Overseeing Research: Ethics and the Institutional Review Board


  • Catherine Milne New York University




ethics, qualitative research, power, informed consent


In this paper I examine my experience of submitting a research proposal to the Institutional Review Board of a university. In the United States of America Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) are federally mandated ethics committees that evaluate research proposals to ensure the rights of human subjects are protected by conducting a risk benefit analysis of proposed research, ensuring that informed consent and confidentiality protocols are applied appropriately, and that the selection of participants is just and equitable. While accepting the need for IRBs, I suggest that their documentation and practices privilege specific research practices. This paper seeks to highlight the emerging consistencies and contradictions of this documentation when applied to a research approach seeking to study an urban science classroom and argues that there needs to be an ongoing dialogue to examine and acknowledge these contradictions in their documentation. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0501412


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Catherine Milne, New York University

Catherine MILNE is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at New York University. Her research interests include the role of history and philosophy in school science, learning science in urban schools, and the nature of science teacher education.




How to Cite

Milne, C. (2005). Overseeing Research: Ethics and the Institutional Review Board. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-6.1.531



FQS Debate: Qualitative Research and Ethics