Ethics and Undergraduate Research


Training our undergraduates to be ethical researchers is of the utmost importance. If your students are engaging in research with human subjects, then they need to complete CITI Online Training and work with their faculty advisor to complete an Institutional Review Board (IRB) form through the Cayuse system. 

If students are involved in research with animals, then you should consult the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

Class Projects

If you are a faculty member doing a class project or assignment involving human subjects, the project may qualify for an exclusion from IRB requirements as long as the project meets the following criteria:

  1. No minors or vulnerable populations
  2. No more than minimal risk
  3. No deception
  4. No publication/presentation to an external audience
  5. No audio or video recording

More information on the distinction between class projects and research projects can be found here. Be sure to contact the IRB ( if you have questions about these guidelines. Please note especially that if you are at all planning to present and/or publish the work in any venue (e.g., Symposium of Student Scholars, professional conference, professional journal), then you must get IRB approval first. 

It is always good for students to go through the online CITI training in order to learn more about ethics and research. This training is free for students and only takes about 30 minutes. You can learn more about this training here

Minors as Researchers

If you are working with minors as researchers, there are special safeguards in place to protect them.

  • Minors Enrolled at KSU: Students in the Dual Enrollment Honors Program (DEHP) at KSU earn both high school and college credit simultaneously. If you are working on a research project with a dual enrollment student or a college student under the age of 18, then you should (a) indicate to the IRB the age of the student with whom you are working, and (b) submit a Minor Child Participation Acknowledgement (parental consent) to the IRB along with your other materials.
  • Minors Not Enrolled at KSU: Students under the age of 18 who are not enrolled at KSU as students require that the faculty mentor complete training and paperwork associated with working with minors. You can find more information at the Protecting Minors website