The Colby Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee of Colby faculty and Waterville community members. It is responsible for ensuring that research projects conducted at Colby that uses human participants complies with legal and professional standards that are ethically implemented.

Projects conducted by Colby faculty or students using human participants should be reviewed by the IRB if they meet the following definition of research: “a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge” (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, Part 46). Some types of research, such as completely anonymous surveys and studies involving little or no risk to participants, may be declared exempt from review by the IRB chair. Oral histories and film documentaries do not meet the definition of research, and therefore do not need to be submitted to the IRB chair for review.

For more information, please see the Colby IRB FAQ, as well as applications and sample materials.

Getting Started

Colby IRB FAQ –  Frequently asked questions about whether, when, and how to apply for IRB approval of a research project. If you have additional questions about the review and approval process, please contact the IRB Chair.

Application Forms

To apply for IRB approval of a research project, complete one of the following forms and submit it to the current IRB Chair, Prof. Tarja Raag (tarja.raag@colby.edu).

IRB application form – Faculty and staff version
IRB application form – Student version
IRB application form – Anthropology Department version

Sample Materials

Sample consent form – Use this form to obtain informed consent from participants before beginning the research procedure.
Sample permission-to-record form – If you wish to take photographs, audio recordings, or video recordings of research participants, then use this form in addition to a standard consent form, or integrate the permission-to-record prompts into your consent form.
Sample consent for an anonymous survey – If you plan to administer an anonymous survey that does not collect any personally identifying information from participants, you may insert this consent information, instead of a full consent form, at the beginning of your survey.
Sample debriefing form – Use this form to provide more information about your research project to participants after they have completed the research procedure.