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?
The committee meets weekly, with the exact day depending on the members' schedules that semester. Proposals must, in general, be submitted by noon two days in advance of the meeting day to have a good chance of being process at the next meeting.
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.
If you submit by the deadline, and have not heard about your proposal within a week of the next committee meeting, feel free to email a committee member to ask the status.
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.
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.