The IRB is focused on protecting the rights and welfare of research participants and evaluates, approves, and conducts reviews of any Gallaudet University research that involves human subjects. Regulated by the Federal Government, the IRB is an important first stop for Gallaudet faculty, staff, and students planning to perform research either on or off campus.

Learn more about what needs IRB approval here.


Board Meetings and Office Hours

Currently Julie A. Hochgesang is the IRB chair and Lori Lutz is the vice-chair. 

IRB meetings are monthly during the academic year and closed to the public. The IRB is sponsored and staffed by the Office of Research. You are welcome to contact us using the web form at the bottom of this webpage regarding:

  • IRB review portal (Cayuse Human Ethics)
  • Ethics training (CITI)
  • IRB education opportunities for your class, lab, or department
  • Reporting a violation or an adverse event involving a research project

Board Members

Kara Hawthorne

Associate Professor

Lori Lutz

Director, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research

Onudeah Nicolarakis


Assistant Professor

Juliana Sarkordee

Board Member

Kota Takayama

Social Work

Associate Professor



Other FAQs

If the projects have not been renewed after one or two years (depending on the review status of your project), it will be moved to closed status. You can also go to Gallaudet Cayuse Human Ethics dashboard and review your research and close research projects.

Researchers are required by federal regulations to have an ongoing renewal of the IRB approval for continuing projects. Full board review project approvals are renewed on a yearly basis. Approval for expedited research projects will be up for renewal two years from the date of the IRB review. Exempt projects do not need to be renewed but if modifications are made, then they need to be reported. It is the responsibility of the investigator(s) to be accountable for ongoing research projects. All information related to your research can be found on the Gallaudet Cayuse Human Ethics dashboard. For existing research that needs to be renewed or modified, please send an email to us and we will import your existing research to Cayuse Human Ethics to renew or modify. Submit a renewal application through Gallaudet Cayuse Human Ethics to continue your research project.

If an outside researcher would like to actively recruit at Gallaudet University, they need to get approval from the Gallaudet IRB or use their institution’s IRB approval. In either scenario they would need to identify a faculty sponsor at Gallaudet to work with them in making a submission to the Gallaudet IRB as well as coordinating the research. 
The information the researcher and Gallaudet faculty sponsor might want to have ready include: A copy of the approval letter from their institution, Principal Investigator and Gallaudet sponsor information (name, email, department), a copy of their research proposal, CITI completion documents, and recruitment materials. 
This safeguard is because of the Gallaudet IRB’s mandate to protect members of the ASL communities. Sometimes a researcher who does not know anyone in the Gallaudet community personally will reach out to an individual at Gallaudet for help with soliciting research participation. That is considered a “cold call,” which is commonplace in research involving marginalized communities and can be seen as intrusive. The Gallaudet IRB is committed to help protect against such requests.
Researchers unfamiliar with signed language communities or marginalized communities in general are welcome and recommended to look into the literature that has been done on this topic (e.g., Harris, Holmes and Mertens 2009).

An IRB Authorization Agreement (IAA) is an agreement signed by two or more institutions engaged in the same human subjects research project. All U.S. institutions engaged in cooperative research conducted or supported by a Common Rule (part 45 CFR 46.114) agency are required to rely upon approval by a single Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the portion of the research conducted in the U.S. 

Anytime a Gallaudet staff or faculty members are active members of a research project using resources through Gallaudet University, such as a study population or a study site, they must file a submission with the Gallaudet IRB in which they report that they are part of a multisite research project that is relying on the other IRB. Relevant documentation such as the original IRB proposal and any approval documents from the other IRB will need to be attached, which will then allow the Gallaudet IRB to review the study protocol to ensure the proposed human subjects protections are adequate and execute an IAA.

Online survey tools and conferencing platforms bring new privacy and security considerations. An emerging area for researcher vigilance is internet fraud. We have received reports of the following:

– Bots (short for robot and also called an internet bot) that simulate human activity with the intention of bypassing screening and mimicking participation in online surveys so the programmer is compensated. We recommend opting for countermeasures (e.g. captcha) as available in your preferred online survey tool to ensure your participants are human.

– Ineligible participants appearing in videoconferencing platforms. Particular to research at Gallaudet, these individuals make it apparent they have given false responses to questionnaires that intend to screen out non-sign language users, and either appear with their video turned off and do not identify themselves or appear on video but clearly do not know sign language. We recommend responding as if you would in a face-to-face scenario; terminate the session as early as possible.

If you have experienced any fraud-related issues and needed to make changes to your study protocol, please make a modification submission documenting relevant information on Cayuse. 

For further reading:
– Detecting, Preventing, and Responding to “Fraudsters” in Internet Research: Ethics and Tradeoffs (Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics)
– Considerations and Recommendations concerning Internet Research and Human Subjects Research Regulations, with Revisions (OHRP)

Contact Us

Institutional Review Board

Hall Memorial Building S242B

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