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IRB Quiz (Does My Project Require an IRB Application?)

You are required to submit a formal application if your proposed study meets both of these conditions:

A. It constitutes Research, and
B. It is conducted On Human Subjects

The quiz below is designed to determine if your study meets both criteria. If it does, a formal application is required before research begins. The IRB cannot approve research after it has been done.


Part A:
Does my study constitute Research?

According to the Code of Federal Regulations, Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge [45 CFR 46.102(d)].

Answer YES or NO to the following questions:

  1. Do you expect or intend to publish the results of your study?
  2. Do you expect or intend to present the results of your study in a public setting, such as a workshop, conference, or poster session?
  3. Are you doing this project as part of your Comps?

If your answer was NO to ALL questions, your study is not considered Research. Formal application is waived and you are free to begin your study.

If your answer was YES for ANY of the questions, your study is considered Research. Continue to Part B.

Part B:
Is my study considered research On Human Subjects?

Answer YES or NO to the following questions:

  1. Will people themselves be the subjects of study?*
  2. Will the study involve interacting with living people?
  3. Will you gather information that would ordinarily be private (e.g. personal beliefs)?
  4. Will you observe behavior in a context where the subjects would reasonably expect privacy (e.g. their homes)?

*[Interviewing your physics professor to learn about black holes does not count, since then the subject of your research is black holes; interviewing the same professor to learn about his/her values, experiences or behavior, however, IS research on human subjects.]

If your answer was NO to ALL questions, your study is not considered to be on Human Subjects. Formal application is waived and you are free to begin your study.

If your answer was YES for question 1 AND one or more of the questions 2, 3, or 4, your study is considered to be on Human Subjects.

If your study is both Research and On Human Subjects...

If your study is indeed Research On Human Subjects, you must submit a formal application. Proceed to our How Do I Apply? page to begin the process.

If you're still not certain...

If you are still not sure whether or not your study is considered Research or On Human Subjects, go to the Glossary page to see detailed explanations of what does and what doesn't constitute Research on Human Subjects under the federal regulations.

You may also direct further questions to:

Annette Nierobisz, x4114
Chair, Carleton IRB