The UIS Human Research Protections Policy is applicable for all research projects involving human subjects, whether the research is undertaken on a large or small scale and whether or not it is externally funded. Independent study projects and course projects must follow this policy if they involve research with human subjects.

Enrolled students who are involved in researching human subjects are required to complete Research Ethics Training in the social sciences.

Please download the following documents to assist you in developing your course-related research project:


  • In making a determination of whether or not a class research project requires IRB review, the instructor is required to contact the Human Subjects Review Officer (HSRO) or designee for a judgement on IRB jurisdiction.
  • In order to be approved under these procedures, the HSRO will review the course materials with the instructor in order to determine that they meet all of the guidelines described in the UIS IRB policy (and listed below).
    1. results of the research are viewed only by the course instructor for teaching purposes and are discussed within the classroom for teaching and learning purposes;
    2. results of the research are not made public through presentation (outside of the classroom) and are not published in paper or electronic format (e.g., cannot be made available on the internet, cannot be published in a journal, etc.);
    3. research procedures involve no more than minimal risk¹
    4. vulnerable populations (e.g., children under age 18, prisoners, persons who are cognitively impaired, etc.) are not targeted for participation as research subjects;
    5. data collected are recorded in such a manner that the subjects are not identifiable²; and
    6. when appropriate, an informed consent process is in place.
  • If the HSRO determines that the class research projects do not meet all of the criteria listed above, then each student group will need to be apply for IRB review through the appropriate SOP (Exempt, Expedited, or Initial Full Review).
  • The course instructor serves as the Responsible Research Supervisor (RRS) and is responsible for communicating to the IRB the human subjects research-related projects in their classroom. The Instructor will submit a “blanket” IRB application with a broad protocol which describes the type of research projects the students will be conducting during the semester and an informed consent document template for the students.
  • The instructor will be responsible for ensuring that consent documents and letters of introduction are grammatically correct and in a format consistent with the examples provided on the UIS IRB website.
  • All students in the course who will be participating in human subjects research assignments are required to view the UIS “Navigating the IRB Process” online video and submit a webform certifying that they watched the entire video.
  • The course instructor and all students enrolled in the course who will be participating in the human subjects research assignments must complete the web-based required Core Modules of the CITI Course in the Protection of Human Research Subjects, as described in the UIS IRB SOP Research Ethics Training.
  • Additionally, ORSP staff are available to visit the classroom to describe the IRB application procedures, informed consent documents, and answer any questions the students and/or instructor may have about IRB review and the protection of human subjects. Instructors are encouraged to contact the ORSP staff in order to schedule a class visit and determine the appropriate level of instruction.
  • IRB approval for the course will be valid for one year.

¹ “Minimal risk” is more narrowly defined for classroom projects to avoid very private or sensitive topics, such as sexual activity or illegal behaviors. Consult the “Course Projects Tip Sheet” document listed above.

² Images in videotapes, photographs, and voices on audiotape are identifiable, so such procedures require separate IRB review.