Student Research Involving Humans
Student research that involves human subjects requires Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. Research includes any systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge, or to develop, test, or evaluate past, present, or future research, whether or not the results are published. This includes research that students conduct for course credit.
Research on human subjects is any research in which the investigator obtains data about a living individual through intervention or interaction with the individual (such as administering medication or having the person fill out a survey), or from identifiable private information that should be protected (including observation of behavior in a nonpublic setting). It also includes any research that uses personal information such as identified/identifiable secondary data or blood/tissue samples. For examples of what is considered human subjects research, go to http://www.tufts.edu/central/research/research.htm.
As soon as you know you might be involved in research involving humans, discuss the proposed research with your advisor or course instructor. Your professor should be your primary source of information about how to develop a realistic protocol and how to go about getting the protocol approved by the IRB. A student may not be listed as the principal investigator (PI). The PI must be a Tufts faculty member and is usually the student's advisor or course instructor. The student may be listed as a co-investigator. If you have any additional questions on protocol development after speaking with your advisor, please call the Health Sciences IRB office at (617) 636-7512 for assistance.
educational requirements should be completed prior to submitting your
protocol to the IRB. A study will not be approved by the IRB until the
requirements are met. These requirements can be found at www.tufts.edu/central/research/IRB.htm#education.
The summary table of baseline
educational requirements may prove especially helpful.
All reviews are on a first come/first serve basis. Incomplete applications will delay review, so it is a good idea to have the PI review all material before sending it in.
You may begin your research only after your protocol has been approved by the IRB.
For more information on research involving humans on the Health Sciences Campus, go to http://www.tufts.edu/central/research/IRB.htm
You may also find the Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) website helpful, at http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/
The Health Sciences IRB office is located on the 8th floor of 35 Kneeland Street, Boston. The main office phone number is (617) 636-7512.