Faculty Resources

Animal Care & Human Subjects

Per Federal guidelines every institution must have an Institutional Review Board (IRB) for maintaining safety and integrity in its research practices.  The Animal Care and Human Subjects (ACHS) committee serves the role of an IRB for the university.  The APAP describes the functions and responsibilities of committees at the university.

The primary purpose of the ACHS is to ensure you understand what risks exist for the subjects of your research, and that you have minimized those risks.  To protect your subjects we may request changes to your procedures or forms.

With regards to animals in classrooms, animal experimentation requires review and approval by the ACHS committee. While we support the educational use of live animals in the classroom, ultimately decisions to incorporate live animals in the classroom should balance the ethical and responsible care of animals with their educational value.

Faculty considering the use of live animals in their classroom should also consider alternatives to the use of live animals. The Altweb site may be useful. 


The current committee consists of:

  • Lisa Marshall, Chair
  • Derek Bennett
  • Brian Bergstrom
  • Michael Carvaines
  • Rachel Elliott, Veterinarian
  • Makena Miller, Student Representative
  • Scott Pray


Research advisors, please download the Research Advisor Checklist and do not submit proposals that fail any of the checklist items. Your cooperation ensures that when you do submit proposals, they can be approved in a timely manner.


In general, you can expect to receive feedback within two weeks of the committee receiving the proposal from the advisor.  However, there are certain peak times, toward the end of the semester, when volume is high and the committee might need more time.  So please submit as early in the semester as possible, especially if you need a quick turnaround on your proposal.

Semester Deadline:  Any research that you wish to begin during the spring semester must be submitted by April in order to give the committee time to consider your proposal.


First time submitters may wish to view this list of frequently asked questions.  This will help to reduce the numbers of resubmissions you may need to make.

**When do I need to get written consent for a research study?**

While signed consent forms are the default option for demonstrating you have received consent when conducting research with human subjects, the Code of Federal Regulations [2018] (Available at https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/regulations/45-cfr-46/i…) says the following:

'(c) An IRB may waive the requirement for the investigator to obtain a signed consent form for some or all subjects if it finds either: (1) That the only record linking the subject and the research would be the consent document and the principal risk would be potential harm resulting from a breach of confidentiality.  Each subject will be asked whether the subject wants documentation linking the subject with the research, and the subject's wishes will govern; or (2) That the research presents no more than minimal risk of harm to subjects and involves no procedures for which written consent is normally required outside of the research context.  In cases in which documentation requirement is waived, the IRB may require the investigator to provide subject with a written statement regarding the research.'

So if the work you are doing would be anonymous if there were no signed form for informed consent and there is a minimal risk involved, you may apply for a waiver of documentation.  If, on the other hand, the work has no foreseen risks involved and you would otherwise not ask for signed consent, then you may also apply for informed consent.  In both cases, however, you must offer subjects a written statement of how to contact you and what they are doing in the project.


Click on the Human Subjects Form link below to download the proposal form.  Please combine all documents into one file if possible.  Only faculty members should send proposals to ACHS!  If you are a student, your proposal must go through your faculty advisor.

Due to safety precautions regarding COVID-19, researcher must complete the COVID-19 addendum for all face-to-face research.  This is in addition to the Human Subjects Form and includes exempt categories in those cases in which face-to-face research occurs.

HSF COVID-19 Addendum (7.22)

Human Subjects Form Revised (7.22)

An informed consent template and a recruitment, consent, confidentiality guidelines page are provided for your recommended use.

To modify a study that has been previously approved, use this form.

To access the Change in Protocol Form, click here.

To access the Animal Research Review Form, click here.

We have new exempt forms!  Be sure to select the one that fits your exempt category.  Please note:  International Research can never qualify for exempt status.

For more information about which category to use (and whether your research qualifies as exempt), click here.

Exempt Form for Category 1 Educational Strategies Curricula or Classroom Management Methods

Exempt Form for Category 2 Tests Surveys Interviews Observations

Exempt Form for Category 3 Existing Data Documents or Records

Exempt Form for Category 3a Retrospective Medical Record Review

Exempt Form for Category 4 Research with Biological Specimens


Questions or comments can be directed to the ACHS by emailing achs@muskingum.edu.  

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