The following outline is intended to assist researchers in determining if their projects require IRB approval, and, if so, what procedures to follow. Click here for a graphical depiction of the outline.
- Question 1: Is this research on human subjects?
- If NO, then do not submit an IRB research proposal.
- If YES, then proceed to Question 2.
- Question 2: Does the project involve vulnerable populations* or greater than minimal risk to participants?
- Question 3: Will this research be presented or published outside the classroom, including thesis publication?
Additional Decision Tree Resources
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) maintains helpful Human Subject Regulations Decision Charts that provide additional details to aid your planning. You may also wish to visit the HHS Guidance page.
*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: