Responsibilities in Projects

Sponsor Responsibilities in Student Projects:

All student projects must have a University faculty/staff sponsor. For class projects, this is usually the instructor.  The instructor should supervise the student researcher sufficiently to assure the protection of human research participants in accordance with ethical standards of the relevant discipline.

All faculty members or staff who supervises any type of student project using human participants must be trained in accordance with University policy, as do the students involved in the research and any student assistants involved in these projects.

The instructor is responsible for determining whether the proposed study is designed to contribute to generalizable knowledge and is subject to IRB review. If so, the instructor (i.e., faculty sponsor) must assist the student in preparing the application for review.  If in doubt, instructors are always welcome to contact an IRB representative for consultation.

Even though IRB review may not be required for some student projects, these projects must communicate applicable elements of informed consent (e.g., institutional affiliation of researcher, risk, benefit, voluntary participation, permission to withdraw, etc.) and include appropriate anonymity and confidentiality protections.  The sponsoring instructor is both ethically and legally responsible for the protection of participants.

Before conducting research, students must be taught about the ethics of conducting research with human participants.  Instruction should, at a minimum, include information on the purpose of the IRB, the informed consent process, and the principles set forth in the Belmont Report.  The instructor may require the student to complete the training program(s) offered by Saginaw Valley State University and required of other researchers. The IRB advocates that departments use this training program in research methods courses as the mechanism to insure that students have been properly instructed in the protection of human research participants.

The instructor must investigate any problem reported by the student.  If any harm to a subject has occurred, the instructor must report in writing to the IRB immediately and have the student cease research activities until a decision is made regarding continuation of the project.

Student Researcher Responsibilities:

Students must conduct only the activities approved by the instructor.  Activities must be conducted in accordance with the principles set forth in the Belmont Report and University Policy.

Students must report to the instructor any problems that arise regarding human participants.