Risk/Benefit Analysis

Risk/Benefit Analysis

The Education and Social/Behavioral Science IRB only review minimal risk research. Be sure all risks are outlined in the application.  Common risks in education and social/behavioral research include:

- the risk of a breach of confidentiality (if any identifiers, including written consent, are being collected in the research);

- the risk that participants might be upset by aspects of the research;

- the risk that participants may reveal personal, sensitive, or identifiable information;

- the risk that participants may reveal illegal behaviors;

- the risk that participants may become fatigued or frustrated due to the length of the study.

The IRB expects that most research projects include minimal risks to participants.  When risks are outlined, the study team needs to explain how the risks will be mitigated; risks can be mitigated by data protection measures, ensuring certain information is not revealed or included in the data, and providing appropriate referral information.

**Please note: the risks that are noted for your study in this section should match risks outlined on the consent document(s).

In minimal risk research, it is very rare that any direct benefits to participants can be proven. Therefore, risks should be mitigated rather than balanced by any potential benefits.