Other links:

Other links:

About the IRB

An Institutional Review Board (IRB) comprises a committee that reviews and approves research involving human subjects. The purpose of the IRB is to ensure that all human subject research be conducted in accordance with legal, institutional, and professional ethical guidelines.


Mission Statement
To conduct independent reviews about the ethical implications of research projects that involve human subjects, proposed by Ashoka academic staff or students. Our Guiding Principles
The Ashoka IRB is guided by the following principles when evaluating all ethics approval applications:

  1. All research, regardless of funding sources and authority of the investigators involved, must comply with legal, institutional, and professional ethical guidelines;
  2. IRB members will consult with experts in the field — bearing in mind researcher confidentiality — whenever he or she does not possess enough knowledge to evaluate a particular application;
  3. Both potential benefits and costs of the research will be evaluated;
  4. The IRB strives to be efficient in responding to all applications.


The Committee comprises of faculty members with different expertise. Your IRB application may be reviewed by any of the member(s).

Amita Baviskar (Chair)
Environmental Studies and Sociology & Anthropology

Gautam Menon (Co-Chair)
Professor of Physics & Biology

Purnima Mehrotra,
Associate Director, Centre for Social and Behaviour Change (CSBC)

Swagata Bhattacharjee,

Swargajyoti Gohain,
Sociology & Anthropology

Malvika Maheshwari,
Political Science

Avantika Bhatia,

Medical Expert
Prof. Shifalika Goenka Head-Bioethic, Public Health Foundation of India, Head of Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, IIPHD – Expert in ethical concerns of conducting medical research

Legal Expert
Dr Namita Wahi, Fellow at Centre for Policy Research


1. There are four levels of IRB review: nonhuman research, excused, expedited, and full review. Familiarize with the levels of IRB review; details can be found here. In the online application form, you will be asked to indicate the level of IRB review you are applying for.

2. To submit an application, complete the online application form below.

Class Assignments

Learning how to conduct ethical research is an integral part of a student’s educational experience. Course instructors are obligated to guide students through the ethical issues throughout the conduct of their class assignments. As a general rule, class assignments do not need IRB clearance because they do not fall under the Office of Human Research Protections’ definition of research:Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.If your class assignment meets the following criteria, then you do not need to apply for IRB clearance:

  • The class assignment is designed for educational purposes only and is not designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.
  • The results are only discussed within classroom settings for the purpose of teaching and learning.
  • The results of the research are not published, in paper or electronic format (i.e., cannot be made publicly available on the Internet) meant for a broad audience.

Application Form

Please complete the online application form here. To facilitate internal discussion among your collaborators, you may download a hardcopy of the application form here.

For an IRB approval letter or number, forward the filled IRB form to irb@ashoka.edu.in.

Disclaimer: The IRB at Ashoka does not consider requests that do not involve Ashoka faculty or students. Unless your project is connected in some way to Ashoka University, we cannot provide you with an IRB certification.

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Study at Ashoka