The review of proposed research by an Institutional Review Board assures attention to three ethical principles: respect for persons, beneficence and justice, which underlie the ethical conduct of research involving human subjects.

Students Conducting Research

You may be enrolled in a course in which all students work together on a single investigation. 
Faculty members teaching courses in which a single shared investigation involving living human subjects or private information previously obtained about individuals is conducted by all students (e.g., students contribute questions to a single common survey, cooperate in administering the survey, share in analyzing the data, and each report a portion of the results) will complete the St. Norbert College Application for IRB Review and submit it to the IRB. The instructor must have current training in human subject protection. If a comparable project is conducted each time the course is offered, the instructor may request renewal of IRB authorization once the initial application is approved. Faculty members will apply even though the investigation may not formally constitute research (“systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to knowledge in a particular discipline”). This requirement applies to undergraduate and graduate courses.
 
You may be enrolled in a course in which students, either individually or in small groups, conduct an investigation. 
Students enrolled in regularly offered courses conducting, either individually or in small groups, investigations involving living human subjects or private information previously obtained about individuals will complete the St. Norbert College Application for IRB Review and submit it to their instructor. The instructor will evaluate the application and complete the SNC Instructor Evaluation of Student Course-Related Research. The instructor may accept the application, reject the application or refer the application to the IRB. The instructor must have current training in human subject protection. If the instructor chooses to refer the application to the IRB the student(s) must submit the application along with a copy of the instructor’s evaluation. These students will apply even though the investigation may not formally constitute research (“systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to knowledge in a particular discipline”). This requirement applies to undergraduate and graduate students.
 
You may undertake an independent investigation. 
Students conducting independent investigations involving living human subjects or private information previously obtained about individuals, whether for academic credit (e.g., directed research, senior thesis, graduate thesis, etc.) or supported by funding from the college (e.g., grant from Student-Faculty Development Endowment Fund), will complete the St. Norbert College Application for IRB Review and submit it to the IRB along with a letter from the supervising faculty or staff member. In that letter supervisors will acknowledge their responsibility for overseeing the investigation and report the date of their most recent training in human subject protection. Students will apply even though the investigation may not formally constitute research (“systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to knowledge in a particular discipline”). This requirement applies to undergraduate and graduate students.

Rationale for IRB Oversight of Student Investigations 
We have chosen to include IRB review of student class-related and independent investigations, even though they may not formally constitute research, because we believe human participants deserve protection whether or not the data they provide are a part of a “systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to knowledge in a particular discipline.” Imagine an investigation of students’ thoughts of suicide. We believe investigators should approach such an investigation with appropriate sensitivity and safeguards for confidentiality whether the investigators are students completing a project for a course or a faculty member conducting a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to knowledge in her or his particular discipline.