Student Scholars Day

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Receiving HRRC Review for your SSD Project

You must receive review and approval for any human subjects research project before enrollment and data collection may begin!


HRRC Department Brochure

Contact Us:
049 JHZ
1 Campus Drive
Allendale, MI 49401
Phone: 616-331-3197      Fax: 616-331-6040


1) Do I need HRRC approval for my SSD project?

  • If your research involves collecting information from or about live human beings, then yes, you need HRRC approval.

Definition of Research: A systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. 45 CFR 46.102 (d)

Key terms: Systematic, Designed, Generalizable

  • Research Examples and Exceptions - please contact the HRRC for further clarification:

Data Sets - If the data is completely de-identified (i.e., there is no way to determine the personal identity of any person whose data is included in the set), then HRRC review is typically not required.

If any part of the data is personally identifiable, HRRC review is required.

If the link to de-identified data is maintained, please consult with the HRRC.

Program Evaluations - if the anticipated results found through the evaluation process are generalizable (i.e., the conclusions reached may be applied beyond the specific program that was evaluated), then HRRC review is required. If the evaluation results are not applicable beyond the specific program evaluated, then HRRC review is not required.

Oral History - if the research intent is specifically limited to reporting or analyzing a small number of persons' lived experiences, then HRRC review is not required.

If multiple oral histories are collected and the analysis is intended to be generalizable to other persons who were not involved in the research, then HRRC review is required.

Class Projects - If the research is intended solely as a learning experience for course members, and the results are never disseminated beyond the members of the course who conducted the project, then HRRC review is not required.

If the research is intended as an instructional or educational offering to persons other than the enrolled course members, and the results are generalizable to others outside of the course members, then HRRC review is required. 

Theoretical Exercises and Literature Reviews - do not require review. This should be clearly stated on SSD presentation materials.

Engaged in Research - an abstract that defines what being "engaged in research" actually means.

2) Why should I apply for HRRC review?

  • GVSU holds a Federalwide assurance.

GVSU has assured the US federal government that all covered research conducted under GVSU authority will comply with federal regulations as specified under the Code of Federal Regulations and elsewhere.

All GVSU students, faculty, and staff are obligated by federal law to have their research reviewed and approved by the HRRC before beginning the research.

3) How do I apply for HRRC review?

1. Students should meet with their research advisor.  This person may be different from their regular academic advisor.

2. Complete the Student Research Checklist and review it with the research advisor to determine whether the research project requires HRRC review and approval.

3. If the project requires HRRC approval, determine the level of review the project requires:

Exempt vs. Expedited Review Categories

         * Any research that potentially involves more than minimal risk requires review by the full board. Minimal risk is defined as the risks normally encountered in routine activities of daily life, and in routine medical and psychological examinations.

4. Complete the Application for New Protocol Review. In the summary box, please indicate "SSD Project" which will entitle you to a faster review turnaround.

5. Review the HRRC checklist that is appropriate to your requested level of review:

.......Checklist: Exempt Protocol

.......Checklist: Expedited/Full Board Protocol

         * Checklists include all of the documents and other information that must be submitted for review.

6. Follow instruction sheet, step-by-step: Submitting a New Protocol.


4) What do I include on my SSD project when I present?

  • If you have received HRRC approval for your project, you must visibly state somewhere on your project materials the following information:

"This research protocol has been approved by the Human Research Review Committee at Grand Valley State University. File No. _____. Expiration: [insert date]."





If you add or remove a student(s) to your research project, you must submit a Change in Approved Protocol application.

Page last modified August 5, 2014