Institutional Review Board | Cumberland University

Institutional Review Board


The role of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to review all research proposals involving human subjects in order to ensure that subjects are treated in an ethical manner and that their rights and welfare are adequately protected according to the standards set forth by The Code of Federal Regulations in 45 CFR 46.


Mission Statement

Cumberland University is committed to protecting the rights of and ensuring the safety of human subjects participating in research conducted by faculty, staff, and students of the University. This commitment is guided by the ethical principles described in The Belmont Report and in applicable federal regulations.

For operational purposes, as required by federal law, this commitment is vested in the Cumberland University Institutional Review Board.



The IRB is composed primarily of faculty members from disciplines in which research involving human subjects is integral to that discipline's work, researchers whose primary interests are non-scientific, as well as members from the community. The human subjects review process is administered through the Office of Sponsored Programs and is mediated through Cumberland University’s Office of Academic Affairs.



All faculty, staff, and students using human subjects or identifiable, private information about human subjects to conduct research are required to seek and obtain CU IRB approval as deemed appropriate using the IRB Approval Flowchart prior to initiating research. Projects must be approved whether or not the research is funded and regardless of the source of funds. Students are expected to conduct research under the advisement of a faculty or staff member who can verify his/her research experience and/or credentials.

All research proposals must be submitted by email to and reviewed by the Chair of the IRB (see contact information below) using the Blank IRB Proposal Form, along with any supportive documents, including, but not limited to, consent forms, grant approvals, and instruments being used for data collection. Please note that Informed Consent Checklist should be structured in such a way as to meet standards set forth by 45 CFR § 46.116(a) as reviewed in the Informed Consent Checklist. No individual, other than the IRB Chair or the Chair’s designee, may verify a proposal as being exempt from federal regulations or outside the regulations’ scope. Research that is conducted without IRB approval is not in compliance with Cumberland University policy and federal regulations. In these circumstances, a non-compliance report will be sent to the Provost in the Office of Academic Affairs for further action. Further, revisions and supplements to any previously approved project must be resubmitted to the IRB in order to seek re-approval based on those changes.

Please refer to this website for the most current IRB policies, procedures, and forms. Questions should be directed to the Chair of the IRB, Dr. Jenny Mason, either by email or phone (615.547.1338).