4/30/2007, updated 4/3/2013 with approval by Laurie Berger, UW Human Subjects Division

The Evans School greatly values the applied work produced by students in courses and capstone projects. We believe that this work is important to the students, school, and often to organizations in the community.

All students collecting or using data about individuals (clients, employees, citizens, etc. systematically gathered via survey, interviews, observation, or administrative data) need to take special care to ensure that the individuals will suffer no ill effects from the process or from the results of the project. Human Subjects review at the University of Washington is required of some projects to ensure that those protections are in place. All students and their instructors are responsible for the well-being of the participants.

Evans School Capstone Projects and other student work for credit MUST get Human Subjects approval if:

The project is research with human subjects as defined by the federal regulations:

Research is defined as a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Publishing or presenting does not necessarily make a project generalizable. In this case, "designed" refers to the predetermined purpose and intent of the activity, and "generalizable" means that the results may be applied more broadly beyond the individuals studied or beyond a specific time and/or location, such as to other settings, circumstances, or categories.

A Human Subject is a living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains (1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or (2) identifiable private information.

Student work is NOT subject to Human Subjects approval if:

  1. No information about individuals is used, OR
  2. The project is not regulated research as defined above. For example, the project is being conducted ONLY for the Evans School and a client organization (and the individuals studied are employees, clients, or other members of that organization).

Please note:

  • Each student is responsible for discussing protections for human subjects with his or her faculty CP reader or course instructor PRIOR to beginning collection or use of any data.
  • The capstone project reader or course instructor is responsible for guiding students in a timely way and checking with the UW Human Subjects Division if there are questions.
  • If in the course of a project the scope changes to include regulated research as defined above, the student and instructor are both responsible for immediately beginning the process to gain human subjects approval.
  • Note that retroactive approval cannot be granted.

Questions? Contact Deborah Fishler, fdeborah@uw.edu, 206.543.3885.