Human Research Participants Committee
The Human Research Participants Committee works to ensure that human research participants are treated with dignity, respect, and in ways that are ethically consistent with government, discipline (e.g., American Psychological Association Guidelines), and Anderson University standards. The committee is composed of six members appointed by the Provost for a three-year term. Several departments have formed their own committees to approve projects in their specific discipline areas. (See “How to Submit a Proposal”)
Proper evaluation of proposed research helps to protect prospective participants, researchers, and the institution from unethical practices and possible resulting litigation.
Approval for Research
In order to protect the rights of participants and the integrity of the research process, the use of AU students as human participants must be approved by the Human Research Participants Committee.
Approval is needed for all data collected meeting any of these criteria:
- All data collection for publication.
- All data collection conducted by persons not employed by AU.
- All data collection conducted by AU students, staff, or faculty which might in any way be construed to place any participant at physical, emotional, or psychological risk.
- All data collection on sensitive topics, like sexuality or violence.
- All data collection in which participants are asked to divulge highly personal or sensitive information (e.g., health status, history of abuse, sexual attitudes, religious values, etc.).
- All data collection which involves deception or less than complete disclosure of the intent of the data collection.
- All data collection on human participants conducted by AU students, faculty, or staff, involving off-campus participants.
- As part of the university’s commitment to ongoing assessment, student assignments may be copied and used for assessment purposes. Every effort will be made to ensure confidentiality and assessment results will only be reported as aggregated data.
Assignments given by instructors which meet the following criteria, do not require prior committee approval:
- The course is a regular catalog course (not a tutorial or independent study/research project).
- The assignment accounts for less than 10% of the course grade.
- Research participants are limited to students in the class.
- The research does not place participants at risk (as defined above).
- The research is not on sensitive topics (as defined above).
If there is any doubt, consult with the committee chair for clarification.
The committee meets when the need arises. The committee will elect a chair and a secretary. Normally, minutes of its meetings will be sent to the Provost.
Expedited review allows for the proposal to be approved by the committee chair rather than the entire committee, resulting in a faster turnaround time.
Proposals which meet the following requirements are eligible for expedited review:
- The participants must be legal adults.
- The data collected must be on non-sensitive topics.
- The research must be done entirely by online survey with no personally identifying information collected.
The chair can for any reason send the proposal to the entire committee if in the chair’s judgment additional input is desirable.