COVID-19: Guidance for Students Conducting Research

In this unusual time of a SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) global pandemic, of foremost importance to Monmouth College and the Monmouth College Human Subjects Review Board (HSRB) is the health and safety of both student researchers and those individuals who volunteer as participants in their projects.

Research should not harm participants, nor place them at unnecessarily increased risk of harm. Where there is the possibility that participants could be harmed or put in a position of discomfort, there must be strong justifications for this.

The Monmouth College HSRB, in accordance with federal regulations governing human subjects research and the current Monmouth College COVID-19 protocols, offers below guidance for students conducting research involving human participants during the fall 2020/spring 2021 academic year. As the pandemic and responses to it evolve, this page will be updated.

Student Researchers:

Research projects involving human subjects should be designed to be carried out remotely whenever possible.

In-person data collection or observation field research involving human subjects should be carried out only if you feel you are able to do so in a safe manner for both researcher and participants and in strict accordance with College COVID-19 policies.

Students planning to engage in in-person research of any kind involving human participants are required to develop a safety plan in consultation with your faculty project advisor. You will be asked to include the plan in your online submission of research protocols to the HSRB.

Typically, this plan would include:

Consistent use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (for example, masks and gloves).

Frequent hand sanitation through thorough handwashing or use of hand sanitizers when soap and water are not immediately available.

Regular disinfection of the workspace (for example, field site, vehicles, recording equipment, common areas, and frequently touched surfaces).

Consistent observance of safe physical distancing.