Frequently Asked Questions
Many of the same issues come up in every research proposal submitted to the committee. These questions and tips should help you to avoid these common issues in your own proposals.
May I gather data before submitting my proposal?
No! The purpose of the committee is to protect your subjects, and to do so we may request changes to your consent form, procedures, etc. That cannot be done if you have already gathered data. Proposals must be submitted in advance of your research project.
When you sign your proposal (by typing your name in the signature line), you are certifying that you have not yet started gathering data for your research.
If you do collect data before approval of your proposal, that will disqualify the use of your research for class purposes, and may be treated under the University's Academic Dishonesty policies.
How do I sign the proposal?
Simply type your name into the signature line in the document. That constitutes your signature on the proposal.
What is the deadline for submitting my proposal?
Semester deadlines are given on the main ACHS webpage, though proposals may be submitted after the deadline, if there is no need for approval during the semester in question. There is no specific day of the week or time of day deadline. The committee will process proposals in the order they are received and as quickly as possible, depending on volume.
How do I find out the status of my proposal?
If the proposal is fine, or needs fairly minor changes, you or your advisor will receive an email detailing what needs changed. If the proposal needs significant changes, the email will still be sent, but if needed a committee member can also be consulted to improve the chances of the proposal being approved on resubmission.
Should I get external agency permission before or after I submit my proposal?
Any research involving external agencies (including but not limited to schools or police agencies) needs permission from the external agency before commencing. The committee is willing to look at proposals before that permission is given, but final approval cannot be given until we have seen the permission.
What sort of permission is appropriate from external agencies?
A simple email from the head of the agency is sufficient. This can be included in the proposal document itself. Include all header information so that we can see that the email was actually sent. Please submit the entire correspondence on the subject of permissions.
My survey isn't in electronic form! How do I submit it along with the proposal?
A paper copy of the survey can be sent through campus mail to the committee chair, along with a note about which research proposal it accompanies. This also applies to permission letters from agencies, in the event that you have a paper copy and no email.
My survey is too large to email!
This usually happens when the survey contains photographs the subject must examine. You can submit a single paper copy of the survey to the chair of the committee, and submit your actual proposal document via email normally. Sometimes separating photos and sending as a followup email will work around this issue.