1. Where can a faculty member learn more about seeking IRB approval for a class research or demonstration project?
On the Faculty Teaching/Research-Related Activities page.
2. I am applying for a Faculty Study and Research (FS&R) grant for a project that involves human participants. When do I need to submit a protocol application for IRB review?
Submit it as early as possible. No funds will be disbursed until the secretary of the FS&R Committee has received notice of IRB approval from the Grants and Contracts Office.
3. Do students' academic research projects require IRB approval?
If human subjects are involved, yes. Student research that involves human subjects requires approval or granting of exemption by the IRB prior to initiation. PLEASE NOTE: Student researchers are required to have their protocol reviewed and approved by a faculty sponsor before submitting their protocol to the IRB.
4. I am the recipient of an internally-funded student research grant award (i.e., Dean Rusk, Abernethy, Bank of America, etc.) and my research project involves human subject research. When should I submit a protocol application for IRB review?
Submit it as soon as you receive notification of your award; it is NOT necessary for you to submit an IRB protocol prior to your grant application. Once you have received notification of your award, funds will be disbursed to you after you provide the office distributing the grant monies notice that you have submitted a protocol to the IRB and that it has been approved.
NOTE: All student researchers are required to have their protocol reviewed and approved by a faculty sponsor before submitting their protocol to the IRB.
5. I am a student planning to do independent research over the summer. Since this research is not associated with any class that I am taking, do I have to have a faculty sponsor?
Yes. The college requires ALL student researchers to have a faculty sponsor who is willing to review and advise them on their research project.
6. What is a Faculty Sponsor Assurance Form, and why is it necessary?
The Davidson College IRB requires that all student research projects have a faculty sponsor. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that all projects reviewed by the committee have been carefully vetted by a person with professional expertise in the student's area of research. Because individual members of the IRB may not have expertise in a given research area, we rely on the professional guidance of our faculty to affirm that a student's research project is feasible, appropriate, and sound.
7. I have been asked to collaborate with a colleague at another institution who has already received IRB approval for this project from their institution. Do I have to submit this same protocol application to Davidson College's IRB?
If the other institution is willing to allow Davidson College to rely on their federal-wide assurance for the research project, it is not necessary for you to submit the protocol application to the Davidson IRB.
However, you must inform Davidson's IRB of your intent to collaborate with someone at another institution. Davidson's IRB will then contact the IRB of the collaborating institution, and execute an IRB Authorization Agreement for Collaborating Institutions and add the collaborating institution's IRB to Davidson's federal-wide assurance (FWA).
8. What are the most common reasons a protocol must be revised?
Missing or incomplete information is the most common reason, so please make certain that you have answered every required question thoroughly and have provided enough information about your project so that your protocol will make sense to someone who is reading about your project for the first time.
Another common problem is that the consent form does not clearly describe the research project, the risks to the participants, or the rights of the participants to refuse to participate or withdraw from the study.
Similarly, the consent form may have errors in syntax and style, may be written in unclear language, may use an inconsistent point-of-view, or may be written at a level that is not appropriate for the age and educational level of the participants. Consulting the consent and assent form templates will help you avoid these problems.
Typical questions about protocol application.