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Planning to Conduct Research in Schools: Working with the Schools and the VCU IRB A resource for investigators, research staff, students, and the IRB 8/07, rev. 1/09 Developed by:
A resource for investigators, research staff, students, and the IRB
8/07, rev. 1/09
With important input from:
Richmond-area school divisions
Types of research* conducted in schools*Human subjects research as defined by 45CFR46.102http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm#46.102
- surveys about lifestyles, attitudes, health (research exploring
student sexuality, illegal or incriminating behavior, or critical appraisals
of family members, etc. is usually not approvable by the division)
-observations of student, classroom, or teacher behavior
- interventions for health promotion and lifestyle change
before submitting to the VCU IRB.
See the Family Policy Compliance Office in the US Dept. of
Education for more information
[ http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html ]
closely monitored by the school/ school
division – windows for research may be few
and far between.
waiver of assent and/or parental permission is
justified and approved.
(Refer to the division’s administrative policies for clarification)
review research findings prior to publication
or presentation outside of the school
Type of IRB Review
Parental Opt Out (if permitted by the school division)
never see the ‘opt out’ information letter which their children are asked to bring home, parental permission or lack of permission cannot be presumed).
Parental ‘Opt In’ may be required
Check division policies before designing your study
Parental permission, waiver, documentation of permission
permission (often described as an ‘opt in’ process by the school
divisions), describe how parental permission/non-permission will
be tracked and how corresponding students will be identified.
Engagement of non-VCU institutions
(All Richmond-area local public school divisions now have FWAs).
- Indicate whether the school/division is “engaged” in the research. Describe the role of the school/school district and its personnel. (It may be possible to ‘disengage’ school personnel).
- If “engaged” and Federally-funded, provide the OHRP
Engagement of non-VCU institutions and training
Provide the IRB with info about the qualifications of personnel who will be involved or engaged. Describe the ‘who’ and ‘what’ for training about the protocol.
training ‘engaged’ school personnel about human
subjects protection. The alternative plan for
training must be approved by the IRB.
Readability of parental information
Endorsement of the research by the school district
investigator(s)’s name and contact info should appear on
the letter together with the name of the school/division’s
Describe school-imposed constraints and requirements
Be aware of IRB constraints and requirements
approved by the IRB before the changes are initiated.
Remember: The IRB review is highly dependent on the quality of the submission. Carefully address IRB instructions and provide thorough, well-organized information.