Instructional Activities

I'm teaching a research methods class and want my students to do their own human subjects research project as part of the course, do I need IRB approval?  MAYBE. This can be a complicated issue, the best thing to do is contact the Office of Research Integrity well before the class starts to discuss your options. The IRB will work with you so that you are free to teach the course how you wish and still fulfill the requirements for the protection of human research subjects.


I collected research data from human subjects for a class project, but would now like to use it in my graduate thesis/dissertation.  Do I need IRB review and approval?  MAYBE.  If the class was taught by an instructor certified by the IRB then you do not need IRB review and approval.  If you need formal documentation, please contact the Office of Research Integrity.  If the class was not taught by an instructor certified by the IRB, then you need to submit the project to the IRB for review and approval.  Depending on your project and what information you provided to the participants you may be asked to go back to the participants and obtain their informed consent prior to being allowed to use the data.


What is a Certified Instructor and what can they do?  Certified instructors are UAF faculty members who have been authorized by the IRB to determine whether or not class projects are "exempt" from the requirement for IRB review and approval under the human subject protection regulations (45 CFR 46).  This authorization applies only to research projects conducted as part of a catalog listed course, typically a research techniques or methods class.  The authorization does not apply to other types of student (e.g. honors projects, graduate thesis or dissertation research) or any faculty or staff research projects; only the Office of Research Integrity may determine that these projects are exempt from the requirement for IRB review and approval.


How do I become a Certified Instructor?  1) complete the initial human subject protections training course (CITI) and remain up-to-date by taking the refresher training every other year; and 2) complete a Certified Instructor application and submit it to the IRB via IRBNet, the board's online protocol management system.  Once your application has been approved you may start making exemption determinations for student projects in your class.   As part of the application you are asked to confirm that you will not allow students to conduct "non-exempt" research projects until they have been reviewed and approved by the IRB.