Student Research at MU

At Marymount University, students are encouraged to engage their intellectual curiousity and become involved in research when possible.  This includes both faculty-driven and student-driven research projects. Being involved in research provides students with real world skills and competencies, while building their resumes and becoming more marketable for both employers and graduate programs. If a faculty member conducts research on a topic you find interesting, ask if they could use some assistance or, if you have an idea that might turn into a research project, seek out a faculty member you might be interested in working with to discuss it.

While this is an incredible opportunity, students–undergraduate and gradute–engaged in a research project must work under a faculty or staff principle investigator (PI) and must meet the federal and legal requirements outlined for Human Subject Research (HSR).

Marymount students undertaking research must work with a faculty or staff member to secure IRB approval before beginning the research. All student work involving systematic investigations with human subjects that is intended to be shared as research in a forum outside the instructional setting of Marymount University is designated as research and, therefore, requires IRB approval. This includes presentations at conferences, and print and online publications. Individually supervised student work that meets the federal definition of research, such as a research-based Honors thesis, master’s thesis, or doctoral project, is designated as research even when there is no intention to share the project beyond the University. IRB approval for research cannot be conferred retroactively.

Classroom Projects

Course activities that involve students in systematic investigations with human subjects for instructional purposes only are designated as “classroom projects.” Classroom projects are distinguished from student research by the fact that they are not designed to develop or to contribute to generalizable knowledge (see Section 1.2). Classroom projects are not shared beyond the instructional setting of Marymount University. They may be shared in the classroom and the Marymount Student Research Conference, but classroom projects may not be presented at other conferences or published in print or online.

Other Student Research

Because students conduct research under the direction of a PI, they may only need to complete the short course designed for students. However, PIs supervising student researchers may require them to complete additional modules or an additional basic course beyond the IRB CITI requirements. Honors students whose theses require submitting Expedited/Full Applications need to complete the discipline-specific CITI course. This would be either the Social and Behavioral Sciences Course or the Science and Health Science Course.  Most Honors students submitting an Exempt application should only need the Student Course, but the IRB reserves the right to elevate the requirement based upon the research proposal submitted. This also applies for graduate students seeking IRB approval for Masters theses or Doctoral dissertation work, under the supervision of a faculty PI, usually their thesis or dissertation chair.

The optional CITI modules provide additional education on specific types of research. The IRB requires the completion of optional modules in some cases (e.g., international research, research with minors). These requirements are explained in the Special Topics section of the IRB Manual (see Section 7.0).