Contact the Music Graduate Office
East Studio Building 120 (JS 120)
205 S. Jordan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
1201 E. 3rd Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
Hours: 8 am–12 pm, 1–5 pm
E-mail: musgrad [at] indiana [dot] edu
musicdgs [at] indiana [dot] edu (Eric Isaacson), Director
serbes [at] indiana [dot] edu (Sara Erbes), Advisor
anmiller [at] indiana [dot] edu (Angie Miller), Recorder
musgrad [at] indiana [dot] edu (Victoria Wheeler), Secretary
musdoc [at] indiana [dot] edu (Janis Cooper Parker), Doctoral Clerk
Guidelines for Research Involving Human Subjects (IRB Approval)
Under Federal regulations and University policy, all researchers who conduct research—including those completing master's theses and doctoral dissertations or final projects—that involves human subjects or materials of human origin must submit an application to the Institutional Review Board (IRB), which review all research protocols on behalf of the IU's Human Subjects Office.
Approval of the research protocol must be in place before the researcher begins data collection. If you do not receive IRB approval for your project prior to beginning data collection, and keep your approval current during the entire time that you collect and analyze data, your project may not receive approval by the Graduate School (for PhD dissertations) or JSoM (for MME theses, DME dissertations, and DM final projects). Similarly, many academic journals will not publish research conducted without IRB approval.
Here are examples of the kinds of research requiring IRB approval:
- Interviews, telephone, or mail surveys
- Behavioral or educational testing
- Observation of individual or group behavior
- Collection of blood (or other biologic) samples
- Study of existing data, documents, and archives on databases
Case studies involving only one subject (such as an interview of a single composer or professional musician) are in many instances not considered to be systematic investigations and thus do not require IRB approval. Even in these cases, however, the graduate office requires documentation from the Human Subjects office that the proposed research does not require IRB approval.
If you think that your study falls into this category and that you will not need full IRB approval, please contact IU’s Human Subjects office and ask for the “Application for Non-Research Student Projects.” After you fill out the form, the Human Subjects office will review that application to see whether your research is exempt from IRB approval (in which case you can forward the confirmation you get from that office with your topic proposal to prove that you do not need to complete that process) or whether you do need to complete the IRB approval procedure (in which case you will work with the Human Subjects office until you get their approval of your study and submit that approval with your topic proposal).
If you are uncertain if your proposed topic is subject to IRB approval, contact the Music Graduate Office (musgrad AT indiana.edu; 855-1738) and make an appointment to speak with the director of graduate studies, or contact the Office of Human Subjects directly.
When you submit your application to the IRB, please note that the IRB requires that there be a faculty sponsor for student-led research and that the faculty sponsor be listed as the Principal Investigator (PI) on the project, even if the student is actually conducting the research. Both the student and the faculty sponsor must have completed the Human Subjects Protection tutorial and test (click "yes" at the bottom of the page and then select the Social/Behavioral track). If you are working with a member of the faculty who regularly conducts research on human subjects (for example, many members of the Music Education Department and the Speech and Hearing Department), they will probably have passed the test and can be the sponsor of your application. If you are working with a member of the faculty who does not usually conduct this kind of research, he or she may take the steps to pass it, or you may list the director of graduate studies as the sponsor. You should send your application to your faculty sponsor for review before submitting it to the IRB. The faculty sponsor can indicate their approval of the application by sending an email message to the Human Subjects Office.
IU Human Subjects Office for forms, guidelines, procedures, deadlines, and additional information
IU's web-based education on the basics of conducting research with human subjects
Frequently Asked Questions for the Requirement for Education on the Protection of Human Subjects