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Protection of Human Subjects (PHS) committee

Any research project involving human subjects that is conducted by or for Columbia College students, faculty, administrators, staff, or members of the Board of Trustees and/or is conducted on Columbia College premises is subject to review by the Columbia College Protection of Human Subjects Committee.

The Protection of Human Subjects Committee reviews applications for all sites and all venues.

Application form

Additional resources

Does your project need the Protection of Human Subjects (PHS) committee approval?

For your project to need approval, it would have to be considered research.

The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (Common Rule) defines research as “a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge...”

Participant observations, ethnographies, interviews and surveys, and group comparison require PHS approval.

Activities designed for educational purposes are not systematic investigations and therefore are not considered research. However, if students plan to publicly share (present or publish) the results of a study done in class, PHS approval is required.


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