Meet the PRIM&R Blog Squad: Courtney Jarboe

PRIM&R is pleased to introduce the members of the inaugural Blog Squad at this year’s 2010 Advancing Ethical Research Conference. The Blog Squad is composed of four PRIM&R members who are devoted to blogging live from the conference.

We are proud to introduce you to the final of our four Blog Squad members, Courtney Jarboe, CIP.


Greetings from Minneapolis, Minnesota! My name is Courtney Jarboe, and I am the IRB administrator and IRB office supervisor for Capella University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). I’ve been with Capella’s IRB, which reviews social behavioral student research, for about three years. I conduct exempt and continuing reviews, provide support to researchers and research supervisors, as well as manage and support the daily functions of the IRB office and committee. What is truly unique about our university is that our interactions with most of the research community are online or through the phone.
I’m glad to share that I recently received my CIP® (Certified IRB Professional) certification this fall. It is quite exciting to receive the certification letter in the mail after hours and hours of preparation! What I’ve enjoyed most about my position as an IRB administrator is educating novice researchers not only about the IRB application process but more importantly, what the IRB stands for outside of the acronym.
I’ve always been passionate about research ethics. During my undergraduate years, we were all asked to participate in psychology research studies. Some thought this might be a bit boring and merely for extra credit purposes, but I always enjoyed the opportunity to assist fellow students in their practice of conducting a research study. Researchers have to find results somehow, right?! Since the undergraduate years, I’ve participated in many research studies and have found that being a participant, and an IRB administrator, can be quite interesting to say the least!
Outside of the IRB, I balance two children, a husband, a house, and my other fancy, literature. Currently, I’m combining my two passions of reading and research ethics by focusing on authors from the 1790s such as William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Mary Hays. Their general focus was on the humane treatment of men and women during the French Revolution. I’m really enjoying seeing how many of these principles we stand by today.
To me, a most important part of our field is in collaborating with other institutions and sharing ideas and resources. I have always wanted to attend PRIM&R’s annual Advancing Ethical Research Conference and will finally get to go this year as a member of the AER Blog Squad.
Come December, I am most interested in attending sessions surrounding internet research and qualitative research. The first on my list is one of the pre-conference sessions, Navigating Research Regulations and Research Ethics in the Internet-Age. Our institution sees quite a few protocols that are internet-based, like surveys and forums. While we think we have a handle on some best practices, we still struggle with key issues. What is the appropriate informed consent process? What does data ownership mean? How can we minimize risks, while maintaining privacy and confidentiality? There have been several articles on the topic, but having a live discussion will help us truly answer these questions, and work out grey areas, such as “Second Life”-based research. I think most institutions are still trying to grapple with the ethics of technology. More importantly, I’m curious to see how research will impact the general use of the internet and I can’t wait to bring back what I learn from AER to begin to solve these puzzles.