Policies & Procedures

The Towson University Institutional Review Board (IRB) follows the principles outlined in the Belmont Report, is subject to all University System of Maryland Policies and Procedures, and adheres to federal guidelines. 

The Belmont Report

The Belmont Report was published in the Federal Register on April 18th, 1979. The report summarizes ethical principles and guidelines involving human subjects. Three core principles are identified: respect for persons, beneficence, and justice. Three primary areas of applications are also stated: informed consent, assessment of risks and benefits, and selection of subjects. 

The Common Rule

The common rule is a rule of ethics regarding biomedical and behavioral research involving human subjects found in the Code of Federal Regulations, 45 CFR 46.  The Common Rule is the baseline standard of ethics by which any government-funded research in the US is held, and nearly all academic institutions hold their researchers to these statements of rights regardless of funding. The Towson IRB adheres to these federal guidelines to ensure proper protections are put into place for all human subjects research. 

USM Policies and Procedures

As a state institution of Maryland, Towson University is subject to all state policies, specifically Section III and Section IV. Researchers should note that many third party privacy agreements, as well as data use and collaborative agreements, may need to be reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel to ensure compliance with state policies. Consult the IRB office for verification.