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Theses & Dissertations

IRB Approval and MU Online Training

Requirements Before Conducting Any Research

Marshall University is committed to ensuring our research is conducted ethically. To reach this goal, students must complete two requirements before embarking on a thesis or dissertation:

  • Complete the online ETD training before starting your research. The completed verification form at the end of this training must be on file before your finished ETD can be reviewed.
  • Obtain a letter from the Office of Research Integrity before starting your research. It should be included as the first appendix in your manuscript. Your ETD cannot be reviewed without one, and you may need to redo any research and writing completed before obtaining this letter.

What Is IRB Approval, and How Do I Obtain It?

Background on IRB Approval

All Marshall University theses/dissertations that involve human subject research are subject to the Code of Federal Regulations 45CFR46. The conduct of human subject research for a thesis/dissertation without approval from the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) results in a violation of those federal regulations. Marshall University has agreed to abide by all regulations regarding human subject research. This includes all research done on behalf of the university, including theses and dissertations.

Approval from the Office of Research Integrity

Consequently, all ETD students must contact the ORI before starting any research project. To do this, send a copy of the abstract in an email to Bruce Day, the Director of ORI.

  • If the thesis/dissertation requires Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval for human or animal research, then you will be directed to the appropriate coordinator for assistance.
  • If the Director of ORI deems that your research does not involve human/animal subject research, you will receive a letter stating that determination.

Letter of Approval

Every thesis/dissertation must include a letter indicating approval of the project. You will either have an IRB approval letter or a letter from the Director of ORI stating that your thesis/dissertation does not involve human subject research. Include this letter in Appendix A of your thesis. A thesis/dissertation without this letter will not be accepted for review.