UAB Policy on Maintaining the Privacy of Research Subjects - IRB POL037

UAB Policy on Maintaining the Privacy of Research Subjects - IRB POL037

This policy defines UAB's commitment to the privacy of human subjects who participate in research studies. Links to corresponding procedures for maintaining confidentiality are included within the document.
Effective Date:
Responsible Party:
None Assigned
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Faculty, Staff, Students
Material Original Source:

HRPP Document:     POL037
Effective Date:        3/30/07
Revision Dates:       2/17/10, 9/9/19
Review Date:          9/9/19
Subject:                   UAB Policy on Maintaining the Privacy of Research Subjects




It is UAB policy that research involving human subjects will take into account the privacy interests of participants. The term “privacy interest” refers to the interests of individuals in limiting access to themselves, where limiting access to themselves includes limiting access to their personal information and to them physically. When appropriate, in order to approve research, the IRB will determine that there are adequate provisions to maintain the privacy of participants in accordance with federal regulations, if applicable, and applicable state or local laws and regulations. This standard will apply to initial review, continuing review, and review of modifications to research by the convened IRB, expedited review procedures, or limited IRB  review for relevant exempt research (See also PRO155: Procedures for Maintaining the Privacy of Research Subjects.) In making its determination, the IRB will consider the following points related to privacy in order to approve research:

  • The reasonable expectations of privacy in relation to the research;
  • The sensitivity and appropriateness of private information sought in relation to the research;
  • The potential for disclosure of private facts about participants to unwanted third parties within the research setting or placement of participants in a false light;
  • The intrusive nature of the research procedures involved.

Investigators are responsible for providing the information to make these considerations by the IRB. 

Approved on December 30, 2019, by:

Christopher S. Brown, PhD
Vice President for Research

Ferdinand Urthaler, MD
IRB Chair

Adam J. McClintock, MBA, CIP
OIRB Director