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Institutional Review Board

The Ramapo College of New Jersey Institutional Review Board (IRB) is made up of peer researchers and external members of the larger community and charged with providing an initial and continuing review of research proposals involving human subjects. The IRB assures that the rights of determination, privacy, and confidentiality are maintained through its procedures, and it strives to protect subjects from undue harm by upholding the minimum risk requirement. The IRB will review applications for the use of human subjects and it will evaluate each within the guidelines of the Ramapo College Human Subjects Policy. The committee must review and approve the proposed human research project giving consideration to:

  • Sensitivity to students’ ability to give informed consent within faculty research while they are enrolled in that faculty member’s course(s).
  • The degree of risk and whether the benefits outweigh the risks.
  • Protecting human rights and welfare.
  • Obtaining voluntary informed consent.
  • Providing debriefing about protocol and contact information for possible complaints, as appropriate.
  • Whether researchers are competent and qualified.
  • The overarching considerations stipulated by the Belmont report and the Common Rule: Respect for persons, beneficence, and justice.
Board Members

Members of the Ramapo College IRB are appointed by the Provost. The chair and co-chair of the committee serve 2 year terms.

Shaziela Ishak, PhD – Chair
Associate Professor of Psychology

Kristin Kenneavy, PhD – Co-Chair
Associate Professor of Sociology

IRB Application

Please email forms or questions to the IRB committee using this address:

The IRB will be accepting applications on a rolling basis until June 1st.
Applications received after June 1st will be reviewed during the Fall semester.

IRB Review Process

Researchers should read the Ramapo College Human Subjects Policy on the use of Human Subjects in Research.

  • Does your research involve live humans at Ramapo College or affiliated sites about whom the investigator obtains data? If yes, continue, if no, IRB approval not needed. (“obtaining data” is defined as gaining information through intervention, interaction, or in any way gaining identifiable private information).Examples of categories of research with human subject that need IRB approval:
    • Faculty or staff research projects (including those which are funded).
    • Research by an investigator not affiliated with Ramapo College of New Jersey who proposes to involve Ramapo College of New Jersey students, staff, or faculty as subjects in the proposed research project.
    • Undergraduate student research within Honors and independent study projects.
    • Graduate student research projects.
    • Studies expected to result in publication, presentation outside the college, or public dissemination in some other form.
    • Research conducted outside the college if it involves: minors (i.e. persons under the age of 18); a targeted population of adults whose ability to freely give informed consent may be compromised (i.e. persons who are socio-economically, educationally, or linguistically disadvantaged, cognitively impaired, elderly, terminally ill, or incarcerated); pregnant women and/or fetuses who may be put at risk of physical harm; a topic of a sensitive or personal nature, the examination or reporting of which may place the research participant at more than minimal risk, or any type of activity that places research participants at more than minimal risk.
    • Undergraduate research projects that have a low likelihood of being presented in a forum outside of the College do not need to undergo IRB review unless the risk exceeds minimal risk. However, all human subject research done by undergraduates is the responsibility of the course instructor, who is required to undergo the online training provisions listed in section 6.7 of the Ramapo College IRB Policy. (If the data collected in the context of a course is for classroom use only, the Ramapo IRB suggests the instructor use a “best practices” instructor course research approval form and that the instructor act as the research review chair with responsibility for reviewing the project).
  • Complete online education/ethics program designed by the University of Montana.
  • Secure all necessary documents such as approvals for outside sites, and consent form.
  • Complete and submit the application form to the Chair of the IRB. All applications will be reviewed by a panel as quickly as possible. Every panel will consist of either the IRB chair or co-chair, one non-affiliated community member, and at least three faculty members from the standing committee. Panelists will be selected based on germane subject expertise.
  • The IRB Chair will contact the applicant when the review has been completed.

If you have specific questions about a particular review or general questions concerning research with human subjects at Ramapo College, please contact the IRB chair.

Applicants can also email questions or applications to

IRB Committee Members
  • Rikki Abzug, ASB
  • Atieh Babakhani, SSHS
  • Desislava Budeva, ASB
  • Kathy Burke, TAS/Nursing
  • Erick Castellanos, HGS
  • Joseph Cataliotti, SSHS
  • Naseem Choudhury, SSHS
  • Kenneth Gabbert, Community
  • Shaziela Ishak, SSHS – Chair
  • Kristin Kenneavy, SSHS – Co-Chair
  • Gurvinder Khaneja, IR
  • YongBum Kim, ASB
  • Changhee Lee, ASB
  • Emily Leskinen, SSHS
  • Romulo Magnaye, ASB
  • Colleen Martinez, SSHS
  • Patrick Mattis, TAS (Nursing)
  • Dr. J. Christopher Mendler
  • Lysandra Perez-Strumolo, SSHS
  • Kenneth Poller – Community
  • Maya Poran, SSHS
  • Tammi Redd, ASB
  • Christian Reich, SSHS
  • Robin Segal-Gonzalez – Community
  • Ruma Sen, CA
  • Marcia Sexton, Library
  • Mark Skowronski, ASB
  • Jeremy Teigen, HGS
  • Micheal Unger, HGS
  • Inderani Walia, TAS (Nursing)
  • Leah Warner, SSHS
Important Websites