Even though a project may qualify as “exempt” according to Federal regulations, it is the policy of CSU and the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research, that all research conducted through an affiliation with CSU be determined to be a design adequate to answer the questions posed. The Federal regulations are clear in their stipulation that as IRB members are considering whether a research proposal meets the guidelines for treatment of subjects, they must take into account soundness of research design. If a research project is structured in such a way that the project will not yield valid, usable, data that can contribute to the body of knowledge in the discipline, then the IRB cannot approve the project.
Responsibility for guiding students in research design rests with the supervising faculty member. It may seem to researchers, at times, that the IRB creates an impediment to their attempts to carry out a research project. We sincerely want the community of faculty and students at Cleveland State to fully understand the necessity of having a group such as the IRB to ensure safety not only for research subjects, but also for the researchers themselves, as well as the University. It may be helpful for researchers to bear in mind the numerous atrocities and misguided research projects that abused people and gave rise to the Belmont Report, which establishes the ethical principles on which the Federal law and our additional policies are based.