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.

Who Must Submit Information to the IRB?

Faculty Members, Staff Members or Other Employees
Faculty members, staff members, or other employees planning to conduct research involving living human subjects or private information previously obtained about individuals will complete the St. Norbert College Application for IRB Review. 

Faculty Members Teaching Courses in which Students Undertake Investigations 
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. 

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, complete the SNC Instructor Evaluation of Student Course-Related Research and forward a copy of the evaluation to the IRB. 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. 

Independent Student Investigations 
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.