Institutional Review Board
Human Research Protections (HRP)
Using Inclusive, Gender-Neutral Language in the IRB Consent Templates
Version June 15, 2023
Why gender neutral language?
In an effort to promote a welcoming of all gender identities and sexual orientations at UCI, the UCI HRP has updated the IRB consent templates to use inclusive, gender-neutral language. If you are interested, you may read more about gender neutral language in the NIH Style Guide.
Will existing consent templates need to be updated to reflect the new language?
No. For existing IRB approved consent forms, updating to include gender-neutral language, while encouraged, it is not required. Should Study Teams wish to update their consent/s and recruitment materials, this may be done at the next amendment or renewal in KRP or as per HRP Policy # 17 for exempt research protocols.
Will new study submissions need to use similar gender-neutral language in other study materials?
Yes. The expectation is that new study submissions will follow the standard of the UCI IRB consent templates, and use inclusive, gender-neutral language. As noted above, refer to the NIH Style guide which encourages inclusivity through not only gender neutral language, but through the use of “person-first and destigmatizing language.”
What are some common examples of gender-neutral language?
It is easier than you may think. Please refer to the following helpful table.
Who can I contact with questions about using inclusive, gender-neutral language in the consent form or recruitment materials?