Skip to this page's content

Frequently Asked Questions

What constitutes human subjects research?

You are conducting research any time you systematically and purposefully obtain information by asking questions of and/or observing people in order to gather data for the purpose of generating knowledge. This definition applies to a classroom assignment, paper, presentation, pilot study, research project, thesis, or dissertation.

What is a human subject?

A human subject is defined as any living person. Research involving laboratory animals is approved and monitored by the College's Animal Care and Use Committee.

How does the IRB evaluate studies conducted for a class assignment?

A study is considered a "student class project," if it is a systematic investigation that students conduct as assignments designed to teach human research methods, where the results and data are not being disseminated outside of the classroom. This excludes all faculty research and any graduate research relating to thesis or dissertation.

Class projects cannot involve the following participants: institutionalized persons, persons unable to consent, children or members of a subject pool. Data collected for class projects is the student's data and should not be utilized by faculty or instructors without the student's express written permission. Faculty and instructors are not permitted to use class projects as a means of collecting data for their use.

Training Requirements: Supervising faculty or instructors must complete the CITI human subjects protection educational training. The IRB requires that students also complete this training. The IRB requires that students also complete this training. Supervising faculty / instructors are responsible for the ethical conduct of class project research.


Main College Building
Room E-206
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115


Jon Kimball
Phone: 617-521-2411

Valerie Beaudrault
Grant & Contract Administrator & Human Protections Administrator
Phone: 617-521-2415


Monday -Friday
8:30am - 4:30pm