IRB Frequently Asked Questions

Research Projects

Must research projects conducted by students be submitted?

YES. Student research, regardless if graduate or undergraduate is a serious enterprise and must follow all legal and moral standards of scientific conduct. Students need to determine with their faculty advisor what level of review their project qualifies, with the understanding the the IRB Chair determine the level of review.

Must research projects using Arcadia University students conducted as part of a class demonstration or exercise be submitted?

YES, even though your project may qualify for exempt status you must still submit the Arcadia University IRB Exemption Form as well as copies of informed consent/assent documents, copies of interview protocols, surveys, data collections documents, etc. along with all standard protocol submission documents.

If I have students within a class conduct research as part of the class requirements, do they need to submit this to the IRB?

YES. Any demonstrations, exercises, labs, etc that involve collecting responses from human subjects needs to be submitted, even if those subjects are friends, relatives, etc. of the students in the class or even the students themselves. In certain circumstances, including if the data is collected anonymously and are not of a sensitive nature, such research may qualify for exempt status. You are encouraged to consult the Arcadia University IRB Exemption Form [LINK] for the federal delineations relative to research qualifying for exempt status.

If the research occurs elsewhere, do I still need to go through the Arcadia IRB?

YES. Whenever a member of the university community is conducting research with Arcadia University as their affiliation, they need to submit that research to the Arcadia University IRB.

I’ve been doing research here at Arcadia University for years, why the need for all the changes?

These are not changes so much as formalizing procedures that have been in place. In addition, these upgrades in procedures are necessary because the federal guidelines have become more explicit. Furthermore, we need to be diligent in our record keeping in light of increased government funding to Arcadia faculty in recent years.

I don’t agree with these policies and feel that they should not apply to me, what is the worst thing that can happen?

Documented instances of a violation of the Arcadia University IRB Guidelines could result in the loss or disruption of Federal funds to the institution. In addition, the IRB has the power to suspend or terminate previously approved protocols if warranted. In an extreme case, violation of Arcadia University’s Scientific Misconduct Policies, violation of the ethical standards advocated by an individual’s professional societies, or a violation of the professional standards of conduct expected of all Arcadia University Faculty and Staff will subject that individual to sanctions advocated by these groups.

Research Subjects

At what age are children capable of giving written informed consent/assent?

Twelve (12) and above. See section on Research Involving Minors in IRB Guidelines.

Besides parents who else do I need to get permission from if I want to use children in my research?

If you are using children from a school or community agency you will need to get the permission of the school or agency official on their letterhead. See section on Research Involving Minors in IRB Guidelines.