Researchers must submit proposals for research involving ACC faculty, staff, and/or students to the ACC Institutional Research Review Committee (IRRC). The IRRC meets periodically throughout the academic year and reports its decisions to the Academic and Student Affairs Council. No research is to begin until after the IRRC has acted.

Initial Steps for the Research Team

Complete the Application for Review of Research Proposals (Word).

  • Please be as clear and as comprehensive as possible in your responses. The committee is especially concerned about the protection of human subjects. Therefore, please provide a detailed explanation of how you will adhere to best practices in human subjects protections.
  • Your responses to the various application questions should discuss (where applicable): the informed consent form, the safe and secure storage of data and data crosswalks, the deidentification process for data, and the plan for data destruction after research project completion.
  • All parties involved must sign the cover page in ink.

Complete the Liaison Agreement (Word)

  • If you are not a full-time ACC employee, you will need a full-time ACC employee to agree to serve as the Liaison.
  • Preferably, the Liaison is an individual with experience conducting research. One of the best options for a liaison is an ACC faculty member in the subject area of the research project.
  • Discuss the proposed project with the Liaison by reviewing all questions in the Application for Review of Research Proposals.
  • Complete the Liaison Agreement.
  • All parties involved must sign the Liaison Agreement in ink.

Collect Supporting Documentation

  • Provide copies of all supporting documentation such as any formal communications from other institutions relating to the project’s approval, your project’s informed consent form, and survey forms.

Submit an Application to the IRRC

Steps for the IRRC

  • Once the research team submits a complete application the IRRC will review the proposal.
  • The IRRC meets on an ad-hoc basis, and the time frame for review can vary. The research team should plan on a one to two-month review time frame.
  • The IRRC will inform the research team of any questions and work with the research team to update the proposal.
  • The IRRC will send their final decision to the research team via e-mail.

If the Research Project is Approved

  • It is the research team’s responsibility to work with the Liaison to ensure that the conditions are met.
  • The research team must complete All research within the time frame indicated on the application.
  • The research team must request any substantive changes or requests for project extensions in advance and in writing via email to the IRRC contact (Dr. Richard Griffiths, [email protected]).
  • Research teams must maintain regular contact with the Liaison.
  • Research approval by the IRRC does not guarantee access to ACC data. Researchers must gain access to needed data through separate and independent processes. These often depend upon the approval of the particular unit or department of the college. For college-wide institutional data, please review the process for requesting data from OIRA.

If the Research Project is Not Approved

  • In some cases, the IRRC determines that a proposed project is not in the best interests of the institution. The decision of the IRRC in these situations is final.
  • In general, the following are prohibited:
    • Research that places risk to the safety and well-being of ACC students, faculty, or staff.
    • Research in which subjects could be at risk of criminal or civil liability, damage to employability or to financial standing, or undue embarrassment if responses became known outside the research project.
    • Research in which ACC could be liable for damages to persons or property.
    • Research that requires extensive use of ACC resources, including staff time.
    • Research that is not well-conceived.
    • Research projects involving minors.
    • Research projects that lack controls for the protection of confidentiality.