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Institutional Review Board

Rollins College established the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to protect the rights of human participants and to promote professional research.

Find out how to submit a research proposal for IRB review.

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Find out how to submit a research proposal for IRB review.

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Guiding Principles

The goal of the IRB is to work with administration, faculty, staff, and student researchers in a collegial way to enhance the validity of their research by helping to ensure that projects involving human participants adhere to established ethical, moral, and legal standards. The IRB also serves to weigh any potential risk to research participants against the benefits that the proposed research may provide. Human research is any activity developed for the purpose of collecting and organizing data from human participants in such a manner as to test hypotheses, address research questions, or contribute to generalizable knowledge. The IRB reviews proposals to confirm that the project design provides safeguards for research participants.

Research proposals at Rollins College involve human participants should guarantee that:

  • Ethical and moral standards are in compliance with federal guidelines
  • Informed consent has been obtained from all participants
  • Anonymity or confidentiality of the participants
  • Participation is voluntary and that participants may withdraw from the study at any time
  • Researchers will avoid the use of deception when ever possible. (In the event that deception is essential to the integrity of the research, a debriefing must follow.)
  • A full IRB review if participants include vulnerable populations such as minors, mentally compromised, or incarcerated people
  • A full IRB review if risk to participants is more than minimal

Threefold Rationale


Rollins College affirms that human research subjects should be treated with dignity, respect, and with due regard to their welfare. Those participating in research have the right to be informed regarding the nature of the research, including its methods and procedures (any aspect of the research that could reasonably influence a subject’s willingness to participate, the nature of any benefits for the research subject or for society, and its reasonable foreseeable risks); the right to withdraw from participation in the research without penalty; and the right to have the subject’s confidentiality respected.


Fundamental to the work of Rollins College is the need to instruct both students and faculty as to the most appropriate manner in which to carry out academic research. The review of research projects involving human subjects helps those engaged in such research to construct information-gathering devices (including interviews and surveys) so as to adhere to the ethical standards set out in point 1 (above).


Rollins College must comply with Federal Regulations concerning experimentation involving human subjects (45 C.F. R. Part 46, Protection of Human Subjects).


Current Membership

Juan Guevara Pinto (Male, PhD, Scientist, Scientific Specialization: Cognitive Sciences, CLA Faculty, Acting Chair)

John Houston (Male, PhD, Scientist, Scientific Specialization: I/O Psychology and Psychometrics, CLA Faculty, on sabbatical Fall 2023)

Kara Wunderlich (Female, PhD, Scientist, Scientific Specialization: Applied Behavior Analysis, Holt ABACS Faculty)

Rachelle Yankelevitz (Female, PhD, Scientist, Scientific Specialization: Animal Behavior, CLA Faculty)

Valerie Summet (Female, PhD, Scientist, Scientific Specialization: Computer Science, CLA Faculty)

Blake Robinson (Male, MA, Non-Scientist, Specialization: Library Studies, CLA Faculty)

Marti Lisa (Female, MA, Non-Scientist, Specialization: Counseling,  Community Member)

Jessica Gonzalez (Female, AB, Non-Scientist, Specialization: Counseling, Holt Graduate Counseling Student)

Ashley Sawyer (Female, AA equivalent, Scientist, Specialization: Psychology, Chemistry, and Neuroscience, Senior CLA)

Alise Fortune (Female, AA equivalent, Non-Scientist, Specialization: Philosophy, Psychology, and Ethics, Senior CLA)

Samantha Cavallo (Female, AA equivalent, Non-Scientist, Specialization: Psychology/Sociology, Junior CLA)

Eve Wasil (Female, AA equivalent, Non-Scientist, Specialization: Asian Studies/Psychology, Senior CLA)

(The equivalent of an AA degree is inferred based on class level and completion of general education requirements at Rollins for the three undergraduate members.  However, these degrees have not been formally bestowed.)

Federal Requirements For Membership

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Institutional Review Board membership should include:

  • At least 5 members of varying backgrounds that reflect the backgrounds of the research participants commonly used in research
  • Diversity of sex and profession
  • At least 1 member must be a scientist and at least 1 member must be a non-scientist
  • At least 1 member must not be affiliated with the College

Rollins Requirements For Membership

In addition to meeting federal requirements, the Rollins College IRB shall consist of members of the faculty and members of the student body.

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Institutional Review Board
Rollins College
John Houston, IRB Chair
Bush Science Center – Room 316
T. 407.646.2099