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Research Approval Committee (IRB alternative)
Institutional Research (IR)
IR supports SCC’s mission by providing timely, accurate, useful and easily digestible information to the college, the community and other stakeholders. Through reports, data, research and trend analysis, IR provides responsible parties with the information and tools needed to make data-driven decisions. In addition to providing data, IR also seeks grant funding for initiatives which further SCC’s mission.
Purpose of the Research Approval Committee:
In order to ensure the safety of human subjects of research conducted at St. Charles Community College (SCC), the Research Approval Committee (RAC) encourages and supports the scholarly endeavors of students, faculty and staff while striving to enforce best research practices. The RAC also strives to ensure that research conducted at SCC, or with SCC faculty, staff, and or students; or by SCC faculty, staff, and students adhere to ethical research guidelines. The RAC works to ensure best research practices and that SCC maintains compliance with HLC Criterion Two: Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct: 2.E., Section 1 in that it will see that the “institution provides effective oversight and support services to ensure the integrity of research and scholarly practice conducted by its faculty, staff, and students” by reviewing research through executing exempt and expedited reviews and requiring formal IRB (external to SCC, until SCC formally forms one) review for all other research endeavors.
Does your research need RAC approval?
NOTE: Any research involving human subjects must be reviewed by the RAC.
The pursuit of scholarly work and research will often involve the use of human subjects for data collection and analysis. SCC’s RAC will review human subjects research proposals to ensure that the rights and welfare of human subjects used in research studies are protected, that risks are no more than minimal, that all human subjects only volunteer to participate in research after being provided with proper informed consent, and that any research is conducted in an ethical manner and in compliance with established standards. The SCC RAC only has the power to review research considered exempt or expedited, and thus, any research posing a greater than minimal risk to human subjects must be reviewed by a formal, registered, and external, Institutional Review Board (IRB). SCC does not have a formally registered IRB, therefore the researcher must locate and obtain approval from a formal, registered, and external IRB on their own. With that being said, the RAC will review any external IRB approval and accept or decline the external IRB’s approval. The SCC RAC does not have the power to override an IRB’s disapproval. Those individuals seeking to conduct human subjects research may not solicit subject participation or begin data collection (including pilot testing) until they have obtained approval from the SCC RAC.
Research projects involving human subjects that are considered to be exempt from both SCC RAC and formal IRB review must still go through a review process. The types of research generally given the status of exempt from review include normal educational practices such as work undertaken as part of a course, educational tests when the subjects are not identified, and surveys or interviews in which the subjects volunteer and are not personally identified (however, there are some exceptions to this). Only the RAC can determine exempt status.
Note: The RAC can only review human subjects research. It is beyond the scope of the committee to review research involving vertebrates and/or biological hazards.
The RAC does not assume the role of evaluating the soundness of the proposed research study, the merits of the research design, or the potential contribution of the research to the scholarly literature. Rather, the RAC is charged with evaluating each project’s compliance with ethical standards in regard to issues such as informed consent, confidentiality, and any risk to the participants.
RAC Members (Updated 1/28/22):
|Membership Category||Employee||Title||Division/Department||Phone ext.|
|Chair||Christina Cox||Director of Institutional Research||Academic Affairsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Vice Chair||Dr. Jason Evans||Research & Data Analyst||Academic Affairsemail@example.com|
|Vice Chair||Dr. Felicia Emery||Assistant Professor of Biology||Business, Science, Education, Math and Computer Sciencefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dr. Vaidehi (Vi) Rajagopalan||Professor of Psychology/ Dept Chair of Psychology||Arts, Humanities and Social Sciencesemail@example.com|
|Amanda Turner||Instructor of Nursing||Health Sciencesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Lindy McGuire||Dean of Health Sciences & Director of Campus Operations||Health Sciencesemail@example.com|
|Marvin Tobias||Professor of Psychology||Arts, Humanities and Social Sciencesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dr. Garrett Foster||Assistant Professor of Engineering||Workforce, Health, & Technical Sciencesemail@example.com|
How to Submit your Research Proposal:
Download the Research Proposal Form and save it prior to filling it out. Fill out the Research Proposal Form, then email it and all required materials (as outlined in the proposal form) to the firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, send a signed physical copy to the RAC Chair.
Please contact the Chair of the SCC RAC with any questions on this process.