About the IRB Committee

UPDATED October 10, 2022

TRAINING UPDATE: Effective October 1, 2022, all Cornell study personnel involved in Exempt research protocols are now required to complete CITI training in human participant research ethics. This is the same training required of study personnel named on Expedited and Full Board IRB protocols. See details here. For more information about Cornell IRB training requirements, visit the IRB Training webpage.

COVID-19: Cornell IRB COVID-19 guidance and FAQs have been updated (Sept. 7, 2022). Face masks are still required for in-person, on-campus human participant research activities similar to clinical exams or procedures. Review the revised guidance in its entirety here.

IRB PROTOCOLS: As of February 1, 2022, we are using the RASS-IRB system for new protocol submissions, continuing reviews, amendments, and adverse event and protocol deviation reporting. See more details about the transition to RASS-IRB here. Find how-to documentation and recordings of Zoom training sessions on the RASS Guide Site. For help or feedback about the system, contact the RASS team at: rass@research.cornell.edu. For content-related questions about your IRB protocol or other human participant research topics, email irbhp@cornell.edu per usual. You can also schedule a Zoom meeting with members of the RASS or IRB teams via Microsoft Bookings.

Federal and state regulations mandate that research involving human participants must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). Learn more about Cornell's IRB and its membership.

The Cornell IRB is a standing committee of the University Faculty whose activities are overseen by the Vice President for Research and Innovation.  Cornell's Human Research Protection Program operates under two Federal Wide Assurances (FWAs) filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: one for the Ithaca-based campuses, including Cornell Tech ("Cornell University"), and one for Weill Cornell in New York City. Cornell University's FWA is FWA00004513. Weill Cornell operates separate IRBs.

What does the IRB do?

The IRB is responsible for providing guidance and oversight for Cornell's Human Research Protection Program, and for helping to maintain compliance with applicable regulations and policies.

Federal regulations require that any IRB include at a minimum: one member whose primary concerns are in scientific areas, one member whose primary concerns are in nonscientific areas, numerous members representing more than a single profession, and at least one individual not affiliated with Cornell.

Because Cornell is a large institution, additional members are included to provide adequate representation of the diverse research community and to accommodate the workload associated with reviewing large numbers of applications. Membership beyond the minimum required by regulation is drawn from faculty and staff primarily from the social, behavioral, and biological sciences.

Cornell's IRB includes twelve to eighteen voting members. Members are appointed by the President, upon recommendation of the Dean of Faculty in consultation with the Vice President for Research and Innovation. Members are typically appointed to a three-year term. The committee chair is appointed from the faculty membership and will serve for a term of one to three years, after which they may be re-appointed.

When does the IRB meet?

The IRB generally meets on the first Friday of every month. For the 2022-2023 Academic Year, meetings will be held on the following dates:

  • September 9th, 2022
  • October 7th, 2022
  • November 4th, 2022
  • December 2nd, 2022
  • January 6th, 2023
  • February 3rd, 2023
  • March 3rd, 2023
  • April 7th, 2023
  • May 5th, 2023
  • June 2nd, 2023

Note: In order for any new protocols, amendments, or requests for continuing review to be on a meeting's agenda, they need to be submitted at least four weeks prior to the meeting date. This is only relevant for protocols requiring full board review (as opposed to expedited or exempt protocols). Please contact irbhp@cornell.edu if you have any questions or concerns about review timelines.

Current IRB Membership

  • Andrew Willford (Chair), Professor, Anthropology
  • Reverend Doctor Robin Blair, non-affiliated member and non-scientist
  • Meryl Bursic, Senior IT Security Engineer, IT Security Office (alternate for Bobby Edamala)
  • Kent Bullis, M.D., Cornell Health (physician alternate)
  • Anthony Burrow, Professor, Human Development
  • Bobby Edamala, Chief Information Security Officer, IT Security Office
  • Gary Evans, Professor, Human Centered Design & Psychology
  • Kenneth Hill, M.D., Cornell Health
  • Wendy Ju, Associate Professor, Information Science
  • Saurabh Mehta, Professor, Nutritional Sciences
  • Theresa (Tess) Pendergast, Lecturer, Global Development
  • Sarah von Schrader, Assistant Director of Research, K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, ILR School
  • Robert Scott, Executive Director, Cornell Prison Education Program, Prisoner representative alternate
  • Mike Shapiro, Professor, Communication
  • Joshua Turse, Biosafety Officer, Environmental Health & Safety (Ex-Officio, non-voting)