Human Subjects Committee (IRB)
The Human Subjects Committee protects the rights and welfare of people serving as research subjects for Amherst College faculty and students. This committee acts as an Institutional Review Board (IRB) for all projects involving human subjects. Investigators from all disciplines proposing such research must submit for evaluation by the IRB a project description and copies of the consent forms that the subjects are asked to sign. The Human Subjects Review Committee usually consists of Amherst faculty members and administrators and one member of the local community. For more information about Amherst’s IRB and its policies, visit the IRB Website.
Institutional Biosafety Committee
Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) monitors activities at Amherst College that deal specifically with recombinant DNA and/or infectious agents (infectious to humans, animals, or plants) research, in accordance with the guidelines set by the Department of Health and Human Services in the Federal Register and the town of Amherst's Board of Health. It reviews proposals from project directors, sets standards for containment protocols, and inspects facilities where recombinant DNA and/or infectious agents (infectious to humans, animals, or plants) research is being conducted. The committee is composed of three members of the Amherst science faculty, an associate dean of the faculty, the chemical compliance officer, and at least two representatives of the local community (usually a science teacher from the Amherst Regional High School and a physician). For more information about Amherst's IBC, or to see minutes from past meetings, please contact Professor Alexandra Purdy, chair, or Associate Dean of the Faculty, Professor Jack Cheney.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is an oversight committee mandated by federal regulations. The committee is composed of at least five members, among whom must be a person not connected with the College, a veterinarian, and at least one scientist whose research involves animals. The IACUC meets semi-annually and at other times as needed. The committee reviews on an annual basis the College’s program for the humane care and use of animals, inspects College facilities in which animal research is conducted, is responsible for procedures and policies for the care and use of animals in research and laboratory programs at the College, and reviews all research grant proposals involving research with animals that is submitted by Amherst faculty to federal agencies.
Laser and Radiation Safety Committee
The Amherst College Laser and Radiation Safety Training Program was developed and implemented to comply with the requirements of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L. c. 111), the Department of Public Health Radiation Control Program (MRCP) 105 CMR 120.00 - 122.00 (which includes the use of lasers, laser systems), the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and other organizations that regulate the use, transportation and disposal of radioactive materials and machines that produce ionizing radiation. Under the guidance of the Laser and Radiation Use Committee, an intradepartmental assembly of administration, faculty, and staff of the College, the Laser and Radiation Safety Use Program shall, to the best of its ability, protect Amherst College faculty, staff, students and visitors from exposure or potential exposure to radiation including, but not limited to lasers, radioactive materials, and x-ray equipment used in both academic and commericial applications on campus. The goal is to limit all radiation exposures to as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). In an effort to best protect members of the campus community, the College has developed policies, guidelines, training, work practices, emergency response procedures, and other best management practices to maintain health and safety standards in facilities that use radiation and radioactive materials, including lasers and x-ray equipment. Visit the Committee's Website for more information.