Human Subjects Research

In the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences there is a great need to have people participate as subjects in research. The department has a reputation for excellence in research and scholarship, as well as in teaching. Student participation in studies conducted by members of the department helps create this reputation for excellence. In fact, much of the research taught in psychology courses is based on participation of undergraduate students. Typically students participate in research as part of their courses. Most faculty in our department believe that it is justified to link research participation to enrollment in psychology courses. We hope you'll get involved in some of the SONA Human Subjects Research being conducted in the department.

While students provide a valuable service by donating their time to research, they too elicit benefits to participation. Students experience first hand what it is like to be a subject and to some extent, learn the context in which psychological data are typically gathered. Researchers provide educational information to subjects explaining their studies. Students can learn the hypothesis and designs of the studies in which they have participated. Further, many undergraduates continue on to advance work in which they conduct their own studies in laboratory or special problems courses. Having prior experience as subjects helps them design their own studies. If you are a student looking for studies to participate in, please see our Human Subjects Research page.

All faculty and students who desire to do research with human subjects must have this research approved by the university IRB and must comply with department procedures concerning human subject research. If you are interested in submitting a proposal for research on human subjects, contact the Human Subjects Administrator by email or at (413) 545-4879.

All personnel involved with human subject research must complete CITI training.  Once the lab is in compliance a protocol may be submitted to the HRPO through E-protocol.

For more information, please visit the UMass IRB website.