Suggestions to Professors
1. If students in a class are potential subjects, it is important to discover 17 year-olds who need parental consent to participate. Thus in the procedure section we will look for a process which will identify and eliminate 17 year old students from inclusion.
2. Guided by a preference stated by the Provost, extra-credit should not be used to encourage participation in a study. This is a subtle form of coercion, especially if equally attractive options (from the student’s perspective are not provided.)
3. Harm can be done both physically and psychologically to a subject. We are particularly concerned about the potential for psychological harm. a. Ex. If a student is struggling with self-esteem and is asked to answer questions on one's self- esteem, this could trigger anxiety in the subject.
Consequently, we want to see a clear and explicit statement about where a student can go for help if the student would seek some. Telling them to go the Counseling Center is not sufficient unless the staff has been alerted that students may be coming in and they are prepared to handle such an occurrence.
4. Clear statement as to how debriefing will be handled. Debriefing needs to occur upon the conclusion of data gathering from a subject. It provides an opportunity for subjects to receive an explanation about the research and to ask any question they might have as a result of their participation. Debriefing has as its goal to return subjects to their pre-participation state.
5. Above all, the proposals need to be written at a level consistent with collegiate standards, We expect proper sentence construction, no uncorrected typographical errors, no spelling errors, correct use of words (e.g., using there for their), proper use of research vocabulary and correct punctuation.
6. It is our expectation that the professor has checked over the proposal. Thus the professor’s signature implies that the professor has ascertained that he proposal meets the above guidelines as well as the requirements identified in the directions for proposal content.
The Institutional Review Board expects professional level work to be submitted. To reduce the time before approval, we wanted to clarify our expectations. In the past we have received many proposals deficient in the above respects.
Contact the chair of the IRB for questions.