Introduction and Governance
As mandated by Federal Regulation, Bergen Community College maintains an Institutional Review Board (IRB) charged with assuring that human subjects participating in research studies at BCC are protected to the full extent of the law. The IRB reviews proposed research protocol, methods, and materials to ensure they are consistent with regulation and that they include procedures that protect the wellbeing and rights of those who participate.
Bergen Community College IRB efforts in this regard are governed by the US Department of Health and Human Services Human Protections as codified in 45 CFR, Part 46 and by The National Science Foundation Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects.
Bergen’s IRB is guided by the three fundamental ethical principles stated in the Belmont Report. Researchers should read the report to understand the ethical guidelines for research on human subjects. The ethical principles espoused by the report guide treatment of any human subjects used in research, They are:
Types of Research. Human Subjects Research falls under three categories: (1) Exempt, (2) Eligible for Expedited review, and (3) Requiring Full Review.
EXEMPT: Research, such as anonymous surveys that evaluate teaching and learning effectiveness only are exempt. Exempt research is described fully in the resources section of this website. Most research conducted at Bergen is exempt according to 45 CFR 46.101(b) 1 and 2:
If your research falls into these categories, you do not need IRB approval.
However, if the survey asks questions of a personal nature such as sexual orientation, weight, marital status etc. or would collect information that would identify the individual, it is no longer considered exempt and must be submitted to the IRB. If you have questions regarding the status of your research you should submit for IRB approval and you will be advised if it is exempt.
EXPEDITED REVIEW: Proposals that clearly adhere to the Federal guidelines for conducting research on human subjects, i.e. which contain provision for confidentiality and do not involve novel or intrusive subjects, must be submitted to the IRB by filling out the Application Form on this site. If eligible for expedited review these will be approved by the IRB Chair, generally within a week of submission.
FULL REVIEW: If the research entails the collection of intrusive and/or personal information or could possibly compromises the confidentiality of the participant, the study must be reviewed by the Full IRB,
Bergen IRB Meeting Dates: The Institutional Review Board meets 7 times a year in the first week of October, November, December, February, March and April, and in mid-June. To qualify for review at a meeting the report must be received at least two weeks prior to the scheduled meeting date.
BCC Faculty or Staff Sponsorship is Required. All research conducted at BCC must be carried out under the supervision of a BCC faculty (tenured or tenure track) or staff member, and have the approval of the Dean or VP under which the BCC supervisor works. Researchers from other institutions seeking to conduct research at BCC must collaborate with a BCC sponsor whose responsibility it is to ensure that the research is conducted in accordance with the approval conditions of the BCC IRB and that all reports are submitted in a timely manner.
To Get Started: If your research meets the conditions noted above in 45 CFR 46.101(b) 1 and 2, you do not need IRB approval. if you need to file an application with the IRB, you should ng download the IRB Application and complete all requested information, obtain required signatures, and email a PDF of the signed application to: Chair of the IRB, C/O: Dr. William Yakowicz.
Within two weeks of submission you will be advised of how you will be classified (exempt, expedited or full review required). After you have received approval for expedited or full review you will receive a letter of approval that will contain the terms under which you may conduct your research and a date by which you may start and must complete your research and submit a final report with data to the college. Be aware that compliance with the terms of the approval lies with the sponsoring BCC.
Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Road
Paramus, NJ 07652