Human Subjects: Institutional Review Board

Undergraduate Research with Human Subjects

Research projects that involve engagement and data collection with people must be conducted carefully to respect the rights of the research subjects and to ensure compliance with institutional standards and practices. Particular care must be take when conducting research in international settings. Failure to comply with the standards and policies governing human subjects research can jeopardize your subjects, your research project, and the research mission of the entire university.

Before you begin research with human subjects, you must have written approval of your proposal and research protocol from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). If you're not sure if your project constitutes "research with human subjects", the IRB provides some useful definitions and examples - click here.

There are many things to consider in the careful and ethical design of a research protocol. The IRB and the Social Science Research Institute have prepared a helpful website on Ethics and Practice in human subjects research. You may also find the CITI online tutorial useful in preparing your proposal.

The IRB staff have prepared resources and guides for you to use. They are happy to meet with you to talk about your protocol and you should feel free to contact them by phone (919.681.8686) or email.