The following topics represent the most common questions the IRB receives about human subjects research and protocol submissions. If you have a question not covered here or elsewhere on our website, please contact the IRB at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-296-2585.
If you have a suggestion for adding any question(s) not addressed here, we'd appreciate your input.
If you're collecting information from and/or about living human beings or their private records, you must consult with the IRB to determine whether and how to submit your project.
See the Overview & Step-by-Step Submission Guide for more information and detailed instructions about how to submit a protocol application.
All expedited and full-board applications must include certificates of human subjects training (from all key personnel, as well as faculty advisers). The IRB will not initiate processing without complete applications.
Further information about human subjects training and links to accepted training sites.
You may not initiate any aspect of your study -- including advertisements or recruitment -- until you have received written IRB approval. Otherwise, you will be considered in non-compliance with SU and Federal human subjects policies and regulations.
The informed consent process represents one of the key principles of ethical human subjects research. Read further information about the informed consent process, as well as "assent" and "parental permission" (when working with minors).
Ensuring that you protect your participants' data is a hallmark of ethical research. Review guidance about data storage and security, as well as Seattle University's data policy.
Understanding these concepts is an important part of human subjects research, and you must carefully distinguish between them in your protocol and also your informed consent sheet to enable potential participants have an accurate understanding of the nature of the data you collect. Read further guidance on anonymity, privacy and confidentiality, which also offers best practices in applying these concepts.
Due to tax implications, you should use the term "incentive" vs. "compensation." For smaller, minimal risk studies that do not place heavy demands on a participant's time, the IRB suggests to limit or avoid incentives altogether. You may wish to provide a small "thank you" such as a gift-card, however. For larger incentives, certain reporting requirements may be necessary, according to IRB and University policy. Note that food and refreshments are not considered incentives.
Review further guidance on incentives in human subjects research.
If you plan to conduct research at or through an organization or institution, you must obtain formal permission from an authorized person who has read your complete research protocol to fully understand the study and what will be asked of participants. This permission must be included as part of your research protocol when you submit it to the IRB.
For best practices in online recruiting and/or data collection, see our guidance on Social Media and Online Studies.
If you plan to collaborate on human subjects research with investigators at another institution, contact the IRB to determine how best to proceed.
In certain cases, the SU IRB may cede oversight to your co-investigator's institution. Review further guidance on ceding oversight and the necessary steps to take.
Email email@example.com or call 206-296-2585. We're happy to talk with you at any stage of the process, whether protocol development or finishing touches.
Absolutely! We regularly visit departmental or college meetings, undergraduate and graduate courses, or any group that would like further information about the IRB. We can tailor our presentation for any time period or audience.
Further terms & concepts used in human subjects research.