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

Human Subjects Research COVID-19 Guidance

Last Updated April 17, 2020

Given the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic and our shared goal to reduce the risk of infection within our community, Susan Blanchard and Heather Gipson-Cosier, JD, the Institutional Officials at Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University, have determined that most research activities involving face-to-face interactions with subjects must stop until further notice.

The only exceptions are for clinical and human subject research studies where:

  • the research holds the potential for direct benefit to the subject (e.g., investigational drug, devices or surgical procedure) and the interaction is required to deliver that potential direct benefit;
  • there is collection of safety data (based on clinical judgment of the importance of the visit to detect potential adverse events);
  • the PI determines that an in-person visit is vital to the subject’s safety and/or well-being,
  • there is an Emergency Use / Compassionate Use / Humanitarian Use Devices (HUDs) of investigational drugs or devices;
  • and/or the research has direct relevance to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the research cannot be conducted at another time. To submit your project for review by the Tufts COVID-19 Research Oversight Committee, complete this Qualtrics form.

IRB Submissions for Human Subjects Research:

SBER IRB is accepting and reviewing all submissions, including new studies involving face-to-face interactions. For studies involving face-to-face interactions that do not meet the exceptions above, the IRB will approve the study but explicitly note that enrollment cannot start until restrictions on face-to-face research are lifted.

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.

OVPR Human Subjects Research Page  University Covid-19 Research FAQ


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