Protection of Human Subjects

All research involving human participants, regardless of the nature of the funding, the researcher's status, the location in which the research is conducted, the data or the methods employed (e.g., interviews, observation, preexisting databases) must be submitted by the student or the faculty member and reviewed by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Final approval involving a letter and a date-stamped consent form, when relevant, must be obtained before research commences.

Dissertation Proposal Clearance: Human Participants Form

All students who have advanced to Level III must submit a Dissertation Proposal Clearance: Human Participants Form to Kay Powell, HRPP Coordinator, in the Office for Research and Sponsored Programs. This requirement includes students from all programs, whether or not their research involves human participants. The form becomes part of the student's file in the Registrar's Office. A student will not be able to deposit the dissertation unless this form is on file in the Registrar's Office. The form requires that any research including human participants (even informal interviews or reviews of preexisting data) be reviewed and approved by the IRB before research commences. Approval cannot be given retroactively. Doctoral students and their advisers must work together to ensure that these requirements are met.

CUNY Policy for Student Research with Human Subjects

The CUNY Policy for Student Research with Human Subjects clarifies the requirements for the review of classroom research. General research approval can be given in advance for class projects involving similar methods and participants. Even if research involves a variety of methods, a somewhat more rapid review may be possible if the application is submitted in a timely fashion.

Multi-campus Review Policy

The CUNY Multi-campus Review Policy allows single-campus IRB review for multi-campus research. This policy permits research conducted by doctoral students or faculty whose program is based at one of the campuses to submit an application through their local IRB. When conducting research at multiple campuses, only one review is required. As a courtesy, the researcher should send a copy of the approval letter and the body of the application to the Sponsored Programs Office where the research is to be conducted.

Computer-Based Training

All Principal Investigators (student, faculty, and key personnel; funded and non funded) must take the web-based training course required by the federal government.

Further Information

Please remember that approval for research with human subjects cannot be obtained retroactively. Although most reviews occur within 3-4 weeks after submission, please allow sufficient time for at least one revision and resubmission before you plan to start work. Please consult the Research Foundation web site ( or the Office for Research and Sponsored Programs web site ( for detailed descriptions of policies, the investigator's manual, application forms, IRB meeting dates, and links to other relevant sites. If you have questions after reading the web materials, please contact Kay Powell at 212 817-7525 or