Human Subjects Research
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Committee for Human Subjects Research
The review process for a research project consists of the following steps.
- The Principal Investigator submits a completed proposal form to the chair of the CHSR via email (send to CHSRChair@hastings.edu) and a printed, signed copy of the signature page via campus mail.
- The chair evaluates the proposal and determines whether the project is exempt from review, and if not, whether it qualifies for expedited review. A project that is not exempt and does not qualify for expedited review must undergo a full review. Here are brief descriptions of the requirements a project must satisfy to qualify for each of these categories, as well as the manner in which it is evaluated:
A project in which the participants remain anonymous, are not chosen from a vulnerable population, and are exposed to minimal risk qualifies as exempt from review. However, a project involving deception cannot qualify as exempt. A project that is exempt is automatically approved without further evaluation.
A project that is not exempt from review, but still exposes the participants to only minimal risk, qualifies for expedited review. Such a project may draw its participants from a vulnerable population or their identities may be known to the researcher(s) but kept confidential, or it may involve deception. The proposal for a project in this category may be forwarded by the chair to a member of the Committee who has expertise in the subject matter of the project for further evaluation. The decision of that member on the status of the proposal, which is reached in consultation with the chair, is final.
A project that does not qualify for expedited review is subject to full review. Such a project may draw participants from a special population or expose them to more than minimal risk. The proposal for a project in this category is sent to all members of the Committee, who then discuss and vote on it until a majority agree on its status.
- Once the status of a proposal has been determined, the chair notifies the Principal Investigator of the result, which is normally one of the following three possibilities:
The project may proceed as proposed.
- Approved pending specific minor revisions
This means that a small number of straightforward and easily verified modifications are required. The chair will verify that the required revisions have been made, perhaps in consultation with other reviewers. Once verification is complete the Principal Investigator is notified by the chair and the project may proceed as revised.
- Revise and resubmit
A proposal given this status requires significant revisions that are directly related to ethical considerations. A revised proposal must be submitted and will be reviewed as though it were a new proposal.
Important note: Research activities should not commence until the project proposal has been approved.
The Committee reserves the right to disapprove any project that it believes is fundamentally unethical. However, such decisions are expected to be extremely rare.