Research Involving Human Subjects

Faculty who conduct research involving human subjects, or who supervise students who do such research, must insure that procedures set by the University Institutional Review Board are strictly followed. Any research projects involving the use of human subjects, regardless of source of funding, must have IRB review and approval before data collection can begin. “Human subjects research” means any systematic investigation in which data are collected via intervention or interaction with any living individual or by collection of identifiable private information that is designed to develop or contribute to generalized knowledge. In addition to physical procedures and interactions, this includes research involving questionnaires, surveys, and interviews. Retroactive IRB approval of a project after data have been collected is not possible under the federal regulations, and conducting human subjects research without prospective IRB review and approval puts NIU in danger of federal sanctions and could jeopardize faculty and student (including thesis/dissertation) research progress. The University’s Office of Research Compliance has forms and helpful information posted on its web site.