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Do students conducting research need IRB approval?

Anyone engaged in human subjects research, whether student, faculty or staff, needs IRB approval.

The question is not whether research involving human subjects needs IRB approval --it does -- but whether the activity is truly research. If a student and his/her faculty mentor determine that a project is research, then the project must be reviewed by the IRB.

It is important to keep in mind that a student who shepherds a proposal through the IRB process gains a deeper understanding of not only the process itself, but also the rationale for human subject protection, and the strengths and weaknesses of their research designs.

The IRB is happy to work with faculty and students to make the IRB approval process one that enriches student learning and enhances the research experiences.


Phoebe does not currently conduct or support studies involving prisoners, children, pregnant women, human fetuses or neonates.

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Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.