Before you start your IRB application, complete the NIH online training course for Protecting Human Subject Research Participants.

  • All Furman researchers using human subjects must complete the online training course. You will be given a certificate of completion when you have finished.  Please save a copy of this to your computer and submit it with your IRB application.
  • If you have already completed the NIH online training course and your certificate is on file, please list your IRB # on FORM A where asked.

Key Issues to Consider When Preparing your Application

  • The application narrative is critical to the IRB understanding your research question, methodology and engagement of human participants in your investigation.  As such it is critical to adequately and fully describe the purpose of your proposed study and what risks participants may encounter as well as the benefits.
  • If you are using instruments, include citations for their validity and what level of training is required to administer and interpret these instruments.  If you are using an survey (online or written) or oral interviews please provide the survey or script.  If you are asking open ended questions, please provide a list of the seed questions.
  • Be sure to allow sufficient time for obtaining signature approvals, permission letter(s) from school districts or other entities, and IRB review and approval.  Applications should have the specific start and end dates of the research project, not semester starting and end dates.

Informed Consent Documents

  • Informed consent documents should be personable and informative to allow participants to decide if they want to be part of the study.  Three contact names and phone numbers should be on all consent forms: the researcher's, the faculty advisor and the IRB administrator.  This allows multiple contacts in the event that parents, participants or agency heads have questions concerning the proposed research.
  • If you are using deception in any way, please address why and describe how you will debrief the subjects.
  • It is required that you note on the informed consent how you will be keeping your participants information confidential and who will have access to that data during the study.  Please also note what you will be doing with the participants information after the study ends.
  • Be sure to include that you are a Furman University student and that the information obtained will be used for your research project.

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