High Point University (hereinafter “University”) recognizes the importance of research in the academic environment and to this end established the human participants institutional review board (hereinafter “IRB”) to ensure the ethical treatment of human participants. The IRB shall review all research involving human participants performed under University auspices, for compliance with federal guidelines and with ethical standards as set forth by The Belmont Report and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Research” is defined as a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. All University faculty, staff, and students whose research involves human participants must be familiar with and conform to this policy for all activities that fall under this definition.
If you plan to conduct research using human participants, you should read all documents contained on this website. You must complete and submit an application and research protocol for IRB review and approval. The protocols should describe your research plan, explain how the privacy and safety of the participants will be protected, and explain and document how informed consent from the participants will be obtained. You must complete the online training and maintain a current certificate with the IRB office.
Some research projects using human participants raise no substantial risk to anyone. These projects receive limited IRB review and, if approved, are exempted from further IRB oversight. The criteria for requesting an exemption from further review are specified in the Procedures. If you believe that your project meets these criteria, then request an exemption on the cover page of the Application and Protocol Form, specify the exemption criteria that apply, and answer only the questions requested in the instructions.
Applications usually require two weeks before the IRB can provide initial feedback; if revisions are required, the process will require more time. On some occasions, the entire membership of the IRB may need to discuss a protocol at its monthly meeting before making a final decision.
Your human participants research may begin only after the IRB approves the project or exempts it from further review. To avoid delay in the commencement of your research and attendant problems, students, in particular, should therefore plan to submit their protocols as early in the semester as possible. Because the IRB may not be available over the summer and during holidays, protocols should be submitted well in advance for projects to be carried out during these times or during the first few weeks of the semester.
Please note that the IRB cannot approve a protocol submitted after research is initiated, nor can the IRB sanction any human participants data collected without approval.