Office of Sponsored Projects Administration | Human Subjects Research

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Human Subjects Research

Avoid problems!  Be proactive and ask for assistance from the HSC before starting your research.

The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services requires that all research projects involving human subjects be screened to confirm that the subjects' rights, privacy, welfare, and civil liberties are protected.

The SIUC Human Subjects Committee is responsible for reviewing all human-subjects research projects, regardless of discipline or funding source, conducted by individuals affiliated with SIUC, including students. This review protects not only the human subjects involved in a research project, but also the researcher and, by extension, the University.  No research involving human subjects should be conducted prior to receiving committee approval. 

            Does your project require HSC review?  Answer the following questions:

  1.  Is it Human Subjects?
    1. Will you be collecting information directly through interaction with people, such as interviews, procedures, or questionnaires?
    2. Will you be collecting information indirectly about individuals from an existing source of data?
    3. Will the information you collect be linkable to an individual by name or any other identifier, or by deductive reasoning?
    4. Will the information you collect be used now or at a later time as part of a research project?
    5. Does the information you plan to collect involve children, prisoners, persons with diminished mental capacity, persons in a residential program, or clients of a human service program?
  2. Is it Research?
    1. Is the intent of the project to conduct a systemic investigation (hypothesis driven testing, analysis and interpretation) in order to contribute to generalizable knowledge (applicable to populations outside the research subjects, used to predict future events, can be broadly applied to enhance scientific or academic theories or principles)?
    2. Is the project part of an honors project, thesis, dissertation or any other purpose that will lead to publication or presentation of outcomes?

If you answered “YES” to any question in part A, AND either question in part B, you MUST submit an HSC application for review. Failure to submit an application for research that is subject to Human Subjects Committee review can leave the researcher subject to liability and prevent the publication of the research results.

To submit a project for review, first familiarize yourself with the committee procedures and the Human Subjects Guide. Then fill out and submit a Human Subjects Research Application (see below). (Researchers, please note: Some aspects of the committee procedures have recently been revised; see the last three sections of that document in particular.)

Note that most class projects designed to teach research methods are not considered research, and the SIUC Human Subjects Committee does not review them. There are exceptions, however. Students and faculty should read Section 7.3 of the Human Subjects Guide for more information. Plan ahead. If a class project has to be reviewed by the committee, the project may be delayed for several weeks before it is finally approved.

Note also that while many projects involving human subjects may be considered Category I or II (see committee procedures) only the Human Subjects Committee can make that determination.  If in doubt, contact the Human Subjects Committee at

HSC Review Process

Download a PDF of this Chart – For more information see HSC Procedures

* If the committee does not approve the revised protocol a revised application will be requested, the applicant can then choose to revise the protocol or withdraw the application.  A protocol must receive approval before human subjects can be used in research.

The committee meets the first Friday of each month if they have received applications that require full committee review, please contact siuhsc@siu.edufor further information.

Contact Information:

Karen Rowland

Secretary, Human Subjects Committee

Woody Hall C-214


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