Doctoral Candidates

Candidates engaged in any research, regardless of venue or academic requirement, must ensure that they comply with federal regulations for the conduct of research and policies and procedures established by the research review boards.

Step 1:  Submit the Doctoral Dissertation or Thesis Proposal to the Office of Graduate Studies.

For questions about the process, visit or contact the College of Graduate Studies.

Step 2:  Evaluate whether the dissertation or thesis as planned requires review by any of the research regulatory bodies.

The dissertation submission form will ask you to select “Yes” or “No” for each regulatory body to indicate what applies to your plans.

Historically, the purpose of the Dissertation has been to allow the candidate to demonstrate that s/he has acquired a sufficient knowledge base in his/her academic field and that s/he has attained the research skills prerequisite to the status of academic scholar.

It is your responsibility to ensure that research regulations are followed and you secure the necessary approvals for your project.

Below is a link to each committee to learn more about the committee.

            Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Each project that is research and involves human subjects must be approved by the IRB.

Dissertation and thesis candidates are not permitted to collect research data until the proposal has been approved and the IRB office has issued an IRB approval letter.

Do I need to submit for IRB review?

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Each project involving vertebrate animals used in research, teaching or testing, an Animal Use Protocol (AUCP) must be approved by the IACUC.

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

Projects involving research, teaching or testing that involves any of the following must be approved by the IBC:

  • Biological agents that may cause disease in humans, animals, or plants;
  • Non-exempt recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules (as defined in the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules);
  • Human and non-human primate blood, cells, cell lines, or tissue;
  • Toxins of biological origin (as defined in the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories); or
  • Any material requiring a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or U.S. Department of Agriculture permit.

Complete the Exempt Experiment Determination and Registration to request a determination of whether the research, teaching, or testing involves exempt recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules (NIH Guidelines).

If you have questions on whether your project falls under any of these committees, contact the Office of Research Compliance.

Step 3: If the dissertation or thesis requires review by any research regulatory body, seek approval.

            Click here to access forms for the various research regulatory committees.

For questions about submission process or forms, contact the Office of Research Compliance.