Inside Linfield - Institutional Review Board

Review Timeline

IRB applications can be submitted on a rolling basis to Please permit up to three weeks for process and review.


October 21, 2021


A short note from the Linfield IRB. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Linfield’s IRB is a committee of Linfield faculty responsible for reviewing research proposals to determine if the project follows the ethical principles and federal regulations for the protection of human subjects. Having an IRB is a federal requirement for all universities or other organizations receiving federal funds to conduct research involving human subjects. In addition to being required at the University level, IRB approval is necessary for researchers seeking to publish their work. Documentation of IRB approval is the required final step for research involving human subjects to be accepted in nearly every peer-reviewed journal. 

With that preamble, I have good news. While the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact nearly every facet of life, Linfield’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) has determined that the conditions are such that face-to-face research may be permitted again. Obviously, all proposed research projects must include robust covid safety protocols. 

Please see below the new guidance for face-to-face human subjects research. 

Revised guidance for face-to-face human subjects research
Face-to-face human subjects research is permitted, however face coverings must be used at all times by study teams and study participants in all human subjects research settings. 

There is no maximum duration of contact for face-to-face research encounters, and no required square footage per person. However, physical distancing is recommended in light of the unknown vaccination status of those involved. 

We recommend being vaccinated. However, study team members cannot be required to provide information about their vaccination status nor can job duties be assigned on the basis of vaccination status. Furthermore, it is not appropriate to ask study participants, or potential study participants, about their vaccination status, unless covid vaccination is an inclusion or exclusion criterion approved by the IRB for a particular study.

This guidance applies to research in all settings involving human subjects, both on- and off-campus.

Please be aware of policies in place within your particular research settings and abide by those policies. When policies of the research setting are not consistent with Linfield University guidance, study teams must abide by the set of policies that provides the greatest COVID-19 risk mitigation.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Dimitri Kelly
Associate Professor of Political Science
Chair IRB