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Information for students doing human subjects research while on Study Abroad Programs

Many study abroad programs contain a research component as part of their coursework. If you wish to use the results from this research in your Plan (which is considered a publication, since it is publicly available) or in another publication, you will need to have approval from an IRB. In general, we encourage any student who anticipates conducting research on their study abroad programs – and using the results from this research in their Plan – to contact the IRB before they leave so that we can discuss the details of your program.

Often, study abroad programs will have their own internal IRB process. If your study abroad institution has an IRB that your project is already going through, please submit those forms to us so that we have them on record.

If you are doing work abroad and aren’t using an external IRB process, and you anticipate having a short turnaround time between submitting your IRB application and beginning research (i.e. if the details of your research can’t be finalized until shortly before it is conducted – and you plan to use this research in your Plan or other publication), please let the IRB committee know before you go abroad so that we can plan for this. We suggest filling out the application form and the informed consent documents to the best of your knowledge and submitting to them to the IRB as early as possible – you can always let us know if any part of your research plan changes.

In summary, if you plan to conduct research on a study abroad program that you want to publish or use in your Plan:

  • If the program has an internal IRB process:
    • Please submit the paperwork as soon as you can, to us so that we have it on record.
  • If the program does not have an internal IRB process, or you are not going abroad through a study abroad program:
    • Please submit your IRB application, informed consent forms, and any supplemental material as soon as possible.
    • If you anticipate not knowing the full details of your research project until well into the semester, please fill out the materials to the best of your ability as a pre-proposal. Then, when you know the full details of your research, please inform the IRB of the changes before you begin doing research.
    • Be in touch with the Marlboro IRB early in the semester, particularly if you anticipate having a short turnaround time between submitting your IRB application and beginning research.

If you have any questions, please contact the Marlboro IRB.