When designing research activity, it is important to consider whether you need to obtain university Institutional Review Board approval to conduct your research PRIOR to collecting data. This decision chart will help you determine if the activity is considered research by The Common Rule definition (45 CFR 46). If you determine using this chart that you must pursue IRB approval, please see the VCSU Institutional Review Board website or OneStop solution center for more information.
Class projects are course-related activities designed specifically for educational or teaching purposes, where data are collected from and about people as part of a class exercise or assignment that is not intended for use outside of the classroom. Capstone projects usually are not research but they should be evaluated against the definition of research in the decision chart. Projects to be presented at the VCSU Student Scholar Symposium or similar programs usually are not research but they should be assessed against the definition of research in the decision chart.