Research conducted by students as part of a course requirement (including independent studies) require review by the IRB only if they are intended to contribute to generalizable knowledge. Projects that are only presented in class or at the University research symposia do not meet the threshold of contributing to generalizable knowledge and do not require IRB review and approval. Instructors and student-researchers are still expected to follow the spirit of ethical research, including obtaining informed consent and limiting their studies to those that would not involve more than minimal risk or vulnerable populations.
NOTE: For student projects that have not received IRB approval, the data cannot be used later for a thesis, dissertation, or any scholarly publication or presentation.
Class projects designed to “practice” systematic investigation techniques need not be reviewed when they involve supervised training of new members of a profession. Examples include teacher trainees practicing evaluation, clinical interns practicing assessment or diagnosis, and student journalism reporters practicing interviewing, etc. These activities should still communicate applicable or reasonable elements of informed consent (e.g., institutional affiliation, purpose of investigation, risks, benefits, voluntary participation, permission to withdraw, etc.).
The IRB discontinued the use of the Batch Protocol after Spring, 2018. Individual protocols must be submitted for all studies requiring review.