Our proposal has been reviewed by Wells College’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) and we are excited to begin research! The student researchers are now going through the CITI training so they can understand the ins and outs of the ethics of research. It’s important to be sure your research causes no harm to anyone participating. Every project goes through a thorough review, and everyone associated with our project receives training. The whole process is meant to protect vulnerable populations from mistreatment. But in truth, everyone, vulnerable or not, should an is be protected.
While our project doesn’t seem like it would cause anyone harm, the IRB makes sure our research design is sound and that we follow certain basic rules. For example, the research participants who appear in this blog must consent to our use of their direct words and image. We cannot report on anything they tell us in a way that reveals their identity unless they agree to have their identity revealed. Ethics are important!