Institutional Review Board
Human Subjects Research during COVID-19
We understand that current remote working/teaching/learning requirements greatly limit a researcher's access to campus to continue conducting human subjects research. The UND IRB has implemented strategies to assist researchers during this time:
- All in-person data collection activities for human research studies that involve direct contact with participants (including but not limited to: face-to-face interviews, focus groups, observation, assessments, etc.) have been suspended until further notice. Any request to continue in-person data collection must be approved by your dean, the Interim Vice President for Research & Economic Development, and the UND President.
- To enhance social distancing in data collection for IRB studies that are currently approved to conduct research face-to-face via interviews, laboratory visits, etc., the UND IRB is allowing research to be moved to an online platform for data collection (Qualtrics, Skype, Zoom, etc.) without requiring a protocol change submission to make this move. All other changes to approved research will still need to be submitted for review.
- UND IRB has developed guidance to inform researchers about best practices and to assist in identifying issues to consider when conducting research via online platforms: Guidance for Conducting Human Subjects Research Studies Online
The University of North Dakota went through a rigorous process to become accredited in human research protections. Achieving full accreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs,Inc. (AAHRPP) demonstrates UND's commitment to quality and accountability in its human research protection program, ensuring that all research participants receive the highest standard of protection.
Furthermore, accreditation means:
- UND is committed to the most comprehensive protections for research participants and the highest quality research.
- Research participants receive more comprehensive protection from UND.
- UND applies the federal safeguards to all research that involves human participants.
- UND maintains efficient systems for monitoring participant well-being.
- UND demonstrates the high quality of its human research protection program in meeting the rigorous accreditation standards and process.
- UND has a stronger, more cohesive research program committed to continuous improvement.
- UND goes beyond what is required by law to protect human participants and ensure integrity of research.