For research done within an undergraduate class as a class project, the instructor should submit a Human Subjects Review Form (HRS-1) with Department Chair approval for a course in which students commonly do research (rather than students submitting independently for approval). The instructor takes on full responsibility for monitoring the protection of human subjects, student training and keeping the project within the bounds of the IRB guidelines.

Undergraduate students doing independent senior theses, undergraduate research studies/projects, graduate students doing a master's research studies, and similar exercises must independently submit a Human Subjects Review Form (HRS-1) to the IRB as a student-researcher. A  supervising faculty member ultimately is responsible for the protection of the subjects, even if the student is the primary researcher and actually directs the project.

During the design of a project, the supervising faculty member should instruct students on the ethical conduct of research, help the student prepare the application for IRB approval, and review the application prior to submission. In particular, students should:

  • understand the elements of informed consent, 
  • develop a readable consent form following the sample, 
  • plan appropriate recruitment strategies for identifying subjects, 
  • establish and maintain strict guidelines for protecting anonymity and confidentiality, and 
  • allow sufficient time for IRB review and completion of the project.

As assurance that the University's guidelines will be followed, the supervising faculty member is required to sign the student's application for IRB approval and obtain the Chair’s signature prior to submission.

After IRB approval, the supervising faculty member should take an active role in ensuring that projects are conducted in accordance with the IRB's requirements. Meeting periodically with students to review their progress is one way to meet this responsibility.

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