Institutional Review Board

The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) established our Commissioner’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) to protect the rights and welfare of people involved in research.

The OEC IRB reviews applications for research that involve human subjects or their information (like personal or confidential records) associated with the OEC. We follow both federal and international guidelines and only approve research proposals that meet rigorous ethical and regulatory standards.

While all IRBs protect research participants from preventable risks, the OEC IRB focuses especially on protecting children, who are a particularly vulnerable population.

We support high-quality research

OEC and its IRB are invested in research that advances knowledge about and understanding of childhood services and experiences.

IRB (Institutional Review Board) number: 00010370
FWA (Federal Wide Assurance) number: 00025573

How do I know if my research requires OEC IRB review?

Research is a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. You need to send a request for OEC IRB review if you want to:

  • Interact with living people for research purposes
  • Use individually identifiable private information for research purposes

This applies to OEC employees, business associates and contractors, and non-OEC researchers, like faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students — even if they have already received approval from another IRB.

If you’re not sure if you need OEC IRB approval, assume that you do need to apply.

How do I apply for OEC IRB approval for my research?

To apply for OEC IRB approval, you need to fill out two forms:

Some research is exempt from IRB review. If you can demonstrate that your research meets the criteria for exemption, you also may fill out a Request for Exemption and send it with your application materials.

Once you’ve filled out the forms, email them to us. Keep in mind that we can’t evaluate incomplete applications.

What’s the process after I submit my application?

We review applications on a rolling basis, so you may submit your documents at any time. We will confirm receipt of your application via email and may ask for additional information. Addressing all of the issues discussed in OEC’s handout, What a PI Needs to Know: OEC IRB Supplementary Expectations, will help ensure that your application is ready for OEC IRB review.

If your proposal requires a full board review, that date will be included in your notice.

After the board has reviewed your complete set of application materials, we’ll let you know the decision. Remember that approval isn’t guaranteed — and you can’t start any research activities until you get OEC IRB approval.

How often does the Board meet?

The Board meets 4 times a year at the Office of Early Childhood at 450 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06103.

Can I make changes to my research after it’s approved?

If you have any changes to make to your approved research — such as adding more participants, changing research staff, or adding a step to your protocol — fill out a Continuation or Addendum/Modification form. Then email it to us.

My research was approved for 12 months, but I need more time. What should I do?

Researchers sometimes need more time — to recruit more participants or finish their data analyses, for example. If your study is going to last longer than the original approval period, fill out a Continuation or Addendum/Modification form. Then email it to us.

When my research has ended, what steps do I need to follow?

If your research has ended — whether it ended as planned or it stopped before the end of your approval period for any reason — fill out a Termination/Completion form and email it to us.

If you had to end your research because of an adverse event, you must submit an adverse event report within 7 days — sooner if possible.

IRB Resources

Understand your responsibilities as a researcher
Explore the Code of Federal Regulations (Title 45 CFR Part 46) on the Office for Human Research and Protections webpage. These resources will also help:

Download OEC IRB forms and documents

Learn about the Office of the Commissioner IRB

Do you have questions about the OEC IRB?

We’re happy to help.

Email us:

Call us: 860-500-4413

Or reach us by mail:

Office of Early Childhood – IRB
450 Columbus Blvd. Suite 301
Hartford, CT 06103

Last updated February 25, 2021