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Research Guidelines

Guidelines for Research with Human Subjects

When faculty and/or masters or doctoral students plan to incorporate insights from field projects involving human subjects into their research, it is mandatory to apply for and receive approval from the Human Subjects Research Committee (HSRC) before proceeding.  Human Subject Research may include, but is not limited to: participant observation, interviews, oral histories, focus groups, and the completion of questionnaires.

The Research with Human Subjects Committee, a standing committee of the Faculty Council,  implements these guidelines, The Research with Human Subjects Committee consists of Stan Basler, Nancy Howell (spring 2014), Patti Jung (fall 2013) and Angela Sims (chair).


The deadline for new and revised applications during AY 13-14 will be midnight the first Monday of every month from September through May. Thus the dates for fall 2013 are: September 2, October 7, November 4, and December 2.  

Steps for Approval of Human Subject Research

1.    The principal researcher completes the SPST form entitled Request for Approval of Human Subjects Research. subject research form final version 3.2012.doc

2.    Faculty may send their applications directly to the chair of the HSRC. If the applicant is a student, he or she should send the completed form to the chair of his or her Thesis Committee for review and approval. The Thesis Committee chair will provide the student with initial feedback and review. The Thesis Committee chair forwards an application he or she has judged satisfactory to the chair of the HSRC for additional review.

NB: Although the specific meeting dates vary from year to year, the HSRC generally meets once a month from September through May. (They will not review any applications over the summer.) 

3.    If the HSRC requires additional information or clarification, the chair of the HRSC will return the application to the applicant (in the case of students to their Thesis Committee chair as well) with comments.

4.    Once the student has addressed the concerns raised by the HSRC, the student sends the application back to his or her Thesis Committee chair for review. If the Thesis Committee chair judges the revised application acceptable, he or she will forward the revised application to the chair of the HSRC. Faculty may return revised applications to the HSRC chair directly.

5.    Research involving human subjects may begin only after the Research with Human Subjects application is approved by the HSRC.  (NB: To continue research beyond the approved time period requires submission of a revised or supplemental application.)

Guidelines for human research are found in the now-classic Belmont report, which you will find at this link: Please review this document for principles that will help you understand the main issues and construct a proposal for your research with human subjects.
(Please choose the option to SAVE this form to your computer. Do not choose Open. This is a Word document and not a PDF.)

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