Charles Center Undergraduate StudentIRB

The Charles Center StudentIRB committee is intended for undergraduate research originating specifically from the Charles Center AND Department Honors research .
Please select the StudentIRB template in the Protocol and Compliance Management System.

All other undergraduate research involving human subjects, including research done in courses, should be submitted to PHSC for review.

According to 45 CFR 46, the Code of Federal Regulations, The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services has mandated that research involving human subjects must be approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) registered with the Office of Human Research Protections to ensure the safety and the appropriate use of humans as subjects in research studies.

Charles Center undergraduate student research at William & Mary is restricted to the "Exempt" category of research only. The term "Exempt" does not affect the requirements for Informed Consent and protection of human subjects.

The definition of "Exempt," as it applies to Charles Center undergraduate student research with human subjects, means that:

  • The undergraduate student researcher must not cause harm to research participants: "harm" may apply to one's physical, psychological or emotional well-being, reputation, and/or employability.
  • The research is anonymous; and
  • the proposed research must fall under at least one of the following six categories in order for the Charles Center StudentIRB to authorize the research project:

1) Research conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings, involving normal educational practices, such as:(a) research on regular and special education instructional strategies, or (b) research on the effectiveness of or the comparison among instructional techniques, curricula or classroom management methods.

2) Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures or observation of public behavior, unless:(a) information obtained is recorded in such a manner that subjects can be identified, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects and (b)any disclosure of the human subjects' responses outside the research could reasonably place the subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the subjects' financial standing employability or reputation.

3) Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures, or observation of public behavior that is not exempt under paragraph #2 (above) if:  (a) the human subjects are elected or appointed public officials or candidates for public office, or (b)federal statute(s) require(s) without exception that the confidentiality of the personally identifiable information will be maintained throughout the research and thereafter.

4) Research involving the collection or study of existing data, documents, records, pathological specimens or diagnostic specimens, if these sources are publicly available or the information is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that the subjects cannot be identified directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects.

5) Research and demonstration projects which are conducted by or subject to the approval of  (federal) department or agency heads and which are designed to study, evaluate or otherwise examine:(a) public benefit or service programs, (b) procedures for obtaining benefits or services under those programs, (c) possible changes in or alternatives to those programs or procedures, or (d) possible changes in methods or levels of payment for benefits or services under those programs.

6) Taste and food quality and consumer acceptance studies, if: (a) wholesome foods without additives are consumed or (b) if a food is consumed that contains a food ingredient at or below the level and for a use found to be safe, or agricultural chemical or environmental contaminant at or below the level found to be safe by the Food and Drug Administration or approved by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Food Safety  and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

*W&M IRB Registration is required for all exempt research
*Exemptions do not apply to research involving prisoners (45 CFR Part 46, Subpart C)
*Exempt Category 2 does not apply to research with children (45 CFR Part 46, Subpart D) except for research involving educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement) or observations of public behavior when the researcher(s) do not participate in the activities being observed.

All undergraduates with funding through the Charles Center who are conducting research on human subjects must name the faculty advisor of record for the research protocol within the Protocol and Compliance Management system. 

As the Primary Investigator of record, it is the duty of the named faculty advisor to review the protocol (and all associated documents) with the undergraduate student prior to submission to the online Protocol and Compliance Management system

Faculty Advisors must complete the CITI Human Subjects training for their area of discipline prior to endorsing the student protocol submission.  Both the Faculty Advisor and the student's CITI certificate of training completion are required to be uploaded to the protocol form.

These are required for Charles Center Undergraduate StudentIRB protocol:

  • Student must be an undergraduate whose research is funded by the Charles Center OR a student conducting Department Honors research.
  • Advisor must oversee research design and agree to serve as W&M faculty member-of-record for StudentIRB review.
  • Advisor must complete the CITI human subjects training in their area of expertise: AREA I: Humanities-PHSC, AREA II:  Social & Behavioral Research or AREA III: Biomedical Research Investigators-PHSC.
  • Student must complete the Charles Center StudentIRB training module in CITI prior to protocol submission
  • Student must attach the CITI certificate of training (pdf) completion to the protocol submission. Note: this training takes a significant amount of time and MUST be completed prior to the submission of the protocol.
  • Title to protocol submission to Charles Center StudentIRB must begin as follows
    (1) "Sophomore/Junior Monroe Scholar Project: Project Title"
    (2) "First-year Monroe Scholar Project: Project Title"
    (3) "Sharpe Program Summer Research: Project Title"
    (4) "WMSURE Program Summer Research: Project Title"
    (5) "Charles Center Summer Research: Project Title"
    (6) "Semester Research Grant: Project Title"
    (7) "Department Honors Research: Title"
  • If a questionnaire or survey is to be used in the research, all questions must be attached to the protocol (PDF) for StudentIRB review or it will be returned for revisions.  This will delay approval for protocol
  • Informed Consent must be attached to protocol as PDF.
  • When obtaining the Informed Consent participant signature there must be a witness signature as well.

The Informed Consent form must include the following:

  1. Brief statement of study: scope, aims, purpose.
  2. What is expected of the research subject (to include expected duration of subject's participation).
  3. A statement that there are no perceived risks associated with participation with this research project.
  4. A statement advising research subject if there are any anticipated benefits to the subject.
  5. A statement describing the extent, if any, to which confidentiality of record(s) will be maintained.
  6. A statement that the subject has been advised that participation is voluntary and he/she may discontinue participation at any time without penalty/
  7. A statement confirming that the research subject is 18 years old or older.
  8. A statement advising the research subject that he/she may receive a copy of research results.
  9. The name of the faculty advisor for the research and contact information for whom to contact for answers pertinent to questions about the research and research subject's rights.
  10. A statement disclosing that the Charles Center is the source of funding in the Informed Consent form.
  11. A statement indicating the research has been reviewed by William & Mary Student IRB on (date), is determined to be "Exempt," and will expire on (date).
  12. A statement that subject may report dissatisfactions with any aspect of this study to Dr. Jennifer Stevens, Chair of the Protection of Human Subjects Committee, by telephone (757-221-3862) or email (