Institutional Review Board

Research with Humans and Animals:

A complete IRB application consists of the following:

1.  A single MS Word document containing the items below (see the Forms tab at left for the proposal form, sample consent form, and sample debriefing protocol):

  • IRB application form (be sure to include a .jpg of your signature - and, for students, your faculty supervisor's signature - on the final assurance page)
  • Consent form for participants (in most cases)
  • Copy of survey, interview questions, experimental stimuli, etc. (any information shown to participants)
  • Debriefing statement (if deception was used)           

2.  The IRB submission summary MS Excel spreadsheet (available under the Forms tab)

Completed applications should be submitted at least 10 business days before you plan to begin data collection; in most circumstances, decisions regarding applications with complete information are made within one week. Start early and plan ahead!

If you need assistance combining all of your components into one Word doc, contact the Help Desk (315-859-4181).

If you have any questions about the IRB or the application process, write to the IRB at iboard@hamilton.edu.

A note to professors with class projects:

If you routinely teach a course or courses in which you require students to gather data from human participants, you may draft a blanket application describing the general nature of the projects students are likely to conduct as well as the procedures for ensuring confidentiality, informed consent, and so forth.  As long as the faculty member ensures that the projects conducted will satisfy the conditions stated, individual student projects will not require separate review.  If you are interested in pursuing this option, you may complete the Instructor Application for Student Research Projects in Regular Courses (available under the Forms tab).  Feel free to contact the IRB chair at iboard@hamilton.edu if you have any questions.

Members of the Human Subjects Institutional Review Board: 

  • Jennifer Borton, Psychology (Chair)
  • Stephen Ellingson, Sociology
  • Masaaki Kamiya, East Asian Languages and Literatures
  • Chaise LaDousa, Anthropology
  • Rabbi Henry Bamberger
  • Amy Lindner  (ex officio)

Ethical Principles in Psychological Research Involving Humans

A campus ethics committee exists for the purpose of supervising research involving human subjects. This committee must approve any proposal before the research can be conducted. The statements published by the American Psychological Association serve as guidelines concerning ethical principles in psychological research. All students in the Department of Psychology should be familiar with these guidelines.

The following references provide clarifications of these and other ethical principles concerning psychological work:

  • American Psychological Association. (1987). Casebook on ethical principles of psychologists.Washington: American Psychological Association.
  • American Psychological Association. (1995). Ethical conflicts in psychology. Washington: American Psychological Association.
  • American Psychological Association. (1982). Ethical principles in he conduct of research with human participants. Washington: American Psychological Association.
  • American Psychological Association. (1992). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. American Psychologist, 47, 1597-1611.
  • American Psychological Association. (1994). Ethics for psychologists. Washington: American Psychological Association.

These references are in the chairperson's office. Students intending to undertake supervised research involving humans are required to submit a proposal to the Human Subjects Committee. The form can be downloaded by selecting that option at the top of this page.

Ethical Principles in Psychological Research Involving Animals

A campus committee exists to review the care and use of animals at Hamilton College, and the College vivarium is routinely inspected by the Department of Health of the State of New York. The guidelines developed by the American Psychological Association are strictly observed in any research and teaching involving animals sponsored by the Department of Psychology. Students intending to undertake supervised research involving animals are required to submit a proposal to the Animal Care Committee for review by the end of the first week of the term in which the work is to be conducted.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Form for Research with Animals - IACUC Protocol Form

Scientific Misconduct

As in other academic work, honesty in research is governed by the Hamilton College Honor Code, regardless of whether the work is conducted for a course, as part of an independent study or senior project, or as a departmental research assistant. Fraud in such work includes the misrepresentation of work conducted, the fabrication of data, or plagiarism.

Research Integrity Policy