Research Policies at Washington College
Students and faculty undertaking research involving human and animal subjects follow standards that assure confidentiality and ethical treatment.
Research on our campus involving human and non-human participants is overseen by one of two review boards.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a federally mandated panel that is charged with overseeing the protection of human participants in research.
The IRB’s Mission
The goal of the IRB is to protect human research participants by ensuring that
- participants’ rights and welfare are adequately protected,
- research is guided by the ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice as set forth in the Belmont Report
- research is conducted with the highest level of expertise and integrity, and
- research complies with all applicable laws, policies and regulations.
Professor Tia Murphy, Chair of the Institutional Review Board
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
The Washington College Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) ensures that all research involving animal subjects conducted by Washington College employees or students follows federal laws, regulations, and policies. The IACUC protects the investigator and WC by making sure we are compliant and humane in our research protocols. The IACUC also protects the animals in research by looking out for their welfare according to regulatory laws and guidelines. Essentially, it is our responsibility to care for the animals and make sure they do not experience unnecessary pain or distress. The animals cannot speak for themselves or provide informed consent so the responsibility for their welfare falls on us as responsible scientists.
The IACUC reviews every protocol involving animal subjects to ensure procedures comply with regulatory guidelines and every effort has been made to adhere to the 3 Rs of animal research: Reduce animal use to the bare minimum necessary for the scientific goals of the project, Refine procedures to improve research quality and animal welfare practices, and Replace animals in research with non-animal alternatives whenever possible.
IACUC approval is mandatory prior to obtaining or using animals for any research purpose at Washington College. The IACUC welcomes investigator questions, provides guidance as needed on humane practices, and provides excellent care in our on-campus facilities. The IACUC website provides detailed instructions, standard operating procedures, alternative search links, and a variety of other helpful links to information for investigators.
Professor Cindy Gibson, Chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee