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Policy & Procedures

In accordance with federal guidelines for the protection of human subjects, research involving human subjects is defined as any systematic investigation of living human subjects or human materials that is designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.   Human subjects research which requires review by the IRB includes faculty research, master's theses, and senior projects as well as research conducted on campus by parties not directly affiliated with the University. While the ethical principles for research are often applicable to classroom activities, demonstrations, and assignments, the IRB does not review classroom activities unless data will be collected and used in a systematic investigation.

The policies of Cal Poly’s IRB are fully described in the document "Policies and Procedures of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) (aka Policies and Procedures for Human Research Protection)" (PDF) as originally published on September 11, 2007. It will be updated periodically with a date notation in applicable sections - the current version is April 2015. Hard copies are available upon request from the Office of Research Compliance Associate. Please bring issues (typographical errors, questions, suggestions for inclusion, etc.) to the attention of any member of the IRB.

Related Links

US - Office for Human Research Protections

The Harvard Public Health Rules web site and The Global Research Ethics Map both provide information on international IRB activity