Bard Institutional Review Board
Informed consent is an important step in ensuring that research participants are treated ethically.
Components of Consent FormsA standard consent form must include:
A checklist of the required elements of informed consent is available here.
If you would like to see the expanded federal Office of Human Research Protections checklist from which the previous checklist was adapted, please click here. If you would like to see examples of consent forms in Spanish and English, please click here.
Verbal Description of Consent FormsIn all cases, you should prepare a verbal script that you will say to each participant just before you hand them a consent form or ask for their verbal consent. Click here to see an example script.
Also, in all cases, you should provide each participant with a copy of the consent form, so they can refer to it later if they have any questions or would like to contact you. If the participants decline a copy of the consent form for their own records, you should provide as an alternative a printed slip of paper that has contact information for you, your advisor, and the IRB so the participant has this contact information.
Exceptional SituationsIf you wish to have children (those under 18) participate in your research, please click here, provided you have already read the informed consent page in its entirety. Research using prisoners is strictly regulated. Please click here to view national standards.
If your research involves deception, please click here to learn more about debriefing procedures, provided you have also read the Informed Consent page.
Whenever feasible, interview research should include a consent form. Please click here to see an example interview consent form.
Circumstances in Which a Written Consent Form May Not Be RequiredThere are some situations where a written consent form may not be required:
If there is no written consent form, an oral presentation of the research should be provided to the subjects by the investigator, with documentation that such a presentation was made to the subjects.
Chart 3 summarizes the conditions under which waiver or alteration of informed consent can be applied.
If you will be photographing or videotaping your participants, the participants must, in addition, sign a photo release form or a video consent form.This description will occur elsewhere on the IRB website, before researchers click on a link to access this form: “A standard consent form may include statements regarding video and audio recording that will be viewed and coded only by the investigators who were specified in the project proposal as approved by the IRB. Video Image release forms are necessary if and only if the goal of your research is to create a film, photographic stills, or video art in which participants’ images will be publicly displayed. Such purposes include photographic and video installations or web pages viewed by individuals other than the project investigators (some types of documentary film may be exempt). The video image release form is separate from the consent form. The consent form must be presented first. A video image release form should be signed by the participant before video recording begins. It may also be advisable to present the same form again at the end of the recording period so that the participant may change his or her mind about the image release authorization. Click here to see an example video release form.
For Additional Information on Informed Consent . . .see the chapter on Informed Consent in Protecting Participants and Facilitating Social and Behavioral Sciences Research (CNSTAT & BCSSE, 2003).