Policies and Procedures

G0101p Research Projects and Surveys Procedure

Definition:  Research includes any systematic activity that obtains generalizable knowledge or other primary data for any purpose other than the measurement of student performance for the student's benefit.  Examples may include:

  • Survey or data collection to provide materials for presenting at professional conferences or meetings, or for publication
  • Gathering of data to be used in a class assignment or thesis
  • Activities requested by a third party in exchange for some type of compensation

All surveys and research projects conducted at Western Technical College shall follow the following procedure:

  • Preparing a draft of the research design and research instruments to be used in the research including:
    • Beginning and ending dates
    • Intent of the research or purpose of the study
    • Name of researchers
    • Description of the data collection process/methodology
    • Instruments to be used to conduct the research including letters and description of activities
    • Statement on how privacy will be maintained
    • Statement on the level of risk involved for the participants, and copy of informed consent document if the risk is more than minimal
  • Identification of a faculty research advisor if the researcher is a student
  • Obtaining approval by the College Department of Division where the research will be conducted
  • Review by the College Research Office
  • Obtaining approval by the outside institution IRB, if appropriate
  • Obtaining approval by the RTT, if appropriate

Services provided by the College Research Office include:

  • Review research procedures and instruments to ensure that regulations are met and risk is minimized
  • Assist in refining project ideas, tools, and survey instruments
  • Provide assurances of cooperation required by external IRBs (most thesis projects require approval from the IRB of the degree granting institution)

The review of proposed research requires the researcher to provide evidence of:

  • Department or Division approval where the staff or students will be the focus of the proposed research
  • Identification of commitments of time and other resources
  • The extent that the research activity might interrupt the teaching/learning/working environment of the College
  • Assurance that individual student or staff information cannot be identified and is destroyed upon completion of the research 

Failure to obtain approval by the College Research Office and/or the Research and Technology Team acting as the Institutional Review Board prior to undertaking any research activity is a violation of college policy.  It also releases Western Technical college from any indirect liability otherwise incurred by virtue of the fact that it "should know" that the activity has taken place, thereby leaving the researcher solely responsible for any liability incurred.

Approved July 19, 2012