Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

Conducting Research: Background Information

What is a Federal Wide Assurance?

Who must have an FWA?

Who approves research activities at GVSU?


Human Research Review Committee (HRRC)

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

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

Where is the HRRC located?

Who constitutes the Board?

What are the primary issues of concern to the HRRC?

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


Applying for HRRC Review

How do I submit a protocol for HRRC review?

How many copies of the protocol do I have to submit and what are the deadlines?

How do I complete the HRRC forms when the project has more than two investigators?

The non-GVSU site where I intend to conduct my research has its own IRB. Does my protocol have to be reviewed by both the site IRB and the HRRC?

Do I have to submit a copy of my grant proposal in my protocol application?


The HRRC Review & Approval Process

What happens to my protocol after it is submitted to the HRRC?

What are the differences between the three levels of HRRC review (exempt, expedited, and full ­board)?

Why does the HRRC review the design of the research?

How is exempt research protocols handled differently from other protocols?

What kind of timeline should I expect for being able to begin data collection?

What if I need to make changes to my research protocol after it has been approved?

How long is HRRC approval of my protocol effective?


The HRRC Protocol Approval Renewal Process

Exempt Protocols

Expedited Protocol Review

Full Board Protocol Review

What if I do not renew my HRRC approval prior to the expiration date of initial approval?

Are there any exceptions to the requirement that all research related activities cease if the protocol approval lapses?


HRRC Meetings

How often does the HRRC meet and who attends?

What happens at an HRRC meeting?

Should investigators be present, when the Board discusses their protocol?



What is the definition of Research?

What is the definition of a Human Subject?

What is the definition of Intervention?

What is the definition of Interaction?

Who is eligible to be a Principal Investigator?

What is the difference between research, therapy, experimentation and innovation?


Study Data Security Requirements

What types of data must be maintained for a minimum of three years?

Is it true that a student cannot have the data collected for his or her thesis or dissertation?

Am I required to destroy my research data after three years?

If I collect anonymous survey data from many subjects, do I have to keep all of the returned surveys for three years?

Understanding and implementing the private information security policy

What if my method of collecting data involves FOIA requests?

Resources (Helpful Hints)



Informed Consent

Scientific Validity and Merit

Randomization of Subjects

Payment to Enrolled Subjects

Survey Based Research