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Undergraduate Research Compliance

Research performed by undergraduate students must comply with all federal, state, and University rules, and regulations.  Undergraduate students are expected to obtain the same approvals and receive the same training as graduate, faculty, and staff researchers performing equivalent procedures. 

This includes:


Human Subjects 
Any undergraduate research involving interactions with human subjects (including surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and observations) must be reviewed by the TAMU Institutional Review Board  (IRB) before the research is initiated.  This includes research done in a research methods classes that is intended to be published in a public repository.   If you plan any human subjects undergraduate research, talk to your faculty advisor about IRB approval before you begin.  If your advisor does not have IRB approval for your study you will have to obtain it, which can sometimes take months.  Approval includes both completion of an IRB application and online training in use of human subjects through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) website.  CITI training must be completed before final IRB approval will be granted.  For more information, contact the TAMU Human Subjects Protection Program.

Vertebrate Animals
Any undergraduate research involving vertebrate animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, or mammals) in which the natural lifestyle or movements of the animals are materially altered requires approval of an Animal Use Protocol (AUP) by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee IACUC before the research is initiated. Use of animal carcasses, tissues, and fluids obtained specifically for research purposes is also subject to review according to applicable regulations.  If you plan any animal research talk to your faculty advisor about IACUC approval before you begin.  In most cases your advisor will already have an approved AUP for your study and can add you to it by amendment.  The amendment process will still take time, however, as you will be required to complete on-line CITI animal use training and enroll in the Biosafety Occupational Health Program.  If your advisor does not have an approved AUP for your study, he or she will have to obtain one for you, which can sometimes take several months.  For more information, contact the TAMU Animal Welfare Assurance Program.

Biohazards
Any undergraduate research involving pathogens and potential pathogens of humans, animals, or plants, materials potentially containing human pathogens (including human blood, tissue, and cell lines; non-human primate blood, tissue, and cell lines), recombinant DNA and RNA, including creation or use of transgenic plants and animals, or “select agents” and toxins requires approval by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) before the research is initiated.  If you plan any of this type of research, talk to your faculty advisor about IBC approval before you begin to prepare your proposal.  If you are working on an established project in a University laboratory your advisor should already have IBC approval for your study and can add you to it by amendment.  Be sure to ask your advisor about mandated safety training.  If your advisor does not have IBC approval for your study, he or she will have to obtain one for you, which can sometimes take several months.  For more information contact the TAMU Office of Biosafety.