Guidelines for Research

What we do

The role of the Human Subjects Review Board (HSRB) is to protect the rights of human subjects used in research as well as to ensure faculty, staff, and student researcher compliance with federal regulations governing human subjects research projects.

All research projects by Monmouth College faculty, staff, or students involving human subjects must receive review and approval from the Monmouth College HSRB prior to the initiation of data collection.

In addition, all research projects from other institutions that seek to utilize Monmouth College faculty, staff, or students as human subjects must receive review and approval from the Monmouth College HSRB.

The Monmouth College policy on responsible conduct of research:

Researchers engaged in the process of discovery and development in all fields have great responsibilities in conducting their investigations in thoughtful and conscientious ways. These responsibilities include the careful treatment and consideration of data; the proper attribution of credit for work and ideas; the responsible protection, use, and sharing of data; and, a healthy skepticism when drawing conclusions while analyzing data. At Monmouth College, where undergraduate research is an important component of our curriculum and where we teach students how to do research, we take on the additional responsibility of teaching students how to perform research in responsible ways. In keeping with this charge, Monmouth College requires that all researchers (students, faculty, and staff) complete human subjects research training with CITI once every ten years.

If an entire class is conducting a project with similar goals, the instructor may complete a single proposal with an explanation about how the subjects’ rights will be protected. In this case, the instructor has to complete CITI training and students will not be required to do so.

Failure to receive prior review may result in disciplinary action by the College and/or legal actions against the faculty members, students, staff members, and the College; suspension or termination of a research project; and, in the case of students, potential delays of graduation.

Federal Grant Financial Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form

Projects related to teaching or classroom demonstrations, provided that these projects meet all the following criteria:

  1. They use Monmouth College student subjects.
  2. They do not use individuals from “vulnerable” populations (including, but not limited to, children, prisoners, undocumented immigrants, or developmentally disabled individuals).
  3. They do not involve sensitive topics (e.g. questions about drug use, questions about sexual orientation or sexual experience, or the purposeful creation of anxiety).
  4. Findings will not be presented in any form outside the classroom.

Types of review categories

Projects exempt from full board review (i.e., qualifies for review by the chair and one other board member) include:

  • Research conducted in educational settings, involving normal educational practices, for the purpose of publication or presentation
  • Research involving the use of educational tests, survey, interview procedures, or observation of public behavior by adults (unless subject’s confidentiality is questionable)
  • Research that is anonymous with no more than minimal risk (“anonymous” means that there is no way for anyone, including members of the research team, to link the research participant to the data she provided. “Minimal risk” means no more risk than is encountered in everyday life.)
  • Research that does not involve children or other vulnerable groups
  • Research that does not contain questions of sensitive matters

If the chair and another HSRB committee member concur that the research project is exempt from full board review, the Principal Investigator will be informed in writing and the project will be assigned an HSRB number.

If there are stipulations, they will be specified in a letter to the Principal Investigator and must be addressed before the project can be approved and assigned an HSRB number. Research projects deemed exempt from full board review are generally reviewed within one week of submission.

Expedited review projects (i.e., reviewed by the chair and two other board members) include:

  • Research that involves deception, is not anonymous, or involves more than minimal risk, that also does not qualify for a full-board review
  • Research involving voice recordings or moderate exercise by subjects
  • Research in which there are minimal questions about drug use and/or sexual orientation where the subject’s anonymity is protected

If the project is eligible for expedited review, the chair will assign the application to two reviewers. The reviewers may approve the proposal (with or without stipulations), make a recommendation, or call for full board review.

If there are stipulations, they will be specified in a letter to the Principal Investigator and they must be addressed before the project can be approved and assigned an HSRB number. Research projects deemed expedited are generally reviewed within one week of submission.

Full Board review projects includes:

  • Research involving vulnerable people as subjects (including, but not limited to, children, prisoners, undocumented immigrants, developmentally disabled individuals, anyone unable to provide their own informed consent)
  • Research involving deception, purposeful creation of anxiety, shock, or any form of punishment
  • Research involving extensive questioning about drug use, sexual orientation and/or sexual experience
  • Research involving sexually explicit materials or questions

If the reviewers or the chair decide that the project should receive full board review, the chair will convene a special meeting to review the proposal. The board members or the researcher can request that s/he be present at the meeting of the HSRB when his/her project is being considered.

The board members may approve the application as submitted, approve it with stipulations, or disapprove it. The action of the HSRB will be reported in writing to the Principal Investigator. Any stipulations must be addressed before the project can be approved and assigned an HSRB number. Research projects requiring full board review are generally reviewed within two weeks of submission.