COVID-19 Update

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Merrimack College needs to do its part to mitigate this problem and to help flatten the coronavirus “curve” by increasing social distancing and decreasing social density. With that in mind, Merrimack College is calling for all human subject research that includes any and all person-to-person contact, on-site interviews, and/or in-person interventions should be suspended until official notification from the College’s Institutional Review Board.
Failure to comply will result in the research being considered as non-compliant with the institution. This suspension does not include: (1) research using virtual surveys (e.g., SONOS, MTurk) or analysis of data that includes no person-to-person contacts with study participants; and (2) research where the person-to-person contact was completed and the researchers are now in the analysis phase remotely.
Investigators with currently approved protocols can submit a modification outlining their new method if the investigators would like to switch to virtual data collection or interventions. All modifications will be reviewed and approved in accordance with existing IRB protocols and current suspension policies.
The Merrimack College IRB will continue to review and approve face-to-face submissions. However, the IRB will approve these studies with the explicit note that enrollment cannot start until after the suspension is lifted. The start dates will have to be adjusted to accommodate the suspension.
For additional information please contact Merrimack College at or the Merrimack College IRB ( More information on other aspects of faculty research and scholarship will be forthcoming from the Office of the Provost.

Welcome to Merrimack’s IRB

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is charged with safeguarding the rights and well-being of human subjects in research/projects conducted at or sponsored by Merrimack College.

Responsibilities include:

  • Developing and disseminating federally compliant policies for the protection of human subjects.
  • Developing and implementing institutionally appropriate procedures for ensuring the protection of human subjects, in collaboration with other members of the Merrimack College community.
  • Educating members of the Merrimack College community about the ethical and legal obligations associated with human subject projects.
  • Conducting reviews of generalizable research projects to ensure that such research will be carried out in a manner that safeguards the rights and well-being of the subjects.
  • Promoting professional development in research ethics for Merrimack College employees in support of their instructional, research and administrative work.


An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee, or board, of volunteers including scientists, non-scientists and community members, that ensures research protocols involving human subjects are ethical and that the rights of participants are protected.  The federal Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP), through its process of approving and granting Federalwide Assurance for institutions that conduct human subject research, requires that an institution’s human subject activities and its Institutional Review Board (IRB) be designated under the Assurance, will be guided by the ethical principles in “The Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research”.  

Merrimack College is committed to the pursuit of excellence in research, scholarship, and related professional achievement.  The Merrimack IRB exists to ensure that all research participants are treated with respect and safety and because federal law requires that all research involving human participants (or source-identifiable biospecimens from human participants) receive IRB approval.  Research projects falling under IRB review are varied and diverse and include disciplinary-based research in the biomedical and social-behavioral disciplines, in-class research at the undergraduate and/or graduate level, and community engaged research projects.

The College has provided a formal guarantee to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that it will follow procedures to assure the protection of all human subjects involved in research projects.


Complete details on project types and review procedures can be found under IRB Guidelines.

  • Merrimack College Federalwide Assurance: FWA 00014062
  • FWA renewal is: 10/04/2022
  • IORG 0005707
  • IRB 00006880, Expires 01/08/2023

Ethics Reports

Below you will find important publications and information regarding human subjects research ethics.

The Belmont Report  

The Helsinki Declaration

Office of Human Research Protection

Contact Us

Contact the IRB at