Institutional review boards (IRBs) are local universities given the responsibility of oversight for federally funded research involving human subjects conducted by members of the organization. Researchers from the local organization serve on the IRBs and often employ one or more staff members, including a compliance officer, to help facilitate the review process. IRBs' responsibilities include providing training so that researchers conduct research safely, approving research protocols that are designed to protect participants from harm, and making sure that potential human subjects are adequately informed of the risks and benefits of their participation so that they can give informed consent. IRBs must balance the risk of the research against its potential benefits in approving research protocols. IRBs have become an entrenched part of the research process ...

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