Human Subjects Research
» Current Committee Members
·· Purpose & Background
·· Ethical Guidelines
·· Research Reviewed
·· Review Procedures
·· Informed Consent & Debriefing
·· Classroom Projects
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Committee for Human Subjects Research
Purpose & Background Information
The goal of the Committee for Human Subjects Research (CHSR) is to protect the rights and welfare of all human beings that participate in research. The purpose of the committee is to review all research conducted by faculty, staff, and students (whether independent of or in conjunction with other institutions or groups) that involves human subjects or participants.
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The following document will spell out in detail the types of research that do and do not fall under the auspices of the committee. Submission of research proposals is voluntary, but faculty members are strongly encouraged to submit proposals for their work and the work of their students in electronic form to the current committee chair, using the proposal form.
The Committee for Human Subjects Research is a permanent subcommittee that reports to the Faculty Affairs Committee. It consists of seven members, one chosen from each of the following groups:
- Biology Department
- CABE Department
- Education Division
- Political Science Department or Sociology Department
- Psychology Department
- Humanities Division
- Fine Arts Division, Science Division other than Biology, or off-campus community
In certain cases, the committee may also call in a non-voting consultant (who could come from off campus) to help with its deliberations. The first five groups in the list above represent the departments whose members are most likely to conduct research involving human subjects, while the remaining two groups were chosen to ensure roughly divisional representation on the committee. Members serve three-year terms, staggered so that no more than three members end their terms at the same time. New members are nominated by the committee and presented for approval by the FAC and then the Faculty Senate. A chair and a secretary are elected internally by the committee each spring, after the new members have been approved. The committee will meet at least twice each academic year, once early in the fall and once near the end of the spring semester.
Committees that oversee research involving human subjects now exist at many institutions, and are mandatory if the institution (or a particular research project) receives federal grant money. While Hastings College does not currently have the obligation to be in compliance with the federal regulations, our goal is to have all research conducted at Hastings College follow the federal guidelines. These guidelines are spelled out in the Code of Federal Regulations (Title 45, Part 46), implemented by the Office for the Protection of Human Subjects (OPHS), which is in turn overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). (For more information, please consult the relevant government websites, especially http://ohsr.od.nih.gov). With some revisions, the Code goes back to the 1974 National Research Act, which contained the first federal regulations to protect human subjects in the U.S. The Act can be traced historically to decades of debate on the ethics of human subject research that followed the establishment of the Nuremberg Code, the international legal response to the atrocities committed in the name of science at Nazi concentration camps during the Third Reich.