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IRB Proposal Decision Tree

Question 1: Does this research involve human participants?

  • If YES, then proceed to question 2.
  • If NO, then do not submit an IRB research proposal.

Question 2: Is this research? Research is defined by HHS as “a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge” [45 CFR 46.102(d)]. Please see the Faculty Assurance Form for Classroom Projects for a more detailed description.

Question 3: Does the project involve vulnerable populations* or greater than minimal risk to participants?

Question 4: Will this research be presented or published outside the classroom, including thesis publication?

Additional Decision Tree Resources

*Vulnerable Populations

*Students under the age of 18 participating in educational research are not considered vulnerable populations, provided that the research is conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings and involves normal educational practices.

Read more on vulnerable populations using the NIH links below:

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