Institutional Review Board (Human Subjects Review)
The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has established standards and guidelines to protect individuals from risks associated with participating in research studies. The University of Southern Mississippi complies with these guidelines. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) acts as a monitor to ensure the university’s research using human subjects as participants is in compliance with the U. S. DHHS policies and other procedures. The IRB, through an appointed chair person, reports to the Vice President for Research.
All investigations, experiments, surveys, or demonstrations involving human subjects, regardless of funding or the source of the funds, must be reviewed and approved by the IRB before the activity is begun. This includes activities in which a faculty member is supervising research activities, including class projects, master’s theses, specialist’s projects, and doctoral projects and dissertations.
Application forms for submission of protocols for review by the IRB are available from each college’s representative and in the Graduate School. Prior to submitting the required copies of an application for approval by the IRB, students should do the following:
- Submit the application for approval by their thesis, project, or dissertation director or professor teaching the relevant course
- Secure the appropriate signatures
- Submit the application for review by the appropriate college representative to the IRB.
The current IRB chair is Dr. Lawrence Hosman, Department of Communication Studies, 601-266-4271
The signed and approved IRB application forms and approval letter must be included in the appendix of the thesis, project, or dissertation. The names of the college representatives to the IRB may be obtained from the college dean’s office and the Graduate School http://www.usm.edu/graduate-school.
The student must not begin work on the research study needed for the thesis, project, or dissertation until approval from the IRB or IACUC is obtained. Any research conducted prior to approval will be considered invalid.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is a standing committee of the university. The IACUC is qualified through the experience and expertise of its members to oversee the university’s animal program, facilities, and procedures. The IACUC consists of eight members and its membership meets the compositional requirements set forth in the Public Health Service Policy. The IACUC, through an appointed chairperson, reports directly to the Vice President for Research. The IACUC acts as a monitor to ensure the university’s facilities are operated in compliance with the Public Health Service and other federal policies.
Federal law requires that any university activity (whether research or instructional in nature) involving the use of vertebrate animals be reviewed by the IACUC and approved by that body before the activity may proceed. The original completed form, signed by the project director (a faculty member, not a student), the appropriate departmental chair and dean should be forwarded to the chair of the IACUC for processing. Review of applications requires approximately two to six weeks. The approved IACUC protocol application and approval letter should be included in the appendix of the thesis, project, or dissertation. IACUC protocol forms and instructions may be obtained from the IACUC website. A link may be found on The Graduate School Website.
The student must not begin work on the research study needed for the thesis, project, or dissertation until approval from the IRB or IACUC is obtained.
Integrity Assurance Program Requirements (IAP)
In keeping with The University of Southern Mississippi’s commitment to the integrity of research, scholarship, and creative activity, all graduate students are required to participate in the university’s Integrity Assurance Program. The program includes both online course modules, offered through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI), and on-campus forums and workshops. This should be done before the end of the student’s first semester in Graduate School at USM. Students who fail to complete this their first semester will be unable to register for future terms until completed.
Graduate students should consult the departmental graduate coordinator to determine appropriate CITI modular to be completed.
Academic Integrity Policy and Training at The University of Southern Mississippi
All students at USM are required to complete the Academic Integrity Training module. The module should be completed by the end of the students’ first semester at USM. Students who fail to complete this their first semester will be unable to register for future terms until completed. To read the policy and access the training module, go to https://www.usm.edu/provost/students-guide-academic-integrity