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Compliance, Integrity & Safety

Research Matters

Human Subjects: New Policy on Class-Based Projects

Effective January 1, 2014, projects or activities involving human subjects that will be conducted by students to satisfy the requirements for a course and are only being carried out for teaching or training purposes (e.g., research methodology courses) will no longer need to be submitted to the Human Subjects Office (HSO).

Effective January 1, 2014, projects or activities involving human subjects that will be conducted by students to satisfy the requirements for a course and are only being carried out for teaching or training purposes (e.g., research methodology courses) will no longer need to be submitted to the Human Subjects Office (HSO).

These projects do not meet the federal definition of human subjects research and are outside the purview of the University of Georgia Institutional Review Board (IRB).  As with any instructional activity, the course instructor is responsible for providing the oversight and guidance to students for these types of class projects.  It is, however, expected that all these activities will uphold the principles of ethical treatment and respect, and ensure the safety and protection, of the individuals who will be involved in these projects.  When a class project meets the definition of human subjects research, this activity must be reviewed by the IRB.  Masters or doctoral theses involving human participants meet the definition of human research and must be submitted for IRB review.

The new policy, including relevant definitions and faculty/student responsibilities for the conduct of class projects, is described in detail at IRB Guidelines XII.

The HSO professional staff, upon request, can provide educational seminars/training sessions for faculty, staff, and students on this topic or other IRB matters.  For questions or guidance related to this policy change or to schedule an educational seminar/training session, please call 706.542.3199 or email irb@uga.edu.