Students Conducting Human Subjects Research

The UMass Amherst Human Research Protection Office (HRPO) offers assistance for students navigating the Institutional Review Board (IRB) review process.  Whether you are conducting human subjects research as part of an honors project, thesis or dissertation project, or an independent study, the HRPO staff is here to help!

The first step is to determine whether your project needs to be reviewed by the IRB or if it qualifies as a class project that does not require IRB review.  Please click HERE for guidance on determining whether or not your project needs to be reviewed by the IRB.  In the event your project DOES NOT require IRB review, you will receive documentation from the HRPO stating that the IRB has made this determination.

If it is determined that your project DOES require IRB review, you will be required to submit an IRB application via e-protocol, the web-based system for submission and review of IRB applications.  PLEASE NOTE: Access to the e-protocol system will not be granted until all required Human Subjects Protection training is complete.  Please see the training section of the HRPO website for more information regarding training. We suggest downloading and reviewing the Student Handbook: A Guide to Conducting Human Subject Research which summarizes important components of the federal regulations, introduces the commonly cited ethical principles that serve as the foundation for the ethical conduct of human subject research, and provides guidance on UMass Amherst human subject research policies and IRB processes.

Students conducting human subjects research must have a faculty sponsor who will be responsible for advising on the project and ensuring the ethical conduct of research.  Both the student and faculty sponsor must complete the human subjects training and obtain access to the e-protocol system.  Instructions for obtaining access to the e-protocol system can be found here.

HRPO staff are available to consult with students regarding their research projects. If it has been determined that your project requires IRB review and you would like assistance navigating the IRB submission process, please fill out the HRPO Student Consultation Registration Form

PLEASE NOTE: HRPO staff cannot assist in the development of your research project.  This should be done with your faculty sponsor.  HRPO staff will assist you with your IRB application and other materials required as part of the application process.