Skip to content

Research Ethics

The Research Ethics Unit provides guidance to MGH investigators to understand and resolve ethical and IRB review issues in human subjects research activities, with a goal of improving the quality of IRB communications and submissions. Services include:

  • Guidance in planning and conducting human subjects research protocols
  • Discussion of underlying ethical considerations when planning research
  • Assistance before, during and after regulatory review to address issues and discuss practical solutions
  • Planning educational activities related to ethical issues in human subjects research


The mission of the Research Ethics Consultation Unit of the DCR is to assist investigators in considering and resolving ethical and IRB review issues and to work to improve the quality of IRB submissions. The Research Ethics Unit’s services include guidance in planning and conducting human subjects research, assistance addressing potential ethical issues, and discussion of practical solutions to potential ethical issues. Topics and examples of service include: the consent process and specific considerations, appropriate and effective recruitment plans, disclosure of findings or results, enrollment of vulnerable subjects, research involving digital health device or social media, and best practices in IRB applications, communications, and responses to review.

Melissa Abraham, PhD

Relevant Courses