Things to consider when conducting International Research

When conducting international research please fill out the International Research Checklist and submit this to the IRB with your application.

Sensitivity to local culture:

  • Keep in mind that the risks to subjects are likely to differ from country to country.

Consent in local language:

  • Do you speak the local language or are you using a translator?
  • You should provide subjects local contact information—both yours and either the local ethics review board in country, your local in country advisor or that of the local agency or NGO you are affiliated with.

Hiring local people to help with the conduct of the study:

  • Depending on who they are, the role they will play in your research, and whether they have their own IRB, local personnel may need to be added as Unaffiliated Investigators. You can consult with the IRB office to help you make this determination.
  • They need to be trained in human subjects protection
  • They may need to sign a pledge of confidentiality

Local IRB or Ethics Board review in the country you intend to conduct the research

Keep in mind local IRB/ethics board approval

  • Is generally not quick
  • May have requirements unique to the host country
  • May charge for services
  • May require approval at a level beyond the local IRB (e.g. a national ethics board)
  • If There Is No Local IRB, you can find the following:
    • A local independent ethics committee
    • A local ethics board
  • If these do not exist, seek out an agency that can act in a similar capacity and provide you with a Letter of Support for your research:
    • a town committee
    • a tribal council
    • a hospital board
    • an NGO or other agency