Union College Human Subjects Review Committee

OHRC IORG0006767; FWA00017017



Welcome to the home page for the Human Subjects Review Committee.  Committee members effective January 19, 2017 are as follows:

Robert Baker
Greg Dahlmann
Jennifer Fredricks (ex-officio)
Joshua Hart (Chair)
Zoe Oxley
Timothy Stablein
D. Catherine Walker


If you are interested in conducting research using human participants, please follow these steps.  Note that these steps must be followed regardless of the location of the project or the method of recruiting participants.

1.  Are you conducting research?  Through the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), the United States Department of Health and Human Services, 45 CFR 46.102(d), defines research as “a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.”  If you plan to apply your findings to a broader population, or hope that others will do so, and/or if it is possible that you will tell others, either in meetings or in print, about your findings, your project qualifies as research and thus must undergo review.

2.  If your project qualifies as research, complete the Application to Engage in Research Involving Human Subjects found below.  Ensure that you have answered all the questions and have attached all applicable appendices.

3.  When you have completed the application, please print and deliver in person or via campus mail to Prof. Joshua Hart, Chair of the Human Subjects Review Committee, Psychology Department.  Emailed, hand-printed, or unsigned applications will be returned unreviewed. 

4.  You will receive approval or a request for resubmission from the Chair via email.  You may not begin data collection of any kind until you have received an approval from the chair.

5.  If, after receiving approval, you wish to make changes to your methods, you must seek approval for those revised methods.



Here are the pertinent forms:

  1. Application to Engage in Research Involving Human SubjectsThis form should be submitted for research approval.
  2. Renewal formThis form should be submitted to extend a previously granted one-year approval.
  3. Sample Informed Consent FormNearly all proposals will require this form to be submitted as an appendix.
  4. Parental Informed Consent Form:  This is used when parents will provide consent for their underage children to participate.
  5. Application to Make Changes:  If your proposal was approved but you'd like to make changes to the design, use this form.


The following links should also be helpful to researchers who plan to conduct research with human subjects.

1.  Guidelines for Faculty and Students Engaged in Human SubjectsThis is an overview of the philosophy behind and regulations pertaining to the review of research involving human subjects at Union College.

2. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Part 46, Protection of Human Subjects.

3. Definitions of human subject and research (From Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45).

Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Activities which meet this definition constitute research for purposes of this policy, whether or not they are conducted or supported under a program which is considered research for other purposes. For example, some demonstration and service programs may include research activities.

Human subject means a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains

(1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or
(2) identifiable private information.

Intervention includes both physical procedures by which data are gathered (for example, venipuncture) and manipulations of the subject or the subject's environment that are performed for research purposes.

Interaction includes communication or interpersonal contact between investigator and subject.

Private information includes information about behavior that occurs in a context in which an individual can reasonably expect that no observation or recording is taking place, and information which has been provided for specific purposes by an individual and which the individual can reasonably expect will not be made public (for example, a medical record). Private information must be individually identifiable (i.e., the identity of the subject is or may readily be ascertained by the investigator or associated with the information) in order for obtaining the information to constitute research involving human subjects.

4. Official Website of the Office of Human Research Protection.

5. The Nuremberg Code.  Developed for the Nuremberg Military Tribunal, it set standards for judging the human experimentation conducted by the Nazis. The Code includes many of the basic principles governing the ethical conduct of research involving human subjects.

6. The Belmont Report, which was written by The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. The report sets forth the basic ethical principles underlying the acceptable conduct of research involving human subjects. Those principles are, respect for persons, beneficence, and justice. They are now accepted as the basic requirements for the ethical conduct of research involving human subjects.