Recruitment of Students

Recruitment of Students for Research Studies:

This section discusses three distinct groups of students – a PI’s current students, other University students, and students at other schools who are participants in University studies.

University policy regarding protection of human participants must be followed with all students, whether they are University students or students at another school. Additional protections are required when the potential research participants are a PI’s current students. A PI’s current students include those at University or at any other location(s) where the person teaches under the auspices of the University (e.g., student teaching, prison-based courses).

The University does not normally allow students to participate in a research study conducted by a PI from whom they are currently taking classes except under the exemption categories [45 CFR 46.101(b)(1)]. This practice is used to minimize any possible explicit or implicit coercion, and maximize the possibility of having true informed consent, without duress.  If the nature of the study or other circumstances makes it impossible to conduct the study without using one’s own students, the IRB may consider exceptions on an individual basis.

The preferred method is to have data collected by an independent third party (e.g., colleague in own or other department), in such a way that the instructor does not know the identity of the participants and does not have access to identifiable data until final course grades have been assigned and entered. If data are collected in the classroom, the instructor shall not be present. The third party cannot be a graduate assistant assigned to the course, but may be a graduate assistant who works on the study. This method should be used wherever feasible, even if the information from the students is anonymous (e.g., anonymous self-administered survey).

The University discourages situations that allow a student to enter the faculty researcher’s class while that student is participating in the faculty member’s research project. While this may not be avoidable (e.g., due to scheduling of courses in a student’s major), special care must be taken to follow the rules discussed above.