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Institutional Policies

Policy ACAF-GRS-002

logo of The University of Southern Mississippi  
Responsible University Administrator: Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Responsible Officer: Graduate School Dean
Origination Date: N/A
Current Revision Date: 02/18/13
Next Review Date: 02/18/17
End of Policy Date: N/A
Policy Number: ACAF-GRS-002
Status: Effective


Policy Statement

The University of Southern Mississippi strives to conduct responsible research that may use human and animal subjects. The university follows all required state and federal guidelines.

Reason for Policy/Purpose

This policy is required for the effective communication of the university’s policy regarding research approval.

Who Needs to Know This Policy

All students and faculty who engage in research and scholarly activities. 

Website Address for this Policy




Institutional Review Board

The University of Southern Mississippi and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have established standards and guidelines to protect individuals from risks associated with participation as subjects in research studies. The university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for ensuring that adequate safeguards are in place to minimize the risk to individuals involved in such studies. The IRB, through an appointed chairperson, reports directly to the vice president for research and economic development. The IRB acts as a monitor to ensure that the university’s research using people as participants is in compliance with the U.S. DHHS policies and other procedures.

All investigations, experiments, surveys, or demonstrations involving human subjects, regardless of funding or the source of the funds, must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board before the activity is begun. This includes activities in which a faculty member is supervising research activities, including class projects, master’s theses, specialist’s theses and projects, and doctoral dissertations.

Application forms for submission of protocols for review by the Institutional Review Board are available from each college’s representative and in the Office of Graduate Studies.

Prior to submitting the required copies of an application for approval by the IRB, students should do the following: (1) have the application approved by their thesis, project, or dissertation director or professor teaching a course, (2) secure the appropriate signatures, and (3) have the application reviewed by their college representative to the Institutional Review Board (IRB).

The signed and approved IRB application forms and approval letter should be included in an appendix of the thesis, project, and/or dissertation. For more specific information see

Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is a standing committee of the university. The IACUC is qualified through the experience and expertise of its members to oversee the university’s animal program, facilities, and procedures. The IACUC consists of eight members (six regular and two ex officio) and its membership meets the compositional requirements set forth in the Public Health Service Policy. The IACUC, through an appointed chairperson, reports directly to the vice president for research. The IACUC acts as a monitor to ensure the university’s facilities are operated in compliance with the Public Health Service Policy and other federal policies.

Federal law requires that any university activity (whether research or instructional in nature) involving the use of vertebrate animals be reviewed by the IACUC and approved by that body before the activity may proceed.

The original completed form, signed by the project director (a faculty member, not a student), the appropriate departmental chair and dean, and nine (9) copies should be forwarded to the chair of the IACUC for processing. Review of applications requires approximately two to six weeks.

The approved IACUC protocol application form should be included in an appendix of the thesis, project, and/or dissertation. IACUC review applications may be obtained from the IACUC Chairperson.


The Graduate School Dean is responsible for the review of this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review).





Related Information



Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes

02/18/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.

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