American University of Central Asia (AUCA) strongly encourages and supports scholarly endeavors of its faculty, students and staff. Scholarly work and research often involve the use of human subjects for data analysis. AUCA Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews research proposals to ensure that the rights and well-being of human subjects used in the research study by AUCA-affiliated students, staff and personnel are protected.
The goal of the reviews is to ensure that all possible risks are minimized while the potential benefits are maximized; that human subjects participate on the voluntary basis after being provided with informed consent; that AUCA-affiliated research is conducted in that manner that is ethical and non-maleficent. Clearance from the AUCA IRB is absolutely required to have been obtained prior to the researcher’s soliciting subject participation and data collection.
There are cases for exemption from an IRB approval requirement. The exempt will apply to research projects involving human subjects which include normal educational practices where work is undertaken as a part of a course; educational tests when subjects are not identified; surveys or interview in which the subject volunteer and do not indicate any personally identifiable information.
The IRB at AUCA review of research projects ensures the human subjects are treated ethically, provided with substantial information about the study and consent to be a subject in the study. Importantly, the IRB at AUCA ensures that all personal and private information is handled with confidentiality. In carrying out its role the IRB is authorized to review, approve, require modification or disapprove proposals. Noteworthy, it is not the role of the IRB at AUCA to evaluate the soundness of the proposed research and research design. Instead, the IRB is responsible for evaluating each project’s compliance with ethical standards regarding issues such as informed consent, confidentiality, and assessment of risks to the participants.