Sustainability: Using Human Subjects in Research (IRB)

You should conservatively evaluate if there is any possibility your research might require review by Harvard’s Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (CUHS). Complete the online ethics training for using human subjects in research to learn and understand the requirements to do so.

Note that this training - and review by the CUHS - are not required for ordinary discussions of your research with professionals.

  • You are encouraged to meet in person or via email for scholarly discussions that can advise the quality of your research - these are not human subjects
  • However, if you plan to interview people as sources of data or information for use in your thesis, you should undergo the online CUHS training to understand guidelines for protecting individual identity and handling sensitive or proprietary information
  • Information received through email, phone or in-person contact is referenced in your thesis as “(pers. comm.)” and you must get explicit approval to cite in your thesis

Receive guidance on these issues from your Research Advisor.

Note: CUHS online training only extends over one year and must be renewed if you are still conducting research on human subjects past this deadline.