Risk Management and Institutional Review Board Review

Any student, staff or faculty member planning to conduct any project that involves research with living beings, therapeutic procedures with others, backcountry-technical skills, travel out of the country, contact with native cultures or lands, or interaction with sensitive ecosystems or endangered species must go through a risk management review and a human subjects review. Reviews are required for any such projects conducted under the auspices of the College whether as a part of undergraduate or graduate courses, mentored studies, capstone projects, theses, or dissertations. Students planning such a project should contact their faculty advisor early to begin the review process.

Risk Management for Independent Projects

The College assesses the potential risk to students and legal risk (vulnerability) to the College of certain types of mentored studies and projects.

Projects requiring review can be divided into the following types, each carrying varying levels of potential risk:

  1. International/Intercultural studies
  2. Human services studies
  3. Field-based studies

A risk management form for each of these types of study is provided on the college’s website. The student handbook and the risk management forms provide detailed information about each category of risk, to assist students in arranging studies that meet approval criteria. Forms to be reviewed by the Risk Management officer must be submitted to the Risk Manager before the independent study deadline (see calendar). Although the Risk Manager can review and approve study plans, it is impossible to guarantee a student’s safety during an independent study. Students are directly accountable for their own actions and accept whatever uncontrollable risks accompany an independent study. Questions about the risk management process should be directed to Cecil Goodman (cgoodman@prescott.edu).

Institutional Review Board – Living Subjects Protections

All research involving human subjects, and all other activities, which in part involve such research, regardless of sponsorship, must be reviewed and approved via Institutional Review Board (IRB) Proposal Review Process. The IRB Proposal Review Form is submitted with the Senior Project, Thesis Plan, Dissertation/Project Proposal or equivalent. The IRB proposal review is conducted by the student’s faculty advisor via the Individual Graduation Committee, Doctoral Committee, Curriculum Committee, or equivalent who are part of the IRB process. Please note:

  1. No intervention or interaction with human subjects in research, including advertising, recruitment and/or screening, may begin until the IRB review is complete, and the proposed project has been approved.
  2. It is the responsibility of the IRB Chairperson, her/his designee or the full IRB Committee to determine what activities constitute “research” involving “human subjects” as defined by the Federal regulations.
  3. All students/faculty involved in conducting or reviewing research activities must provide documentation of completion of an approved online course on conducting research with human subjects.