Undergraduate Research and IRB Approval

For undergraduate student research (including honors theses), IRB approval is generally required if:

1) human subjects are involved, either directly or through use of identifiable data about them, AND

2) the study contributes to generalizable knowledge, which means that the results are presented in a forum in which professionals in the field will have access to and potentially use the information. 

Internal presentations (including the undergraduate research conference), or internal publications (including archiving a thesis on scholarworks), that are not intended to contribute to generalizable knowledge but to demonstrate the skill and ability of the students research, do not require IRB review.

NOTE: For research involving prisoners, children or other vulnerable populations, please check in with the Human Research Protection Office (HRPO) at 545-3428 or humansubjects@ora.umass.edu prior to beginning the research.