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Does my activity need IRB approval?

If an activity falls under the definition of “research” it DOES need IRB approval:

Research means a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable (public) knowledge.

A “systematic investigation” is an activity that involves a prospective plan that incorporates data collection, either quantitative or qualitative, and data analysis to answer a question.

The following activities DO NOT need IRB approval if:

The activity does not fall under the definition of “research”.

The activity does not involve human subjects.


If the activity does involve human subjects:

The participants in the activity will be limited to other Notre Dame College students who volunteer to participate;

No minors or other vulnerable populations (pregnant women, neonates, prisoners) are involved in the activity;

Data is collected for internal departmental or administrative purposes, such as teaching evaluations, student performance data, etc. Activities designed solely for quality improvement or evaluation of a program, course, etc.

The results and data will not be disseminated, presented, posted, or published outside of Notre Dame College.  It is for internal use only.

Questions?  Contact the IRB at