Samples and Guidelines

Many research projects incorporate the use of remote technologies such as online survey services and videoconferencing platforms to support virtual research interactions.

If you intend to administer an online survey as a part of your research project, Select Survey, a web-based survey tool, is available for use for all CCSU students, faculty, and staff. This survey tool houses all data securely on campus and allows for real-time results.

If you intend to contact research participants by using a videoconferencing platform, Microsoft Teams and WebEx are available for internal and external video and voice calls. Both platforms also allow for the recording and storage of calls.

Detailed information about these and other available software services that are supported by CCSU’s IT Department can be found on the IT Service Catalog.

With the use of any videoconferencing platform or other remote technology, please be mindful that you need to protect your participants’ confidentiality to the greatest possible degree. This can be accomplished by enabling features such as password protections and virtual waiting rooms.

Please contact the IRB if you have any questions about designing your research project in a virtual environment.

To assist in the development of an initial IRB submission, here are a few samples of previously approved protocols. Please be sure to customize your own protocol based upon your own proposed research.

Educational Leadership Dissertation Example

Physical Ed and Human Performance Dissertation

Psych Science Student Project

Protocol for Collecting from an Identifiable Dataset

The consent process refers to the procedure(s) for conveying information about your study to potential participants and securing their agreement to participate. The purpose of an informed consent document is to make participants fully aware of the risks and benefits of a study, as well as all of the tasks they will be asked to complete if they choose to participate in the research. This awareness and understanding is typically acknowledged via the participant’s signature on the informed consent form, which acknowledges his or her agreement to participate in the research.

Participants should always be informed 1) that they have the right to cease participating in a study at any point in time during the research, 2) that they are free to not answer any questions they are not comfortable answering, and 3) as to what degree the results of the study may become public information and to what degree they could be identified.

Informing human participants about the purpose of a research study and any related procedures is an ethical requirement that enables participants to make an educated decision about whether or not they wish to take part in a proposed study.

Informed Consent Guidance

Informed Consent Template

Informed Consent Example (Paper)

Informed Consent Example (Online)

If any participants in your study will be minors, you must create an assent process for the minors to complete in addition to an informed consent form for parents/guardians to sign. An assent form is different from an informed consent form in that an assent form is specifically designed to simply document that the minor assents to participate in the study and understands what he or she will be expected to do as part of the study. The assent process can be written or verbal, depending on the age of the child, and must be written at a level of understandability based on the children’s ages. Assent in research expresses a willingness to participate by individuals who are too young to give informed consent. In the US, this is anyone under the age of 18.

Assent Form for Minors Guidelines

Assent Form for Minors Sample

If you will recruit participants from an external organization and/or perform data collection at a site outside of CCSU, you typically must obtain written permission to do so from the relevant gatekeeper(s), who is the head (or designee) of the organization or site at which your research activities will take place – such as a school principal, clinic director, department manager, club leader, or program administrator. It is customary for the Principal Investigator to request a letter directly from the gatekeeper. Besides providing necessary documentation for your project’s review by the IRB, personal communication with the gatekeeper will pave the way for executing your project once IRB approval is in hand.

Gatekeeper Letter - Guidelines

Gatekeeper Letter Examples

If you are an instructor who wishes to incorporate research with human participants into your classes, please consult our CCSU Policy on Class Research Assignments and IRB Review. This document provides guidance as to whether or not your students' research will require IRB review.

Please consult the CCSU IRB Guidelines for Collection of Demographic Data in Research Studies if any demographic information will be collected from participants.

The IRB reviews research involving secondary data analyses to determine whether the rights and privacy of the human participants from whom the data were collected will be fully protected and that the original data collection did not violate the rights of the human participants. For studies that involve the analysis of a pre-existing data set, wherein the data to be studied contain information about human subjects, researchers must receive IRB approval before beginning their analyses.

Under the federal regulations, a human subject is defined as “a living individual about whom an investigator… obtains, uses, studies, analyzes, or generates identifiable private information…” [45 CFR 46.102(e)(1)(ii)].

The IRB may only consider studies for review as a secondary data analysis if the data were originally collected for a purpose other than contributing to generalizable knowledge. Since the IRB cannot retroactively approve studies, it is recommended that researchers seek IRB approval prior to the start of data collection if a study is designed to serve a dual purpose, such as contributing to both institutional research and generalizable knowledge. Specific scenarios in which researchers may wish for the IRB to consider their research for a secondary data analysis review are outlined in detail here to help you decide the appropriateness of your study for this type of review.