FAQ - Human Research Review Committee

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How do I know if my project needs to be approved by the HRRC?

If your project involves research and live human subjects it must be submitted to the HRRC for approval prior to implementation.

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What is the role of the HRRC and what research must be reviewed?

The primary role of the HRRC is to protect the rights, interests and welfare of human research participants. All research involving human subjects must be submitted to HRRC, even if you believe it is exempt from the Federal Regulations. 

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Where is the HRRC located?

The HRRC is a part of the Research Protections Program located in 301C DeVos Center (Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence).  Please call the RPP staff at 616-331-3197 with any questions you may have.  All required forms are available on our webpage http://www.gvsu.edu/hrrc

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Who constitutes the HRRC?

The HRRC has fifteen members, including alternates.  A meeting quorum requires a majority of members to be present, including one non-scientist. Some are active researchers, some are teaching faculty in the sciences and humanities, and others are representatives from the pubic community. For protocols involving protected categories of subjects such as prisoners or children, members or consultants with special experience are present.

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What are the primary issues of concern to the HRRC?

There are four major areas of concern that are evaluated in determining whether participants’ rights and welfare are protected.  They are

1) The research design, to assure scientific merit and validity of the research activity. In some cases this is done by a peer review process using an established formal mechanism and records.

2) The balance of harm and benefit; risk of harms must minimized, and potential benefits are maximized.

3) The process of informed consent. This is an ongoing dialogue between researchers and subjects in which a shared understanding of the project is maintained at all times.

4) The selection of subjects. This is necessary to assure that the potential benefits and risks of harms are fairly distributed.

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What ethical principles guide the HRRC in the protection of human subjects?

Three basic principles of ethics are particularly relevant to the protection of human subjects in research.  They are:

1. Respect for Persons: recognition of the personal dignity and autonomy of individuals and special protection of those persons with diminished autonomy;

2. Beneficence: obligation to protect persons from harm by maximizing anticipated benefits and minimizing possible risks of four types of harm; and

3. Justice: fairness in the distribution of research benefits and burdens through equitable selection procedures for participation in research activities.

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Page last modified September 23, 2013