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Research can be an intimidating and overwhelming process, but it doesn’t have to be! We’ve compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts of research to help guide you and make the process a little easier. 


√ Have a clear and focused research goal. This will set the path for your project, and knowing what you want to do will help keep you on track.

√ Develop a hypothesis/research question. What is it that you want to find out from your research? What do you think will happen?

√ Be thorough in filling out your application.

√ Familiarize yourself with Mentor and the IRB website. Chances are you can find the answer to your question there, especially in the FAQs.

√ ALWAYS obtain informed consent from your participants, and use the appropriate forms.

√ Respect a person’s right to say no to participate in your research.

√ Stay organized. Documentation can pile up fast.

√ Be patient. It may seem like the IRB is trying to make your life harder than it needs to be. We’re not! Our job is to make sure all research is compliant with federal regulations and protects both you and your participants. If we need you to fix something in your application, don’t worry; even the most experienced researchers make mistakes.


× Assume your project doesn’t require review, or try to skip review altogether. Research involving human subjects is required by law to be reviewed by the IRB. If you’re unsure of anything, ask us.

× Start your research without a decision from the IRB.

× Neglect to include all important information about your study. If you think the IRB might want to know about something, we probably do.

× Hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns. We’re here to help!