Social, Behavioral & Educational Research IRB

The Social, Behavioral and Educational Research IRB (SBER IRB) reviews research involving human research subjects to ensure regulatory compliance.


The SBER IRB Office is fully operational and accepting all submissions through eIRB. Please refer to the Human Subjects Research COVID-19 Guidance below and here for up-to-date information on face-to-face research activities. All online and remote research activities may continue.

Human Subjects Research COVID-19 Guidance

Last Updated July 23, 2020

On March 13, 2020, face-to-face human subjects research was suspended given the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic and our shared goal to reduce the risk of infection within our community. The only exceptions have been for studies where there is the potential for direct benefit for the participant, if canceling or postponing the activities would increase the risk to the subject’s safety or well-being, emergency use/compassionate use and Humanitarian Use Devices (HUDs). Now as part of Phase 2 of research ramp up, face-to-face human subjects research where there is a lower risk of COVID-19 exposure may resume as early as August 1st upon approval from the investigator’s respective Research/School Dean or Designate. Face-to-face human subjects research where there is a medium or higher risk of COVID-19 exposure will continue to be suspended until further notice.

Please use the Face-to-Face Human Subjects Research and Risk of COVID-19 Exposure table in the Guidance for Face-to-Face Human Subjects Research Ramp Up to determine the highest potential level of COVID-19 exposure risk in the protocol for both study personnel and participants. If the protocol falls entirely within the features designated as lower risk, develop a mitigation plan following the Tufts University Research Infection Control Manual and submit a request to resume your study to your respective Research/School Dean or Designate using the Ramp Up Request Form.

Policies and resources to support the ramp up of face-to-face human subjects research can be found here.

IRB Submissions for Human Subjects Research:

The SBER IRB is accepting and reviewing all submissions, including new studies involving face-to-face interactions. For studies involving face-to-face interactions that have a medium or higher risk of COVID-19 exposure, the IRB will approve the study but explicitly note that enrollment cannot start until such research is approved to resume.

Please note, turnaround times may be impacted in order prioritize the reviews of new studies directly related to COVID-19. When submitting a new COVID-19 related submission in eIRB, please include COVID-19 in the short title and/or add a comment with notification to IRB coordinator.

University COVID-19 Research FAQs


The Social, Behavioral & Educational Research Institutional Review Board (SBER IRB) is a panel of Tufts' faculty, staff, and community members that reviews all human subject research to ensure the safety and welfare of research participants. The IRB ensures that any research study under its jurisdiction is in compliance with federal, state, and institutional regulations. Only the IRB has the authority to approve human subject research.

The IRB is committed to helping promote research among students, faculty, and staff at Tufts University. Please contact the SBER IRB Office with questions regarding IRB proposals, using eIRB, the review process, and any other information needed