Preparing and Complying with Institutional Review Board Protocols for Integrated Research and Entrepreneurship Ventures in Developing Countries
Carey Bell, Rachel Dzombak, Tara Sulewski, and Khanjan Mehta
Journal of Ethics and Entrepreneurship
Bell, C., Dzombak, R., Sulewski, T., Mehta, K., ” Preparing and Complying with Institutional Review Board Protocols for Integrated Research and Entrepreneurship Ventures in Developing Countries“, Journal of Ethics and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2012
Increasing numbers of colleges and universities are designing academic research and entrepreneurial engagement programs to engage students in developing solutions for alleviating global poverty. While these efforts have potential for dramatic positive impact, they can also result in enormous and unintended negative consequences. To guard against this, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) evaluate proposed research projects to ensure the safety of participants and their communities as well as the scientific and ethical appropriateness. The Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program at Penn State is engaged in several student ventures that integrate teaching, research, and entrepreneurial outreach to educate entrepreneurial global citizens and create sustainable value for developing communities. is paper shares insights into planning and executing IRB-approved international research ventures with similar programs at other universities. Based on their experiences conducting multiple IRB-approved research ventures in Kenya, the authors provide recommendations for navigating the process of gaining IRB approval and conducting research in developing communities as well as discuss some of the larger conflicts that researchers and entrepreneurs will have to face in their own ventures.