Social-Behavioral-Educational IRB (SBER IRB)

The aim of BRANY’s SBER IRB is to offer social, behavioral, and educational researchers an IRB review process that aligns with their research needs. BRANY’s SBER IRB offers a solution designed to streamline the IRB review of social, behavioral, and educational research, while ensuring the research is sound and ethical.

Social and behavioral research review requires an IRB with specific expertise in these sciences. Institutional review boards (IRBs) responsible for reviewing social and behavioral health research protocols face unique challenges not generally seen by their counterparts who review biomedical research protocols.

BRANY offers a unique independent IRB with expertise in social and behavioral health, staffed by experienced nurses, social workers and social scientists. This fully functioning, multidisciplinary panel provides valuable insight necessary to review protocols in social and behavioral research. BRANY has assembled a group of experts who are well versed at identifying and evaluating the psychological and social risks that are often associated with SBER, such as:

  • Questionnaires about illegal behaviors which may damage subjects’ reputations or raise legal concerns
  • Collecting information from subjects about activities that may place them at risk of harm or legal action
  • Compromising a subject’s confidentiality, possibly jeopardizing employment and/or insurance coverage
  • Research involving deception
  • Providing subjects with unwelcome and disturbing information about themselves
  • Research that involves use of questions and/or procedures that can cause stress or embarrassment

Social and behavioral research is distinct from biomedical research and the implications for subjects can be difficult to evaluate. SBER research is much more varied than biomedical research. It ranges from ethnography to experimental psychology and includes such methodologies as interviews, surveys, behavioral observation and behavioral experimentation.Ethical and human subject protection issues are subtle and require expertise from a team with extensive experience in such research.

For more information on BRANY’s Central IRB Services contact Carmela Houston-Henry at 516.470.6979 or