8.1.3 – Research on Human Subjects

POLICY:  Spoon River College actively protects the welfare and rights of subjects in research conducted under the auspices of the College.  Further, the College supports the ethical guidelines for conduct of research of the federal government and of respective disciplines represented in the College through the implementation of a collegial review procedure for all research associated with the College.  The review is conducted by volunteer faculty members of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) appointed by the Chief Academic Officer (CAO).


This policy applies to all employees of Spoon River College and all individuals participating in research.


  1. Functions of the IRB:
    1. Certifying that ethical principles are adhered to.
    2. Recommending that modifications be made to uncertified research.
    3. Ensuring confidentiality. All review proceedings between researchers and members of the Board are confidential.  The Board’s review is based on the American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical Guidelines for Research with Human Subjects.
  2. Research is conducted at the expense of the employee or student unless otherwise authorized by the College President. Employees and students may use printing services and bulk rate postage; however, the employee or student is responsible for reimbursing the College for expenses.
  3. It is the employee’s or student’s responsibility to comply with the Copyright Act and all other legislation governing the reproduction of copyrighted materials. Should an employee wish to use copyright materials, a copy of the authorization from the author or owner of the materials must accompany the Request for Review of Proposed Research form.


  1. Complete the Request for Review of Proposed Research form.
  2. Return the completed Request for Review of Proposed Research form to the Vice President no less than one semester prior to the proposed beginning date of the research.
  3. The CAO reviews the form. The CAO either advances the request to the IRB or does not approve the request.  If the request is not approved, the research cannot be conducted at Spoon River College.  There is no opportunity for appeal at this level.
  4. The application is reviewed by the Institutional Review Board. A majority vote of the Board is required for approval.  (A Board member may solicit input from a faculty member in the specific field of research, if that appears justified.)  The members’ reviews and comments will be returned directly to the Vice Presidents’ office.  This office sends a letter to the applicant notifying him/her of the Board’s approval or disapproval.  Review is expected to be completed within five working days.
  5. If the Board does not approve the research, the decision may be appealed to the Vice President.