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 2023-2024 Academic Year, meetings will be held on the following dates:
- August 4, 2023
- September 1, 2023
- October 6, 2023
- November 3, 2023
- December 1, 2023
- January 5, 2024
- February 2, 2024
- March 1, 2024
- April 5, 2024
- May 3, 2024
- June 7, 2024
- July 5, 2024
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
- Anthony Burrow, Professor, Human Development
- Julie Conyer, Associate Biosafety Officer, Environmental Health & Safety (Ex-Officio, non-voting, alternate)
- Bobby Edamala, Chief Information Security Officer, IT Security Office
- Gary Evans, Professor, Human Centered Design & Psychology
- Susan Fussell, Professor, Communication & Information Science
- Kenneth Hill, M.D., Cornell Health
- Wendy Ju, Associate Professor, Information Science
- Saurabh Mehta, Professor, Nutritional Sciences
- Theresa (Tess) Pendergast, Research Associate, Global Development
- Robert Scott, Executive Director, Cornell Prison Education Program, Prisoner representative alternate
- Leslie Shaw, Research Associate, Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability
- Joshua Turse, Biosafety Officer, Environmental Health & Safety (Ex-Officio, non-voting)