All research conducted by Bethel students or with members of the Bethel community must be reviewed and approved, prior to the collection of any data, at the appropriate IRB level of review. The level of review necessary for a specific investigation is based on the content and methodology of the study.
Once You've Determined Your Level of Review
Once you've determined your level of review, you'll be able to continue the process of having your research reviewed by the appropriate groups.
Researcher(s) will be notified of the Committee's decision regarding their proposed project within 1-2 days following the Committee meeting. However the review process may take up to 2 weeks, so please plan accordingly.
As part of the review process, all researchers must submit a signed copy of the Human Subjects Review Form (doc). The form must include the researcher's signature and, if necessary, her/his advisor's signature (indicating that the advisor has reviewed the materials). Incomplete submissions will be returned to the researcher without review and the researcher will be required to re-submit all forms and supplemental materials for review.
Here's a checklist (pdf) to help you as you go through the review process.
If you're uncertain which level of review your research requires, contact your professor/supervisor or the Institutional Review Board chairperson.
Level 1: Research to be reviewed by the Bethel Institutional Review Board
Review by the Bethel IRB will take place through either an expedited review process or full committee review (required when the research is deemed to constitute greater than minimal risk to participants).
Researchers submitting proposals to the IRB Committee for Level 1 review are required to complete research ethics training through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). You'll need to include your certificate of completion to the IRB committee with your supplemental materials.
Evaluate the Risk of Your Research
In conjunction with determining whether your research meets criteria for Level 1 review, please also determine whether your research constitutes greater than minimal risk.
Minimal risk means that 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. Please also consult U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and/or Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP).
Submit Your Review Form and Supplemental Materials
If your research includes any of the elements that constitute Level 1 research, or your research constitutes greater than minimal risk, you must complete and submit the following:
- Human Subjects Review Form (doc)
- Research Ethics Training documentation of completion
- Informed Consent Form
- Survey/questionnaire/interview questions
- Written documentation of permission from appropriate institutional authorities for research conducted at sites beyond Bethel University
Completed forms and supplemental materials must be submitted by mail or email to:
Bethel University Institutional Review Board, P.O. Box 2322
3900 Bethel Drive, St. Paul, MN 55112
The IRB Committee meets the second Thursday of the month during the fall and spring semesters. If you would like your proposed research study reviewed by the IRB Committee, please submit the required paperwork prior to 9 a.m. on the date of the scheduled review.
Please note: IRB approval means that the IRB Committee has determined that the proposed research project plan adequately protects human subjects. Approval therefore only applies to the proposed project described in the Human Subjects Review Form (doc) which was submitted for review. The researcher(s) must obtain additional prospective approval from the IRB for any changes to the proposed project that will affect the welfare of human subjects. It is also the responsibility of the researcher(s) to report to the IRB any unanticipated problems that may affect the welfare of human subjects. Researchers should consult Bethel University's procedures for Reporting Noncompliance, Suspensions, Terminations and Unanticipated Problems (pdf). Approval of a proposed project is only valid for one year. The researcher(s) must submit an updated Human Subjects Review Form (doc) for continued approval if the research lasts more than one calendar year.
Level 2: Research to be reviewed by the supervising department(s)
If your research includes any elements in Level 2, you must submit your completed Human Subjects Review Form (doc) to the person specified by your department.
Contact your department for specific review procedures. If your department doesn't have a procedure in place for reviewing Level 2 research, follow the steps for Level 1 research.
Level 3: Research to be reviewed by the instructor or supervisor
If your research includes any elements in Level 3, you must submit your completed Human Subjects Review Form (doc) to your instructor or supervisor for approval.
Contact your faculty supervisor for specific review procedures. If your faculty supervisor doesn't have a procedure in place for reviewing Level 3 research, follow the steps for Level 1 research.