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Resources :: Guide :: Student researchers :: Guide for faculty advisors :: Limited time and resources

Student Research is Often Limited by Time and Resources

First-time student researchers often have big ideas about what they would like to accomplish with their studies.  It is not uncommon for the Board to receive student research protocols that are more complicated than seasoned researchers’ proposals, and the likelihood of a student researcher completing such a project is small.  Inexperienced student researchers with little or no training should take on research projects that are realistic for them and easily accomplished in the time available to them.  The Board will take this into consideration when reviewing student submissions.  Studies that are unlikely to yield valid results may lead to increased risks for participants, or, at a minimum, would waste valuable time for all involved.

Student researchers often have a limited amount of time to submit to the IRB, or they have an unrealistic expectation as to when their IRB approval will be returned.  Complicated studies are difficult to review, may require full board review (the Board only meets twice per month, versus an expedited review which can be done at any time), and are more likely to need further review by the full board or be delayed with revisions.  Studies that are minimaly risky are more likely to have a quicker review, allowing the student more time to work on their project instead of navigating an IRB review process. 

In general, the Board would ask that you help your student researcher to develop a realistic study that the student can successfully complete and will be a good educational experience for the student.  Please encourage your student to submit their IRB proposal as soon as possible instead of waiting until the last minute; we often have a large group of student researchers that submit in late April or May hoping to have their studies approved by the end of the semester, which can be unrealistic for our Board to process.  We do not want to delay anyone’s project and so we ask that students submit early. 

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