Determining Project Type

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, planning, forms, and review procedures to ensure that these principles are reflected in project designs.  So the first step in project planning is to determine the type of project you will be doing.

Project type determination

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.

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

 

Answer each of these questions to determine your project type.

Hover your cursor over each item in red for a definition:

Will your project:

(1)    …pose some kind of risk for the people being studied?
(2)    …focus on the study of a vulnerable population (vulnerable to coercion or undue influence)?
(3)    …have funding from a federal agency that has adopted federal regulations governing the protection of human subjects?

If you answered yes to any of #1, 2, or 3 above, your project is Type 3 (a project involving risk or studying vulnerable subjects).

If not, will your project…

(4)    …study individuals outside St. Olaf (i.e., not current students or employees)?
(5)    …potentially include the sharing of results with audiences beyond St. Olaf?

If you answered yes to either or both of #4 or 5 above, your project is Type 2 (a beyond-the-college no-risk project).

If you answered no to all five questions above, your project is Type 1 (a within-the college no-risk project).

Once you have identified your project type, consult the link to determine the education and training you will need to complete, the forms you will need to use, and your project’s appropriate review procedures. Determine the requirements for investigators