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Classroom Research Guidelines

Research, as defined in Federal Regulations 45 CFR 46 and conducted by undergraduate and graduate students, is subject to federal regulations that require that all research protocols involving human subjects be reviewed by an Institutional Review Board.

However, a number of schools and departments offer courses that require students to undertake projects in which other people are interviewed, observed, or otherwiseserve as participants. The purposes of these course projects are to train students and to provide them with an opportunity to practice various research methods. These projects do not generally result in generalizable knowledge or publications and are not undertaken with these goals in mind. Therefore, the IRB does not consider them to be research and IRB review is not required. Such projects are considered "classroom exercises" and are typically quite limited in scope. However,

  • Any data collected under these circumstances cannot be used for future theses or publications. If the student might want to use these data for a future thesis or publication, the project requires IRB review and approval before the data are collected.
  • Any student-initiated and/or student-conducted research that is not a research practicum or internship, that uses human subjects, and that is undertaken with the intent to contribute to generalizable knowledge, requires IRB review and approval. This includes, but is not limited to, undergraduate and graduate honors, thesis, and dissertation research.
  • All class research projects that involve protected groups as defined in Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 46 (such as, but not limited to pregnant women, children, prisoners, institutionalized mentally ill patients) require IRB review even if there is no intention to publish results.

Faculty and/or students are urged to contact the IRB if in doubt about whether a project requires review.

University divisions and/or departments may establish additional criteria based on their particular needs and preferences, as long as they meet these minimum Fordham University Institutional Review Board guidelines.