Due to the potential risks of COVID-19, Russell Sage College has paused all continuing and new human subjects research studies involving direct participant contact that provide little or no potential benefit to human subjects. These studies may use telephone contact and/or remote data collection activities during this pause and may resume when the risk of COVID-19 has passed.

Given the current COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, and the real or perceived risk of exposure, the risk/benefit ratio for research participation must be assessed for each protocol. Ethical principles of research and federal regulations for the protection of human research participants require an acceptable risk/benefit ratio.

Communication will be forthcoming from IRB when this research pause is lifted. Until then, absolutely no in-person research should be conducted by Sage students, faculty, or staff.

Studies for which there is little to no prospect of direct benefit to participants

Continuing Research: Study procedures involving in-person contact with participants must be paused, effective immediately. This includes class projects approved by IRB. Procedures such as telephone contact and/or monitoring and/or remote data collection, if part of such studies, may continue.

New Research: Study procedures should not include in-person contact with participants at this time. This includes class projects. Procedures to collect data must be remote and can include electronic surveys, telephone or remote interviews/observations, or other virtual methods of data collection.

Studies for which there is direct benefit to participants 

Currently there are no active protocols at Sage where there are direct benefits to participants.

Amending your research to allow for continuity during this time

If your research specified that you are conducting in person research, you must submit an amendment. Researchers can submit an email to [email protected] asking to amend their protocol to include telephone or video-based interviews in the place of in person interviews.

If your research specified that you are conducting face-to-face research, but did not specify in person, you may continue to conduct your research via video conferencing. If you want to add telephone interviews as an option, please send an email to [email protected] asking to amend your research protocol.

You may not conduct in person research until the risk of exposure to COVID 19 is over. The Sage IRB will send out a notice at such a time.


The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee established by Russell Sage College (RSC) to protect the rights of human subjects participating in research. Initially, the Federal Government mandated that IRBs review federally-funded human subjects research. New York State requires that all human subjects research be reviewed by an IRB. Russell Sage College’s IRB is registered with the Office for Human Research Protection of the Department of Health and Human Services and has received a Federal Wide Assurance (FWA00026452) from the agency.

The Sage IRB ensures that participation in a research project is voluntary, that the decision to participate is informed, and that the benefits of the research outweigh the risks. Sage IRB requires that all researchers (including students) applying for a project review must demonstrate competency in human subjects research and provide a certificate that is dated within the last five years. Please visit the CITI Program website to complete this training if you do not already have it.

To apply for Project Review, please read the Instructions for Submission of IRB projects, review the IRB project review forms and check the IRB Policy and Procedures Manual.

Any questions regarding the IRB may be directed to the chair, Dr. Francesca Durand, at [email protected] or 518-292-1835, or any other board member.

2020-2021 IRB Materials & Forms