Ethical Review Boards

All research in the Psychology Department must be reviewed and approved by one of the ethical review boards below before participants can be recruited and data collected.

Both boards require students and faculty to complete the National Institutes of Health (NIH) online tutorial on research ethics and obtain a certification of completion. More information about this tutorial can be found on the NIH website:

Additional information about research ethics can be found in the APA Code of Conduct:

BSU Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Most student and faculty research should be reviewed by the BSU IRB/Human Subjects Committee. Student and faculty research proposals should be submitted to the BSU Human Subjects Committee if they meet any of the following criteria.

  1. The study involves more than a minimal risk to participants.
  2. Participants will include members of the community, BSU faculty or staff, or students who are not enrolled in psychology classes.
  3. The study will be conducted by a BSU graduate student.
  4. The study may result in a presentation at the student or professional conference, including Student Achievement Day at BSU.

Learn more about the BSU Human Subjects Committee.

Psychology Department Review Board (DRB)

Research proposals that meet all of the following criteria can be submitted to the DRB for review.

  1. The proposed study will present no more than a minimal risk* to participants.
  2. The proposed study will be conducted by a psychology student under the supervision of a faculty member in the Psychology Department.
  3. The proposed study will not be presented at a student or professional conference.
  4. The proposed study either…

a. uses only participants selected from psychology classes at BSU.

b. will collect only observational data in a public location and no identifying information about participants will be obtained.

*Minimal Risk: The BSU Human Subjects Committee defines minimal risk as “… physical, psychological, or social risks significantly in excess of that normally encountered in daily life.”

Copies of research proposals submitted to the DRB for review should be given directly to two Psychology faculty members currently on the board. Students should consult with the Department Chair or their research supervisor for a current list of faculty serving on the DRB. Proposals should include all the information and materials requested on the DRB Approval Form. Copies of this form and other needed materials can be found below:

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