Faculty Handbook

Human Subjects and Vertebrate Animals

All research and instructional activities that involve human subjects and/or vertebrate animals must have prior review by the appropriate review panel on campus. Western Connecticut State University has adopted the policies and guidelines of the Office for the Protection from Research Risks of the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Public Health Service.

Human Subjects
The Institutional Review Board (formerly the Human Subjects Review Committee) is the designated Institutional Review Board for instructional activities and research projects—unfunded as well as sponsored—that involve the participation of humans as research subjects. The requirement to adhere to procedures to protect human subjects extends to students as well as faculty and non-instructional personnel.

Certain categories of research may be declared exempt from the regulations, or may be eligible for expedited review by the Committee. Both exempt and expedited categories of research require the completion of a research protocol and a completed WCSU HUM-1 form. Approval to conduct research and/or instructional activities in the exempt or expedited categories will be decided by the Chairperson of the IRB or his/her designee(s) and the Director of the Office of Sponsored Research Administrative Services.

Claims for exemption may be requested for such types of activities as normal educational practices (comparison of instructional techniques), educational tests (aptitude, achievement), survey or interview procedures (questionnaires with no identifying information requested), observation of public behavior, and collection of existing data (records, pathological specimens).

Student Projects
Projects that are carried out by students as class assignments in the exempt category only may be reviewed by the instructor and department chair on a one-page abbreviated form. Students who assist a faculty member with his/her research projects should not use this form. This form should be forwarded to the Director of the Office of Sponsored Research Administrative Services for information purposes.

Vertebrate Animals
University policy requires prior approval by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of all research, training, and biological testing-whether funded or unfunded-using vertebrate animals, whether conducted at the University or at another institution as the result of subcontracting.

Information and forms to request permission to use human subjects and/or vertebrate animals may be obtained from the Director of Grant Programs, the Chairperson of the Institutional Review Board, or the Chairperson of the IACUC. They are also contained in the Faculty Handbook.

Procedures Research With Human Subjects

Procedures for filing an application for human subjects approval with the WCSU Institutional Review Board (IRB) can be found updated at the IRB website, http://www.wcsu.edu/irb/

The WCSU IRB Research Application Guide contains complete instructions for submitting a Research Application.  All necessary documents can also be found on the website, including:

  • The HUM-1 Form
  • The WCSU Informed Consent Guidelines
  • Approval Form for Undergraduate Student Research Involving Human Subjects
  • Information on available Human Subjects Training through the CITI program
  • List of Frequently Asked Questions

Form: Use of Human Subjects in Research Memorandum


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