Yearly Archives


A new researcher visited my office in a panicked state and expressed his concern about his upcoming study. He was already trained to conduct human subject research and IRB approved to conduct his study, but in his words, he did not “feel ready” to collect the data. His experiences reminded me of the first time I collected data as a master’s student. I collected and analyzed hundreds of personally archived historic letters exchanged between community leaders... Read More
Axiom Research Compliance invites you to joiin us for a webinar, The Use and abuse of IRBs.  This webinar focuses on IRB practices in reviewing social science types of research projects. IRBs are prone to mission creep and mis-interpretation of the federal regulations. This webinar will guide participants through the application of the regulatory definitions of research and human subjects and minimal risk, the exemption categories, as well as discuss issues of scientific design in... Read More
Researchers need to meet deadlines, but it is sometimes difficult to figure out everything that has to be done. As such, we created a general student timeline that follows a linear path from initial research conceptualization to graduation. This general timeline highlights nine typical markers for successful student research, but some students may conduct pilot studies or other forms of research that do not strictly follow this general timeline.
Subject recruitment for research cannot begin until written approval from the IRB is obtained. However, researchers can describe how and when they intend to select and recruit their subjects in their IRB protocol. IRB reviewers will often ask that researchers answer the following questions regarding subject selection and recruitment:
  • How will the researcher access the participant group?
  • Has the researcher clearly explained the process for recruiting participants?
  • Did the researcher create materials to contact people and... Read More
A faculty sponsor must sign off on student research submitted to the Institutional Review Board (IRB). This can include research related to dissertations or masters theses. Faculty sponsors guide student investigators through every phase of the IRB process. The sponsor should be the primary resource when investigators have questions or need assistance with their projects. Faculty sponsors must be familiar with various study methods and informed of the rules and regulations governing research. Faculty sponsors... Read More
I recently met a visiting scholar who planned to study student-teacher interactions within 1st through 5th grade music classes. She wanted to understand how music teachers convey music literacy to novice musicians and what motivational techniques they used. She had studied a similar topic in her home country and she wanted to compare the differences between music teachers in her country and in the United States. When she described her research work to her U.S. colleagues, they referred... Read More
Recruiting research participants can sometimes feel like a full time job. Tailoring your recruitment materials to maximize your participant numbers plays an important role. There are online sources that offer support and creative ways to recruit participants. While every study has a unique recruitment strategy, a recruitment letter is a good place to start for attracting new participants. A recruitment letter usually follows this type of format:
  • Begin with a salutation (e.g., Dear or Director/School... Read More
Researchers should always commit to the highest standards of ethical conduct. The protection of human subjects participating in research is a shared responsibility of all researchers and the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Environmental or situational factors may impact an already approved IRB protocol. Modifications to a protocol are designed to ensure researchers are responding to their environment and the needs of their participants. While every IRB protocol is different, there are some common reasons why an... Read More
Three quick ways to (1) Prepare, (2) Present, and (3) Polish your informed consent form. PREPARE:
  • Follow the American Psychological Association (APA) guide for formatting.
  • Leave white space between paragraphs.
  • Keep the sentences as short and simple as possible.
  • Use bullet points, or numbered lists to break up long lists of text.
  • Bold paragraph headers to make the consent form easier to read and understand.
  • Include the institution’s name, address, and phone number as the document... Read More