Are you planning on conducting a research project for a psychology course you are taking? Will your study participants come from the Psychology Department participant pool (Psych Pool)? If so, the following information will assist you with the IRB application process.

Note: An example of an “approvable” Psych Pool IRB application is available for you to use as a reference.* In order to abide by copyright laws, published data instruments originally used in this study (appendices F-H) have been omitted from this modified application.

Required Submission MaterialsThe items listed below must be included in your IRB application. Please also read the Submission Process section at the end of this page for additional important information.

1. IRB Application Form
All JCU faculty, staff, or student researchers must complete the IRB Application for Human Participant Research form for research projects involving human participants.  See the IRB Application Guidelines for general instructions on how to complete the application form. Please remember that you (and all members of your study team, if you are working in a group) must sign and date the last page of the application form. Your faculty advisor’s signature is also required on the first page of the form (Item 3c).

2. Documentation of participant informed consent
The following information regarding documentation of participant informed consent is appropriate for minimal risk studies (i.e., the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater in and of themselves than those ordinarily encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine physical or psychological examinations or tests). Most of the research conducted by students in the Psychology Department falls under this risk category. See Types of IRB Review for more information on IRB review categories.

  • Scenario A. Psych Pool participants only: Students who are enrolled in the JCU Psych Pool provide their informed consent electronically when they sign up to participate in a study. The participant enrollment process is managed by the Sona System (human participant management software). If your study participants will consist only of Psych Pool students, a print-out of the Sona System study description page is all that is required to document informed consent for these participants (see Appendix A of the sample IRB application).  The study description page should list the title of the study, a description of the study purpose, the procedures participants will be asked to perform, a statement that participants must be 18 or older, and the amount of research credit that will be awarded for participation.
  • Scenario B. Psych Pool and directly-recruited participants: If you plan to increase your sample size by recruiting participants from outside of the Psych Pool (i.e., directly recruited participants), you must obtain the informed consent of those participants prior to allowing them to participate in your study. This can be done by having participants read a study information sheet (see Appendix D of the sample IRB application). An information sheet contains all of the required informed consent elements but does not require the participant’s signature. Instead, the information sheet must include a sentence stating that by completing the study tasks, the participant has provided the researcher with his or her consent to participate. A paper copy of the information sheet can be given to the participant or it may be presented electronically in MediaLab prior to the study tasks. You must submit the information sheet and Sona study description page for review with your other IRB application materials.

3. Participant Recruitment Material (optional):
If you will use any recruitment material to advertise your study (e.g., flyers, study announcements, verbal or email solicitations, etc.), these items must be included in your submission materials (see Appendix B and Appendix C of the sample IRB application). Generally, recruitment material is only needed if you plan to directly recruit study participants (i.e., as in Scenario B, above).

4. Data Instruments:
You must submit copies of all data collection instruments (e.g., surveys interview questions, tests, tasks, etc.) that participants will be asked to complete or perform as part of your study (see Appendix E of the sample IRB application form). Please be sure to include any instructions (verbal or written) that will be provided to participants. If data instruments are available online (e.g., a survey posted on SurveyMonkey or Zoomerang), please provide the link to the finalized version of the instrument along with a printed copy of the instrument(s).

5. Debriefing Statement:
If you plan to debrief the participants after they have completed the study procedures, you must submit the debriefing statement along with the IRB application materials (see Appendix I of the sample IRB application form).

6. Photographs, Video Clips, Music, etc.:
Any visual and auditory media your participants will be exposed to must be reviewed by the IRB. Only printed copies of photos are accepted (so they may be easily sent out to reviewers); these do not need to be high quality prints. For music or video clips, a CD or flash drive may be submitted. If these items will be viewed online by participants, please submit the appropriate link. Please be mindful of copyright issues when using visual or auditory media for your research.

Submission Process:You must submit two copies of the IRB application form and all associated study materials. All documents must be in finalized format – drafts are not accepted. Please do not submit materials on flash drives or CDs (except music or video clips). Please label all study documents as appendices and refer to them accordingly in the IRB application form.

If you have any questions, please contact the IRB Administrator, Elizabeth Parsons.

*We wish to thank the JCU student who gave us permission to modify and post her approved IRB application on this web page.