Institutional Review Board: Informed Consent

Informed consent is an important step in ensuring that research participants are treated ethically.

Participants must have enough information to make an informed decision whether to participate in the research study. If participants cannot give informed consent, it must be obtained from their legal representatives. For example, when subjects are minors (under 18) or when they are mentally incapacitated, consent from a legal representative (such as a parent or legal guardian) is required. You should additionally provide a verbal explanation/description of the consent process, according to a script, when giving each participant the consent documents.

Consent documents and scripts must be clearly written in plain English so participants can fully understand the implications of participating. Scientific, medical, and technical terms should be avoided if possible or, if they must be included, clearly defined in simple language.

+ Components of Consent Forms

+ Verbal Description of Consent Forms

+ Exceptional Situations

+ Circumstances in Which a Written Consent Form May Not Be Required

+ If you will be photographing or videotaping your participants, the participants must, in addition, sign a photo release form or a video consent form.

+ For Additional Information on Informed Consent . . .

Contact the IRB

IRB Members

Here are seven representatives on Bard's Institutional Review board:
six faculty from the College plus one community representative.
Please feel free to contact any of us if you have any questions about the IRB process.
  • Tabetha Ewing
  • Peter Klein
  • Gautam Sethi
  • Simeen Sattar (chair,
  • Georganna Ulary (community representative)
  • Peter Gadsby (administrative representative)
If you have questions about your proposal, contact the IRB chair.