staff, and students. Along with participant protection is the goal of providing quality service to enhance the conduct of research. To achieve this goal, the IRB has the authority to review, approve, modify or disapprove research protocols submitted by faculty, staff and student investigators. The IRB review process is guided by federal rules and regulations, and is based on the Protection of Human Subject Code of Federal Regulations, the Belmont Report, and provisions of 45 CFR 46 – Protection of Human Subjects requiring institutions receiving federal funds to have all research involving human participants be approved by an IRB.

Statement of Principles

Saint Joseph’s University is committed to excellence in teaching and research. Further, the University is committed to the conduct of these activities with the highest possible ethical standards. Saint Joseph’s University has established an Institutional Review Board (IRB) which will review for approval research involving human subjects. The purpose of the IRB is to protect human subjects and to assist faculty, students, and staff in the pursuit of knowledge through research that reflects the ethical standards of Saint Joseph’s University.

The Institutional Review Board is guided by the ethical principles regarding all research involving humans as subjects set forth by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral in Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research: The Belmont Report. The Belmont Report includes such principles as respect for autonomy, beneficence, and justice to guide research involving human subjects. In addition, the IRB will attempt to assure compliance with the requirements set forth in Title 45, Part 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations and those required by OHRP (Office of Human ReResearchsearch Protection).

Saint Joseph's University is a Catholic and Jesuit university that instills in each member of its academic community: a love of learning and of the highest intellectual and professional achievement; moral discernment reflecting Christian values; and a transforming commitment to social justice. These principles and convictions ground a living tradition of personal and social ethics, which, along with the Belmont Report, provide the IRB with a basis for the protection of human subjects in research.

The following broad principles are the basis for the development of Saint Joseph’s University’s policies concerning review of research involving humans:

  • The direct or potential benefits to the subject, and/or the importance of the knowledge gained, must outweigh the inherent risks to the individual.
  • Participation in the project must be voluntary and informed consent must be obtained from all subjects, unless the Institutional Review Board waives the requirement.
  • A subject has the right to withdraw from a research project at any time or may refuse to participate without loss of benefits to which the subject would be otherwise entitled.
  • Safeguarding information about an individual that has been obtained in the course of an investigation is a primary obligation of the investigator.
  • No distinctions in the approval and monitoring of projects will be drawn between funded and non-funded projects, sponsored and unsponsored projects, or on-campus or off-campus projects, except for requirements concerning reporting information to a funding agency.