Rachel Hagen

    Human Subjects Review Board protects research participants

    by , September, 2017

    Before an exper­i­ment can be con­ducted on human beings at Metro State, it must pass muster with the Human Sub­jects Review Board (HSRB).The HSRB is respon­si­ble for review­ing research pro­pos­als from fac­ulty and stu­dents. The board deter­mines whether any eth­i­cal con­cerns must be addressed by the researcher.

    Dr. Therissa Libby, incom­ing chair of the HSRB and assis­tant pro­fes­sor of Human Ser­vices, strongly believes in the impor­tance of the HSRB’s role in pro­tect­ing vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions. The HSRB was estab­lished by uni­ver­sity pol­icy #2060 and requires that research study “par­tic­i­pants must also be guar­an­teed free­dom from coer­cion and unde­sir­able con­se­quences.” The board is an advo­cate against exploita­tion and malfea­sance in all research stud­ies, Libby said.

    The HSRB con­sists of one rep­re­sen­ta­tive from each col­lege, plus a Metro State senior or grad­u­ate stu­dent, an admin­is­tra­tive mem­ber, and an indi­vid­ual who is not affil­i­ated or related to some­one within the uni­ver­sity. Train­ing is pro­vided to the mem­bers, and they are expected to serve three years to gain mas­tery of the review process. The board meets monthly.

    Are stu­dent research pro­pos­als sub­ject to review?


    Inde­pen­dent stu­dent research projects involv­ing human sub­jects must be sub­mit­ted to the HSRB:

    • Senior or cap­stone theses
    • Under­grad­u­ate or Master’s research projects

    Even if stu­dents are the pri­mary inves­ti­ga­tors, fac­ulty advi­sors or instruc­tors will sign the pro­posal as the Respon­si­ble Project Inves­ti­ga­tor (RPI).

    Class assign­ments that gather and ana­lyze data from par­tic­i­pants out­side class are con­sid­ered research and must be sub­mit­ted to the HSRB:

    • Sur­veys
    • Exper­i­ments
    • Focus groups
    • Inter­views

    Source: Met­ro­pol­i­tan State Uni­ver­sity Human Sub­jects Review Board web­site

    Research pro­pos­als are cat­e­go­rized based on their assumed risk fac­tor to par­tic­i­pants, and then reviewed by the HSRB in smaller groups. This speeds up the review process in an effi­cient and effec­tive way.

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