If you are involved in human subjects research, please be sure that you are in compliance with all applicable policies.

Failure to do so will prevent us from processing student financial support in the form of fellowships and research assistantships.

Sources of Information

Steps for determining MIT IRB requirements

1. Are you planning to engage in research involving human subjects as defined here

If no, you do not need to follow the steps below.

2. Is your research performed on the MIT campus and/or under the supervision of an MIT faculty member?

If yes, first contact couhes [at] mit.edu to discuss the study specifics and confirm if an application to COUHES is appropriate. If deemed appropriate, your research supervisor would either add you to an existing protocol or submit a new full application listing you as an associate investigator. Consult COUHES for details. You do not need to follow the step below.

3. Is MIT engaged in the research? See definition here and Engaged in Research: Scenarios here.

If yes (for example, if you have direct interactions with human subjects), then go to step 4. 

If no (for example, in the case of off-campus research with de-identified data):

  • You may be required to adhere to the policies of one or more institutions, such as your degree institution and/or the institution where your research is being conducted;
  • If you are added to an outside institution’s IRB protocol, you must send a copy of the institution’s approval(s) to couhes [at] mit.edu, cc’ing laurie [at] mit.edu for tracking purposes;
  • You do not need to follow the steps below.

4. If you got this far, it means that you plan to conduct research involving human subjects and MIT is engaged, but the research will take place at another institution under the supervision of non-MIT faculty.
Instead of a full MIT application, your lab submits an IRB request through the Online Reliance System allowing MIT to cede review to your PI's institution. After an off-campus cede review has been submitted, reviewed, and approved by COUHES, oversight of the IRB becomes the sole responsibility of the off-campus institution, with no future action required at MIT. Instructions can be found here. It is important that MIT is listed as the Relying Institution/IRB. When the cede review has been approved, please send a copy of the Determination notice to Laurie Ward at laurie [at] mit.edu.