IRB Membership | Webster University

IRB Membership

The IRB is comprised of faculty with backgrounds and expertise reflective of the types of research proposals regularly submitted for review. Thus, members will be drawn primarily from the College of Arts and Sciences, with additional members drawn from the School of Business and Technology, the School of Communications, and the School of Education. The Chair(s) will be appointed by the President (or designee) in consultation with the Faculty Senate, while remaining members will be appointed by the Chair(s), with final approval coming from the President (or designee). Additional members may be appointed by the Chair(s) as needed in order to provide appropriate disciplinary expertise. In addition, the IRB includes one non-faculty, non-scientist, non-affiliated member. The Chair(s) of the IRB, upon the vote of the committee, recommends individuals to the President and Senior Vice President for appointment. There will be some combination of people who may have the following areas of expertise:

  • Ethical analysis
  • Research methods
  • Human rights provisions of the law
  • Behavioral and/or social sciences
  • Health sciences
  • Education

Members shall be diversified regarding race, gender, cultural background, and sensitivity to community attitudes. Members shall be from separate professions and/or disciplines. At least one member of each gender shall serve on the board. The IRB shall consist of a minimum of five members, at least one of whom shall be primarily concerned with nonscientific areas and one of whom shall be primarily concerned with scientific matters. In addition, the membership shall include at least one member who is not otherwise affiliated with the University and who is not part of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the University.

IRB members and Chair shall serve under the direction of the Office of Academic Affairs. The IRB shall notify the Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) each time there is a change in membership. The IRB may invite individuals with expertise in specific areas to assist in the review of special issues. These individuals may not vote with the IRB.

Meetings will be convened to discuss proposed research on a regular basis. The schedules for regular IRB meetings are available on the IRB web site. A simple majority of members shall be present to conduct business of the IRB. At least one member whose primary concerns are in nonscientific areas shall be present. Proxy votes shall not be accepted. The final approval or disapproval of any research project application shall require a majority vote of IRB members present and voting. If a quorum is lost (either loss of required number of members or loss of non-scientist member) at any time during the meeting, the meeting shall be adjourned and no further action taken until a quorum is attained.

Members are expected to attend a majority of IRB meetings. The IRB office shall maintain records of attendance and members who attend fewer than 50 percent of meetings per year shall be contacted and encouraged to increase their attendance. Anticipated absence from an IRB meeting should be communicated to the IRB Expeditor and Co-Chair(s) at least 24 hours before the meeting.

Minutes of meetings shall include the following information:

  • Attendance of members and guests, with identification of alternate members
  • Actions taken on each research project reviewed and any required modifications for IRB approval
  • Votes on actions, including the number of members voting for or against the action, the number of members abstaining from voting, and notation of members who were not present during deliberations due to a conflict of interest

Members may choose to share an IRB position. If two members share a position, they shall have similar backgrounds and experience. If both members are present at a meeting, only one may vote. Shared positions are listed on the membership roster, and the members who share the position are listed as alternates for each other.