Research Ethics Policies and Procedures for Inquiries Involving People

St. Olaf College affirms the ethical principles of respectbeneficence, and justice in all inquiries that involve gathering information from or about people, whether through surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations of behavior, or analysis of existing records.  Different types of inquiry projects require different kinds of education, forms, and review procedures to ensure that these principles are reflected in project designs.

Project type determination and requirements

Determine your project type
St. Olaf has defined three types of inquiries involving people, as described below.  This page helps investigators determine whether a proposed inquiry is a Type 1, Type 2, or Type 3 project.

Determine the requirements for student investigators
A one-page chart summarizing the education requirements, forms, and review procedures for all types of student projects

Determine the requirements for faculty/staff investigators
A one-page chart summarizing the education requirements, forms, and review procedures for all types of faculty/staff projects

Detailed policies for each project type

Type 1 projects:  Within-the-college no-risk inquiries
Detailed information about the education requirements, forms, and review procedures for projects with the following characteristics:

  • Project procedures pose minimal or no risk
  • The inquiry is not focused on a vulnerable population
  • The people being studied include only current St. Olaf students or employees
  • Findings are not shared outside St. Olaf

Type 2 projects:  Beyond-the-college no-risk inquiries
Detailed information about the education requirements, forms, and review procedures for projects with the following characteristics:

  • Project procedures pose minimal or no risk
  • The inquiry is not focused on a vulnerable population
  • The people being studied include individuals who are not current St. Olaf students or employees OR findings may be shared outside St. Olaf

Type 3 projects:  Inquiries involving risk or studying vulnerable populations
Detailed information about the education requirements, forms, and review procedures for projects with the following characteristics:

  • Project procedures may cause psychological, social, legal, or physical harm or discomfort

–OR—

  • Most or all of the people being studied are members of a vulnerable population

Research Ethics for Inquiries Involving People: Education, Ethics Planning, and Review Policies
The comprehensive St. Olaf policy document that describesall education requirements, forms, and review procedures for all three types of projects described above