Guidelines for Student Research with Human Subjects

Evergreen supports student engagement in research. Projects involving human participants are a frequent part of academic programs and independent learning contracts at the college. These projects are primarily facilitated by the program faculty or faculty sponsor and generally do not require Human Subjects Review for three reasons.

1. The primary focus of the project is learning to conduct research. 

2. The project is not designed to produce generalizable knowledge.

3. The project is intended to be used primarily to meet the expectations of a program or contract assignment.  

Student projects that do not meet the federal definition of human subjects research, and involve no more than minimal risk (Understanding Risk)​​ to human participants, do not require IRB review and approval. Projects embedded within academic programs and independent learning contracts are frequently designed to help students develop their understanding of the principles of sound research and practice research methods, but they are not intended to produce generalizable results. These projects may involve human participants, and they may employ systematic protocols for gathering information (surveys, interviews, behavioral observations in controlled environments, etc.). If the results of the activity, however, will be used only for classroom instruction or for the student’s own academic development (that is, it will not be published or presented beyond the specific class or academic program), it does not require human subjects review.

Students conducting human subject research under the guidance of a faculty member should complete CITI training for Responsible Research and for Conducting Research with Human Subjects before designing their project.