importance of conducting human subjects research in accordance with the highest standards of ethical conduct.” But more than the top managers can and should provide leadership. Academic departments must incorporate ethical principles into the education they provide, and professional associations must regularly review and update their codes of professional ethics with regard to human research participant protection. Thorough, continuing training for researchers and IRB members is critical for the effective operation of the human research participant protection system and its continued improvement. For long-run success, the ethics of protection must be woven into the fabric of the research preparation of all scientists.

Recommendation 11: Academic institutions, working with scientific and professional associations in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences, should develop in-depth training curricula and materials that are customized for social, behavioral, and economic scientists regarding the ethical involvement of human research participants. OHRP should similarly develop for IRBs customized training materials that focus on review of SBES research.


Our panel looks forward to developing a full agenda for research and practice to improve the operation of the IRB system for social, behavioral, and economic science research. Such a system should provide full protection for human research participants and, at the same time, promote a level of review commensurate with the level of risk to facilitate the conduct of high-quality, ethical research.

Sincerely yours,

Cora Marrett,


Panel on IRBs, Surveys, and Social Science Research

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement