Institutional Review

What Research Requires Review?

Research is defined by federal law 45 CFR 46 as “means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.”  

A “systematic investigation” is any methodical collection of data. This includes interviews, surveys, tests, observations, or other experiments, regardless of content, even if it is a pilot study.

Research is designed to “contribute to generalizable knowledge,” when it is aimed at adding something new to a field of knowledge (e.g., the field of psychology, the field of biology), and when the results of the research are made publicly available, either through publication or through a presentation (such as a senior thesis poster session or a conference). 

A research project is considered to have human subjects if it involves “a living individual about whom an investigator . . . obtains data through intervention or interaction with the individual or identifiable private information.” §46.102

The following academic and educational activities are subject to prior review and approval by the Fort Lewis College (FLC) Institutional Review Board (IRB):

  • Any collection and/or documentation of information from an identifiable individual or any collection of information about an identifiable individual that is not already publicly available, the results of which will be made public in some way (for example, through written publications, posters and oral presentations).  Such activities include but are not limited to:
    • Quantitative, qualitative, and correlational research involving human participants;
    • Oral histories, interviews (ethnographic or other kinds), surveys, and participant observations.