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Vulnerable Populations

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign IRB ensures that additional safeguards are included in the research design to protect the rights and welfare of research participants who have limited autonomy and are at risk for coercion and undue influence. The most common vulnerable populations are:

Pregnant Women, human fetuses, and neonates



However, Illinois policy also requires the IRB to have additional protections for research involving other groups who may be subject to coercion or undue influence, either temporarily or permanently. Such groups may include:

Employees and Students

Persons with Mental Disabilities or Impaired Decision-Making Capacity

International Populations

Although guidelines are not provided, special attention will have to be given as well to the following groups. 

  • Socially, Economically, and Educationally Disadvantaged subjects
  • Veterans
  • Minorities
  • Elderly
  • Other participant groups (e.g. individuals who were sexually abused, have certain diseases)

If you have any questions please contact the Urbana-Champaign campus' IRB office.