2020-2021 Graduate Academic Catalog

Human Subjects Policy and Institutional Review Board

Human Subjects Policy Statement

Lesley University is committed to the ethical principles for the protection of human subjects in research set forth in the Belmont Report of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research.  The University requires that all research and teaching activities involving human subjects be guided by these ethical principles. In summary, these principles are:

  • Respect for persons.  This principle requires researchers to obtain informed consent from all human subjects participating in their research. The consent process includes giving subjects full and comprehensible information about the research and providing a clear assurance that participation is strictly voluntary. 
  • Beneficence.  The essence of this principle is concern for the wellbeing of subjects.  It requires that the risk of harm to subjects be minimized to fullest extent possible.  It further requires a risk/benefit analysis in favor of the research, such that the sum of benefits to the subject, as well as the importance of the knowledge to be gained, clearly justifies the remaining risk of harm to human subjects.
  • Justice.   Justice requires that the risks and benefits of research should be fairly and equitably distributed among subjects, with particular concern against the exploitation of subjects whose personal characteristics place them in vulnerable or dependent positions, i.e., children, prisoners, patients, impoverished persons, the cognitively impaired.

Human Subjects Research Institutional Review Board (IRB)

The University, through the Provost’s Office, maintains an Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research (hereafter the IRB).  The IRB shall determine whether an activity constitutes human subject research and whether the research is subject to full Board review or may be exempted from review.


Complete information including process, policies, documents, forms, and IRB contact information may be found at: https://lesley.edu/faculty-staff/faculty-academic-resources/teaching-and-scholarship/institutional-review-board.