Protecting human subjects in project activities and project evaluation
Many grant projects and/or their evaluation plans involve "intervention or interaction with a living human being" or the collection of "identifiable private information" through surveys, focus groups, experiments, observations, interviews, or other data-collection methods.
When members of the St. Olaf community conduct projects that involve collecting or analyzing data from human subjects, they incur legal and ethical obligations for respecting and protecting their project participants. In accordance with federal regulations, the College has developed a set of policies and procedures for protecting human subjects in inquiry projects conducted by College employees or students. A key component of these policies is a requirement to submit an Application to Collect Human Subjects Data, for project activities involving human subjects. IRB review and approval is required as a condition of funding by many government agencies, and is often required by private and non-profit organizations as well. The good news is that the process of preparing an application for IRB review is very likely to strengthen not only the ethical treatment of human subjects in a project, but the methodological design of the inquiry as well.
All college-sponsored projects with research involving human subjects must meet the requirements of the St. Olaf College Institutional Review Board. When developing the evaluation section of your grant, be sure to consider and meet St. Olaf's IRB guidelines.
For a complete description of College policies and procedures for protecting human subjects and for the necessary forms, see the website of the St. Olaf College Institutional Review Board (IRB).