HBCSE Institutional Review Board (IRB)

About HBCSE Institutional review board:

HBCSE as a national centre for science education research of TIFR is committed to upholding high standards of ethics in the research and educational activities carried out at the centre. HBCSE Institutional review board is an ethics review committee for research studies. The IRB is constituted in this regard work closely to guide and implement issues of ethical importance in research studies conducted at the centre.

Majority of the research studies conducted at (and in collaboration with) the centre involve human research subjects. The HBCSE IRB will ensure that the research has followed the human subject research guidelines appropriately. An emphasis is laid on protecting the rights and welfare of research participants during all phases (including research dissemination).

The IRB can receive and review research proposals from HBCSE graduate students, scientific staff, postdoctoral visiting fellows (VF), and faculty members. For project staff, their reporting officers can submit separate an IRB application if a research study is done independent of the project IRB.


Primary responsibilities of the applicant

Please note that the “IRB application form” should be submitted before beginning the research. The IRB application seeks particular information on the data collection procedures, information about research participants, potential risks etc. Along with the IRB application, other key documents listed below should also be submitted.

(a) Sample copy of informed consent form (which research participants sign before participating in the study. If the participant/s are minor, their parent/ guardian will sign on their behalf.)

(b) Permission Letter, if any (submitted to school authority for permission to conduct the study in their school premise)


Submission details:

  • The IRB application form and documents should be sent to irboffice@hbcse.tifr.res.in

  • Graduate students should submit an IRB application at the start of field work and later at the time of PhD research proposal.


Functions of ethics review committee for research studies

  • The ethics committee will review the applications within 2 weeks of research proposal submission. The committee members will provide feedback on the ethical considerations of research protocols discussed in the IRB application form. There are two possible decisions, (a) Approve, in which case the applicant can immediately start the proposed research work.; and (b) Resubmit, in which case the applicant based on the feedback received makes necessary modifications in the research proposal and seek for an approval. Typically, the resubmission should be done in 2-3 week time. In case of excessive delay, the ethics committee may suggest to reapply for IRB approval, treating it as a fresh application.

  • In case of graduate students, the ethics committee will closely work with science education subject board (SBSE) to recommend ethical guidelines in the research at every stage. The SBSE can review the status of IRB at important junctures such as proposal submission, synopsis submission for graduate students.

  • Please note that the review is done on a case-by-case basis. The committee may co-opt people (HBCSE faculty) in case of conflict of interest.

  • The chair of the ethics review committee will maintain record of applications and (their) status.


Amendments after IRB approval:

Any deviations in the proposed studies at a later juncture can be reported again to IRB committee. The applicant, in this case should submit “IRB amendment form” to the ethics committee before proceeding for any data collection. The IRB amendment forms will be reviewed on a monthly basis or when applications are made.


HBCSE IRB committee members

The HBCSE Institutional Review Board (IRB) is constituted with the following members.

1. Dr. Deepa Chari (chair)

2. Dr. Mashood KK

3. Dr. Shweta Naik


IRB application form can be downloaded from here

IRB amendment form can be downloaded from here