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Getting IRB (Human Subjects) Approval

Until a few years ago, some research in business schools, and often that related to sensory studies and food intake, was given a general class of approval or exemption by the Institutional Review Boards (IRB) at some universities. Today, each study planned by university researchers must be submitted to that university’s Institutional Review Board to insure it will not harm the participants in any way. This is good because it protects participants and professors alike.

People sometimes ask if it is hard to get IRB approval for food psychology and behavior studies. Initially it can be difficult, but given their helpful advice, it eventually becomes easier.

If you are newfood and behavior research, what might be most helpful are some tips about writing your IRB proposal, along with examples of successful Food Psychology and Behavior proposals that have been approved.

I’m a member of Cornell’s IRB Human Subjects Committee. Yet these tips do not represent any policy or any bias of the committee. They are simply ideas I have learned over the past 9 years, and I hope they will make it easier for you to do research in this important area. My colleague Collin Payne has combined my thoughts with his to help you down this initially frustrating road.

Tips for Getting IRB Approval

Sample 1: Successful IRB Proposal for the Survey

Sample 2: Successful IRB Proposal for a Lab Study