Ethics in Research

Important resources for ethical research practices.

The psychology department takes its commitment to ethical research practices very seriously. If your research involves humans, animals or hazardous materials, it is your responsibility to understand your ethical obligations.

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Federal law requires that all federally funded research involving human participants receive IRB approval.  The IRB exists to make sure that participants are treated with the utmost respect and safety.  If you are conducting research involving humans, please visit the IRB homepage. You can read more about the mission of the IRB and use their handy flowcharts to determine whether your project requires approval.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Federal law mandates that all animal research with vertebrates be carefully reviewed  by a panel of expert and non-expert IACUC members. Using guidelines provided by the National Research Council, the IACUC aims to insure that animals are treated ethically and humanely. If your research project involves vertebrate animals in any way, you must apply to the Bates College IACUC for approval before your research begins.  An application form can be found on the Biology department IACUC website.  For more information contact your research advisor.

Safe handling of hazardous material

If your research project requires collecting biological samples such as blood or saliva, you must follow the College guidelines for safe handling of these materials in order to protect yourself and others from possible infection. Please contact the Bates College Environmental, Health and Safety Coordinator for details about the guidelines as well as materials such as biohazard labels that may be necessary for your research.