The Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) recognizes that many student projects conducted to fulfill course requirements involve research with human subjects. Such research occasionally entails certain risks to the subjects involved. The examples outlined below are based on federal regulations that define research as "a systematic investigation (i.e. the gathering and analysis of information) designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge ."
All student research projects involving the use of human subjects must be reviewed by the IRB. Special attention should be given to research that puts the subject at risk (i.e. carries some probability of harm to the subject). Examples of harm include, but are not limited to, embarrassment, emotional distress, loss of respect or reputation, loss of employment, ridicule, or in general, any circumstance where the subjects' interests may be adversely affected, whether or not the subject is aware of potential harm.
Examples of non-exempt research are projects that:
Some projects may qualify for "Exempt from Further Review" status:
Anonymous opinion research such as interviews, surveys or questionnaires on innocuous topics that do not link the subjects to the research and do not ask the subjects to reveal anything about their own personal experiences, behavior or identity may qualify as exempt from further review. Examples might include, but are not limited to, opinions of political candidates or issues, opinions of products, environmental issues or policies, or preferences.
(Approved 4-19-95) Rev.10/29/1998