Office of Research Assurances

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Washington State University Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Recommendations for Class Projects and Activities Involving Human Participants

Effective February 1, 2008 the WSU IRB will no longer oversee class projects and activities (those that are not considered research) involving human participants. For additional information and guidelines regarding WSU IRB policies and procedures contact the IRB at 335-3668.

Responsibility for Oversight of Student Projects/Activities

The faculty and the department have the responsibility for (1) making the decision whether class projects and student activities involving human participants meet the definition of research; (2) overseeing these activities; and (3) that ethical principles are adhered to in the conduct of those activities. Some basic issues that faculty and departments should address as they conduct activities involving human participants are:

  • Rights of the Participants:
    • Participants should be asked to participate and receive an explanation of what the activity is about
    • Participants should understand that their participation is voluntary
  • Adherence to local laws and regulations and the principles of the Belmont report:
    • WSU's ethics and policies
    • FERPA, PRPP etc.,
      • The following Belmont Principles should be adhered to when conducting the activity
        1. Respect for Persons: requires recognition of the personal dignity and autonomy of individuals, and special protection of those persons with diminished autonomy.
        2. Beneficence: entails an obligation to protect persons from harm by maximizing anticipated benefits and minimizing possible risks of harm.
        3. Justice: requires that the benefits and burdens of research be distributed equitably.
Non-WSU Facilities or Entities

If the activity will take place in non-WSU entities (such as public schools, churches, businesses, communities) permission should be obtained to carry out the activity for the entity involved. Activities may require additional approvals from school districts and/or parents.

The WSU IRB has additional guidance regarding activities involving certain vulnerable groups, people or individuals that may require the Office of Research Assurances to work with the faculty member and student. Contact the IRB at 335-3668.

Office of Research Assurances, P.O. Box 643143, Neill Room 427, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-3143
If you have any questions, please contact the IRB at or (509) 335-7646.