Skip to Main Content
National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Engineering
Institute of Medicine
National Research Council
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences
Project Scope

This project will be conducted in two phases. In Phase I, an ad hoc committee will plan and conduct a public workshop, following which a designated rapporteur will prepare an individually-authored summary of the event. In Phase II the committee will gather additional data, conduct analyses, and prepare a report with findings, conclusions and recommendations. The workshop summary and report will address prospective revisions to the Common Rule for the protection of human subjects in research of particular relevance to the behavioral and social sciences. The work of the committee is intended to inform the current efforts of the federal government to update the Common Rule (45 CFR 46), last revised in 1991. The Phase II portion of the project and report will address the following objectives: • Identify issues raised in the proposed rulemaking which the panel identifies as critical and feasible for the federal government to address for the protection of participants and for the advancement of the social and behavioral sciences. • For each issue, provide guidance for IRBs as needed to include: techniques for addressing issues, specific examples and best practice models to illustrate how the techniques would be applied to different behavioral and social sciences research procedures. • Identify topics for research emerging from the proposed rulemaking that will assist in developing best practices for implementing the new human research protections and assessing the effectiveness of the rules and their implementation by IRBs and researchers. The start date for the project is September 30, 2012. Phase I of the project is sponsored by the National Science Foundation with additional support from the American Academy of Political and Social Science, American Economic Association, American Sociological Association, National Academy of Education, National Opinion Research Center, Population Association of America, Russell Sage Foundation, University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, and Westat. Phase II of the project is sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The workshop summary will be issued in summer 2013. The study report will be issued in early winter 2013. Note (05-15-2013): The Project Scope has been updated for clarity and to include all the sponsors of Phases I and II.

Dr. Susan Fiske (Chair) - Princeton University
Dr. Melissa E. Abraham - Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. Thomas J. Coates - University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Celia B. Fisher - Fordham University
Ms. Margaret Foster Riley - University of Virginia
Dr. Robert M. Groves - Georgetown University
Ms. Patricia K. Hammar - PKH Enterprises
Dr. Julia I. Lane - American Institutes for Research
Dr. Rena S. Lederman - Princeton University
Dr. Robert J. Levine - Yale University
Dr. Felice J. Levine - American Educational Research Association
Dr. Bradley A. Malin - Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Dr. Richard E. Nisbett - University of Michigan
Dr. Charles R. Plott - California Institute of Technology
Dr. Yonette F. Thomas - Howard University
Dr. David R. Weir - University of Michigan
For more information, see the complete record at the National Academies' Current Project site

NRC Staff Contact:


Manu Sharma, Senior Program Assistant, 202-334-1747
Jeanne Rivard, Senior Program Officer, 202-334-2967


Revisions to the “Common Rule” in Relation to Behavioral and Social Sciences Workshop

March 21-22, 2013 (event flyer)
National Academy of Science (NAS) Building
2101 Constitution Ave NW 
Lecture Room
Washington, DC
Thursday March 21
8:15 a.m.  Registration 
8:45 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Workshop Sessions 1-4
Friday March 22
8:15 a.m.   Registration
8:45 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.  Workshop Sessions 5-6

View the agenda for the workshop.

View the Webcast of this event.

This 2-day workshop addressed prospective revisions to the Common Rule for the protection of human subjects in research that are of particular relevance to the behavioral and social sciences. Topic areas included:  review of the evidence, types and levels of risks and harms, consent process and special populations, data use and sharing, multi-site and international studies, and IRB purview and roles.
All powerpoints from the workshop can be viewed by session and speaker below.
 Session 1: Review of the Evidence

 Session 2: Risks and Harms

 Session 3: Consent Process and Special Populations

 Session 4: Data Use and Sharing and Technological Advancements

 Session 5: Multi-disciplinary and Multi-site Studies

 Session 6: Purview and Roles of Institutional Review Boards

Prior Common Rule Events:


Planning Meeting: A two day planning meeting was held in DC January 14-15, 2013 to gather information.


View the agenda for the January 14th, 2013 open meeting.

View the public agenda for the January 15th, 2013meeting.  



The National Academies

BBCSS Home About BBCSS BBCSS History BBCSS Members BBCSS Staff Our Sponsors News and Events Upcoming Events January 2015 Newsletter Meeting Archive Our Work Overview Current Projects Publications BBCSS Reports Report Briefs BBCSS Brochure Newsletter Archive Work With Us Our Study Process Study Process Brochure Getting to Know the Committee Process Overview for Sponsors Guide for Study Sponsors