Provost Home

Contact Information

Westmont College
955 La Paz Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93108

Office: (805) 565-6007
Fax: (805) 565-7006

Institutional Review Board


The purpose of Westmont College's Institutional Review Board is to evaluate research proposals using both animal and human subjects.

Please send your complete research proposal to the CHAIR of the IRB

  • IRB application form, consent form, and if conducting a survey, all your survey questions
  • If you are collaborating with a researcher from another college, BOTH colleges' IRBs need to approve the proposal. The Principle Investigator's college should approve it first and then the collaborating college's IRB.
Board Membership

Timothy VanHaitsma (chair)
Sarah Jirek
Steve Julio
Bill Nelson

Research Involving Human Participants

For research proposals involving human participants, the IRB determines whether the risk to the participants is minimized and is reasonable when weighed against the benefits of the project for its participants and for the advancement of scientific knowledge. In addition, the IRB evaluates whether the selection of participants is equitable and particularly vulnerable populations are safeguarded with respect to their rights and safety. Finally, the IRB decides whether the proposed procedures will keep participants' identity and data confidential, the informed consent form is appropriately informative, the informed consent procedure includes proper documentation, and the proper authority 's (participant or participant's legal representative) consent is obtained.

If you do not know whether your class project or research needs IRB approval, download and work your way through the "decision tree" form. If you still don't know, contact the chair of the IRB.

The following is the required form to be electronically submitted to the chair of the IRB (Word doc)

The following forms help you construct your Informed Consent Document:

If you are conducting research and something goes wrong/have an injury/complaint use this form:

The following is a link to the Federal Guidelines concerning Human Subjects Protection

Research with Animals

For research proposals involving animal subjects, the IRB determines whether the proposed procedures will cause distress, pain or discomfort in the animals. If any of these will occur, the IRB must then determine whether appropriate relief is necessary, given the research design and goals. In cases where animals will not receive relief from pain, discomfort, or distress, they must be killed painlessly. In addition, the IRB members conduct twice-yearly inspections of the animal care facilities to verify that the living conditions of the animals are comfortable and healthful, given their species, that medical care is available as needed, and those caring for the animals are trained properly, given the species. Finally, the IRB decides whether the euthanasia procedures are appropriate, given the research design and goals.

IRB Application - Animal
Checklist for Inspection of Faculties

Web Resources for IRB Members and Principal Investigators

PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (tutorial)
APA Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Animals
Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
Federal Regulations Governing the Use of Human Subjects in Research
The Belmont Report
APA Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Research with Humans