Institutional Review Board

The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research is the first point of contact regarding human subjects research at (or involving) Towson University faculty, staff or students.


Guidance for In-person Human Subjects Research

To minimize risk to human subjects, principal investigators are encouraged to conduct research remotely whenever possible. When conducting in-person research, principal investigators are expected to adhere to University, State, and Federal guidelines including relevant CDC guidance that are in place at the time the research is occurring.

Investigators should ensure that consent documents inform participants of COVID-19 Risks/Discomfort that may be associated with engaging in human subjects research. The language below would be a suitable statement:

PIs are expected to adhere to University guidelines for research conducted on campus and to adhere to site-specific requirements when conducting research at off-campus locations.  

You may also visit the Office of the Provost or Health & Safety Protocols for information on the Return to Research phases.

The COVID-19: Back to Campus and COVID-19: Insights for Higher Ed Leaders CITI Training courses are still available if you would like additional training for managing the risks associated with COVID-19 as we return to campus. Log in with your TU NetID and password.

Guidance for Conducting Online Research

To ensure that data collection remains anonymous for anonymous studies, be sure to set up the survey so that it does not collect IP addresses. In addition, please add the following required language into the confidentiality section of the consent form (and fill in the appropriate information where indicated):

The data are being collected via the online platform <specify>. To address any concerns you may have about the confidentiality of data collected in this manner, please see <specify the company’s> Data Privacy Policy at <include the URL here>. You should specifically look at the section entitled, <direct participants to the relevant section of the data privacy policy>. Please note that although we, the researchers, will not be collecting information that could identify you, only you can fully guarantee the security of the data you provide. You are encouraged to take the survey in a private location where others are unable to see your responses.

If you have an IRB approved study that you want to move online for data collection, please see additional guidance from the IRB. 

What is the Institutional Review Board?

The use of human subjects in Towson University faculty, staff or student research requires approval by the appropriate university review committee, the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB is appointed by the Provost, and is comprised of volunteers from TU’s faculty and staff, and at least one member of the community. The IRB is responsible for reviewing research involving human subjects to ensure compliance with all governmental regulations with the use of human subjects. Approval of the IRB must be obtained prior to the involvement of human subjects in research, and for any modifications to the project after IRB approval which would impact the human participants.

Applicable federal regulations are detailed in Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 46.

Access the online submission system, Kuali Protocols! If you have questions about this please contact the IRB at  

Kuali Protocols

Protocol creation, deadlines, and submission process.

Submit Your IRB Proposal

Understanding research and review categories. 

Research & Review Categories

Towson University Institutional Review Board Members

Have questions that may be related to your academic major or discipline? Contact your IRB college representative.

IRB Administration

  • Chairperson: Elizabeth Katz, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
  • Vice Chairperson: Bethany Willis Hepp, Ph.D., Department of Family Studies and Community Development

Representatives from the College of Liberal Arts

  • Maria Fracasso, Ph.D.,  Department of Psychology

Representatives from the College of Business and Economics

  • Melissa Groves, Ph.D., Department of Economics

Representatives from the College of Education

  • Deborah Gartland, Ph.D., Department of Special Education
  • Scot McNary, Ph.D., Department of Educational Technology and Literacy
  • Lijun Jin, Ed.D., Department of Elementary Education

Representatives from the College of Health Professions

  • Peter Lisman, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology
  • Laura Sessions, Ph.D., Department of Nursing
  • Nirmal Srinivasan, Ph.D., Department of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology

Representatives from the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics

  • Felice Shore, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics

Representatives from the College of Fine Arts and Communication

  • Kim Hopkins, Department of Art + Design, Art History, Art Education

Community Member

  • Greg Dildine, Community and Civic Volunteer

Towson University Information

  • Federal-Wide Assurance Number — FWA00003648, expires 8/2022
  • IORG Number — IORG0002307
  • IRB Number IRB00002844