IRB Contacts for HGSE Students & Fellows

Please contact either Mikaela Niemasz-Cavanagh or Elizabeth Parsons.

Mikaela Niemasz-Cavanagh

p: (617) 496-1185


ShieldMikaela is an IRB Administrator for the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (CUHS). She came to the Boston area from Vermont to complete her undergraduate degree. Mikaela volunteered in various labs as a research assistant throughout high school and college and interned at CUHS while obtaining her undergraduate degree.

After graduating with her B.A. in health and counseling psychology from Emmanuel College in Boston, Mikaela re-located to work as a research coordinator in a mixed social psychology and education lab at Stanford University. Having missed the IRB world, Mikaela returned to Boston in order to pursue her career as an IRB reviewer at Boston University before returning to Harvard in 2019.

Elizabeth Parsons

(617) 496-5593


ShieldElizabeth Parsons is an IRB Administrator for the Harvard University Area IRB, working with students in the Harvard Department of Psychology and Graduate School of Education to facilitate the ethical conduct of research with human subjects.  Before coming to Harvard, Elizabeth served for seven years as the Research Compliance Administrator at John Carroll University in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  There she guided faculty and student researchers through all aspects of the IRB and IACUC submission and approval processes. 

In addition to her research compliance experience, Elizabeth has an extensive research background.  After earning a M.S. in Biology from the University of Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, she spent several years as a wildlife biologist for the Farallon Island and San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuges. After moving east, she worked on healthcare research at West Virginia University, and market/business-focused research in Cleveland, Ohio.

Elizabeth came to the Boston area in 2018.  She is thrilled to live by the ocean once again after being landlocked for too long.