All surveys and other research that are conducted within IMSA or by IMSA faculty, staff, or students must be approved by IMSA’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), the Human and Animal Subjects Review Committee (HASRC). Functionally, this means contacting the chair of the HASRC, which operates out of the Office of Curriculum, Assessment, and Research. The HASRC coordinates the federally mandated Human and Animal Subjects Review functions for IMSA.
According to federal regulations, "This policy applies to all research involving human subjects." Although some research at IMSA is exempt from more than a cursory review by the HASRC (therefore not requiring review by the full HASRC committee), the HASRC must make that exemption decision according to law. If the research is in violation of such regulations, failure to obtain prior approval can result in the immediate suspension or discontinuation of the research.
Furthermore, the HASRC is mandated to review all research because the level of surveying and other researching conducted upon IMSA students and faculty already is burdensome. Additional uncontrolled research, which may be duplicative, otherwise unnecessary, or less than optimally designed, creates the risk that none of the research efforts of this education laboratory will be taken seriously by its potential subjects. The research staff can help with research design as well as provide alternatives, such as examination of existing records and past studies.
Some research studies involving human subjects may be exempt from requiring HASRC review, or may require only expedited review. In general, research involving human subjects and intended to contribute to generalizable knowledge by scholarly presentation or publication requires at least an expedited review by the HASRC. Research involving human subjects which is of minimal risk, and for which the results will only be used for programmatic evaluation and for which the results will only be shared with the stakeholders (private use) is considered exempt. The researcher, however, should not make this decision, but consult with the HASRC to determine whether review is required or not. A screening form has been developed, which individual may submit to the HASRC in case of exempt research.
The "Policy for Research with Human and Animal Subjects" is the formal document which regulates all internally- and externally-based research sponsored in part or in whole by the Academy. The purpose of the policy is to minimize intrusion and disruption for the students and educators of the Academy and to protect the rights and welfare of human and animal subjects used in research projects. The policy is issued in conjunction with the Academy's "Research with Human and Animal Subjects: Policies and Procedures" manual, which incorporates federal human subject protection guidelines in its detailing of appropriate research protocols.
Thank you from the staff of the HASRC and the Office of Research, Assessment, and Evaluation.
Research with Human and Animal Subjects: IMSA Policies and Procedures
Appendix A: Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects
Appendix B: The Belmont Report
Appendix C: HASRC Application
Appendix D: IMSA Research Consent Form
Appendix E: Links to Sites Offering Human Subjects Research Training
Appendix F: Screening Form for Exemption of Research
Appendix G: American Educational Research Association