Human Research Participants Committee

The Human Research Participants Committee works to ensure that human research participants are treated with dignity, respect, and in ways that are ethically consistent with government, discipline (e.g., American Psychological Association Guidelines), and Anderson University standards. The committee is composed of six members appointed by the Provost for a three-year term. Several departments have formed their own committees to approve projects in their specific discipline areas. (See “How to Submit a Proposal” tab below.)

Proper evaluation of proposed research helps to protect prospective participants, researchers, and the institution from unethical practices and possible resulting litigation.

Individuals who wish to conduct research involving human participants as noted above should be familiar with the procedures and rules for submitting proposals.

In order to protect the rights of participants and the integrity of the research process, the use of AU students as human participants must be approved by the Human Research Participants Committee.

Approval is needed for all data collected meeting any of these criteria:

  1. All data collection for publication.
  2. All data collection conducted by persons not employed by AU.
  3. All data collection conducted by AU students, staff, or faculty which might in any way be construed to place any participant at physical, emotional, or psychological risk.
  4. All data collection on sensitive topics, like sexuality or violence.
  5. All data collection in which participants are asked to divulge highly personal or sensitive information (e.g., health status, history of abuse, sexual attitudes, religious values, etc.).
  6. All data collection which involves deception or less than complete disclosure of the intent of the data collection.
  7. All data collection on human participants conducted by AU students, faculty, or staff, involving off-campus participants.
  8. As part of the university’s commitment to ongoing assessment, student assignments may be copied and used for assessment purposes.  Every effort will be made to ensure confidentiality and assessment results will only be reported as aggregated data.

Assignments given by instructors which meet the following criteria, do not require priorcommittee approval:

  1. The course is a regular catalog course (not a tutorial or independent study/research project).
  2. The assignment accounts for less than 10% of the course grade.
  3. Research participants are limited to students in the class.
  4. The research does not place participants at risk (as defined above).
  5. The research is not on sensitive topics (as defined above).

If there is any doubt, consult with the committee chair for clarification.

Meeting Procedures

The committee meets when the need arises. The committee will elect a chair and a secretary. Normally, minutes of its meetings will be sent to the Provost.

Expedited Review

Expedited review allows for the proposal to be approved by the committee chair rather than the entire committee, resulting in a faster turnaround time.

Proposals which meet the following requirements are eligible for expedited review:

  • The participants must be legal adults.
  • The data collected must be on non-sensitive topics.
  • The research must be done entirely by online survey with no personally identifying information collected.

 The chair can for any reason send the proposal to the entire committee if in the chair’s judgment additional input is desirable.

Choose the proper committee: In order to conduct research that meets the criteria established by the Human Research Participants Committee, the following procedures must be followed:

  1. Review the list of departmental/program research contacts below. If your project pertains to any of the programs, consult with the appropriate contact person regarding the nature of the project you wish to conduct.
  2. For all other research projects, please consult with Dr. Lee Griffith regarding the nature of the project you wish to conduct.
  3. Complete and submit your research proposal in accordance with the rules for research proposals submitted to the HRPC.

Research Proposals

In order to conduct research that meets certain criteria involving human participants at Anderson University, you must submit a research proposal form [DOCX].

Please consult with Dr. Lee Griffith, or the appropriate departmental research contact, before you complete this form.

Contact Information

If your research pertains to any of the following programs or departments, please consult with the appropriate contact person. For all other projects, please contact Dr. Lee Griffith.

The following rules will be followed for research proposals submitted to the Anderson University Human Research Participants Committee for approval.

  1. All proposals must be received and approved before institutional funds have been committed.
  2. All proposals must be received and approved before the research program is announced.
  3. All proposals must be made with adequate time prior to implementation for them to be revised if not approved.If conditions 1-3 are not met, the committee will not be able to approve the proposal. The committee may still be able to comment on the proposal or make suggestions on its implementation. It may also be able to concur with the decision or accede to the request for review but it will not be able to ethically approve the proposal.
  4. All proposals must be accompanied by a statement of objectives both of the research in general and for each item of data being collected.
  5. All proposals should be submitted by e-mail to the committee chair whenever possible. When this is not possible (i.e. due to preprinted surveys), sufficient copies of all needed materials should be submitted to the chair to provide to each committee memberIf conditions 4 and 5 are not met, the decision of the committee will be delayed until these materials are supplied. Normal turnaround time for the committee is not less than two weeks from the receipt of a completed proposal. It may be considerably more under some circumstances.