Oversight for classroom projects involving human subjects but designed exclusively for pedagogical purposes falls under the full purview of the course instructor, who has primary responsibility for assuring that the rights and welfare of human subjects are not violated. These instructors should consult the Classroom HS Research Guidelines. Many graduate level research courses and a few undergraduate courses, however, do require students to conduct research that meets the definition of human subjects research. These class projects require review and approval by SHSU's Institutional Review Board (IRB), also called the Protection of Human Subjects Committee (PHSC). The following information will help instructors to determine if IRB review and approval is needed for their respective courses.
What is the definition of human subjects research that would require PHSC review?
Per the federal regulations 45 CFR 46, under which the University operates, research is defined as the following:
a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation designed to contribute to generalizable knowledge.
Investigations designed to develop or to contribute to generalizable knowledge are those that seek to draw general conclusions, inform policy or generalize findings beyond a single individual or an internal program. A human subject is defined as a living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains data through intervention with the individual or identifiable private information. Any research meeting this definition is subject to PHSC review.
Thesis or dissertation projects involving human subjects conducted to meet the requirement of a graduate degree are considered generalizable, and require IRB review and approval.
To what classroom projects do the HS research guidelines apply?
The guidelines apply to human subjects research conducted purely for pedagogical purposes that does not meet the definition of human subjects research that would require PHSC approval. The guidelines are intended to apply to those courses where students are being taught research methodology and are required to develop and conduct a research study involving human subjects. The assignment must be clearly stated in the course syllabus, and the research project is to be performed by students enrolled in an undergraduate or a graduate course at SHSU as a requirement for completion of the course.
Please click on the following link for assistance with determining when classroom research is purely for instructional purposes and when it is Human Subjects research requiring the review of SHSU's Institutional Review Board (IRB), also called the Protection of Human Subjects Committee (PHSC): Classroom HS Research Guidelines.