In accordance with regulations established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) designed to protect the rights and well-being of research participants, all proposed research involving human subjects must be approved by WGU's Institutional Review Board (IRB) and conform to IRB Policies and Procedures.
All proposals to conduct research using human subjects must be submitted to the IRB to determine whether full IRB review and approval is required. Proposals that do not involve human subjects data, do not involve research purpose, do not employ atypical methodology, nor deal with vulnerable populations or sensitive topics, nor put subjects at risk may be deemed exempt from IRB oversight. With proposals involving minimal risk, designated IRB members can conduct expedited reviews, and students, and their mentors and instructors, will be notified of these decisions within approximately three business days. If full IRB review is required, the process will require 5 to 10 business days. Proposed research that requires the collection of data from WGU students, employees, graduates, or employers of graduates, or which seeks to use extant University data about these populations must be approved by the Vice President of Institutional Research (or designee) prior to submission to the IRB for approval to collect data and conduct the study. The student's Capstone course instructor will enable that submission as part of the Capstone process. Further information and required forms may be found below at the site below and in the relevant course and task directions.
Once a research proposal is approved, the IRB monitors research and conducts continuing reviews at least annually or more frequently if needed. Researchers are responsible for promptly notifying the IRB of unanticipated risks to human subjects and the need for changes to approved research plans prior to implementation unless such changes are needed to avoid immediate risks to human subjects.
Additional information about IRB Policies and Procedures may be found at the IRB Information Site (opens new window).
Article Number: 20369, 1653