Research Subjects

Research Involving Human Participants or Animals Subjects

Because Bates receives federal research grants, and because the faculty seek to ensure that any research involving humans or animals is undertaken in an ethical, fair, and respectful manner, the college has established two committees for review of research involving human participants and animal subjects. Both faculty and students who undertake research using humans or animals are required to comply with the guidelines for proper practices established by these committees.

The Institutional Review Board (IRB), composed of faculty members and a member of the local community, oversees research projects involving human participants. All faculty and student research projects supported by research grants involving human participants, all projects where individuals are not allowed to withdraw from participation, all projects where the research procedures poses any mental or physical risk to the participant, all projects where the anonymity/confidentiality of the participants cannot be guaranteed, all projects where deception is a part of the research design and all projects involving children under the age of 18 must be reviewed by the Institutional Review Board. For exceptions to these requirements see the IRB web page at Specific guidelines that address research protocols, the fair and respectful treatment of participants, issues of confidentiality, and informed consent are available from the IRB website.

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is composed of at least five members who review classroom and research use of vertebrate animals. The committee considers classroom and research protocols to assure that the animals involved are handled properly and humanely and in accordance with Public Health Service guidelines. The committee also conducts routine inspections of the animal colonies in Carnegie Science Hall. The committee reviews research protocols submitted by faculty and students who are using animal subjects in their research. Your own research may be covered under a faculty member’s approved protocol, or you may be required to complete a separate IACUC proposal, which can be found at

Your advisor should be able to tell you if your proposed research requires IRB or IACUC approval; if you are not sure, you should consult the IRB or IACUC committee chair. In 2014-15, the IRB is co-chaired by Professor Loring Danforth (Anthropology) and Professor Michael Sargent (Psychology.  The IACUC is chaired by Professor Ryan Bavis (Biology).