Faculty Research

Faculty Research Projects

Faculty research involving human subjects will require IRB review. In most cases, the IRB will  "fast-track" its review of faculty submissions.

If you have questions about obtaining IRB approval or would like guidance on how to submit a complete application, please contact the IRB at irb@liberty.edu.

Class Assignments

Class assignments are usually not intended to (or are not likely to) lead to generalizable results. As such, class projects are typically not considered research.

However, students and instructors should review the guidelines below to ensure that IRB review is not needed for a class assignment. If you are still unsure after reading the guidelines, contact the IRB at irb@liberty.edu.


Class assignments that meet the below criteria do not need to be submitted for IRB review:

  • Course-specific/related research projects and/or directed studies
  • Does not involve physically or psychologically invasive, intrusive, or stressful procedures
  • In the judgment of the class instructor/sponsor, does not have the potential for placing the subjects at more than minimal risk
  • Does not involve special populations, including:
    • Persons unable to give legal consent
    • Minors
    • Prisoners
    • Mentally disabled persons
    • Pregnant women
    • Fetuses
    • Economically or educationally disadvantaged
    • Subordinates

The IRB has prepared a checklist to determine if a class project will need IRB review.

Please note: If there is any doubt as to whether the class project should be reviewed by the committee, please contact the IRB at irb@liberty.edu .

Invitations to Participate in Research

As part of the LU academic community, you may occasionally receive requests to participate or for your students to participate in research activities. Whether the researcher(s) is affiliated with LU or not, he or she should have received IRB approval before attempting to recruit participants. To confirm that approval has occurred, request a copy of the researcher’s IRB approval letter or forward the recruitment email to the IRB, and we will check for you. If you choose to contact the researcher and he or she is unable to provide proof of IRB approval, do not participate.

For unaffiliated researcher solicitations (i.e., the researcher is not an LU student or faculty member), LU’s IRB will need to review the study documents, and administration will evaluate whether or not University personnel or students should participate. Please forward such inquiries to the IRB.

If participation is specific to you, decide for yourself whether to take part, but be wary of studies that may present LU in a negative light or attempt to collect proprietary information. If you have any doubts or concerns, research participation is voluntary, so simply decline.

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