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Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Types of Research

When you’re working on a research project that includes firsthand data collection from human subjects, it’s good to have some foundational terms defined.

  • What is research?
    Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. (45 CFR 46)
  • What is a human subject?
    Human subject means a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducts research. (45 CFR 46)
  • Working with DU’s IRB
    If your research project does include human subjects, you’ll need to work with DU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) to make sure you protect those humans from the risk of harm. Submitting an application for IRB approval lets our IRB team help you make sure you’re keeping your participants safe.

There are many ways to conduct research projects with human subjects, and some are riskier than others. It’s important to know your project’s level of risk, so you know what you need to do to keep people safe.