Academic Research Committee
The Academic Research Committee (ARC) operates as a University Senate committee and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Southern Adventist University (Southern) operates as a subcommittee of ARC. ARC ‘s mandate is to assess and award ARC Grant Applications for both ARC $500 initial research proposals and ARC full research grant requests. These grants are available for each school year and are awarded with the expectation the funds will be utilized prior to May 31 of the current school year. If a full research project will cross school years, continuation of funding is dependent on a new request.
The mission of the Academic Research Committee (ARC) and its subcommittee, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to ensure that vital, university research can be funded and conducted in full compliance with both the letter and the spirit of regulations designed to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects. Both ARC and IRB are charged to monitor research to ensure all human subjects involved with research are protected from undue risk and from deprivation of personal rights and dignity. This protection is assured by consideration of three principles that are the basis of ethical research:
- That voluntary participation by the subjects, indicated by free and informed consent, is assured by the investigators;
- That an appropriate balance exists between potential benefits of the research to the subject or to society and the risks assumed by the subject; and
- That there are fair procedures and outcomes in the selection of research subjects.
All faculty and staff (both full-time and part-time) as Southern Researchers may apply for ARC grants and must apply to the IRB when conducting research other than for institutional reports. They must fill out the appropriate forms when using human subjects and vertebrates, or identifiable, private information about human subjects to conduct research within the course and scope of their duties, are required to have prior approval from the IRB before research is initiated. Please see this manual for complete details as to which forms are required.
All projects must be approved. This policy also applies to students whose research is conducted under the advisement of a faculty member. All research proposals must be reviewed by the IRB and no individual other than the IRB Chair may exempt a proposal from further review.
Research is defined as: “A systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Activities, which meet this definition, constitute research for purposes of this policy, whether they are conducted or supported under a program, which is considered research for other purposes. For example, some demonstration and service programs may include research activities” (Code of Federal Regulations, 45 CFR 46.102d).
A Human Subject means: “A living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains (1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or (2) identifiable private information” (Code of Federal Regulations, 45 CFR 46.102f)
Thirteen members consisting of a total of nine faculty members appointed by the University Senate. Faculty positions are staggered, three-year, non-renewable terms (eligible for another term after a one-year hiatus). Three faculty are to be selected from each of the following areas: Science/ Math (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Math, and Physics & Engineering). Life Sciences (Center for Teaching Excellence, Online Campus, Business & Management, Education & Psychology, Journalism & Communication, Nursing, Physical Education Health & Wellness, Social Work, and Technology). Liberal Arts (English, History, Library, Modern Languages, Music, Religion, and Visual Art & Design). Student Association shall appoint one student for a one-year, non-renewable term (recommended that this student be selected from the pool of Southern Scholars), the vice president for Academic Administration, ex officio, Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance, ex officio and the IRB Chair ex officio.
The ARC will elect a chair and secretary from among its membership. The secretary position is for two years, beginning at the time of election. The secretary is the chair-elect. The chair position is for two years, beginning at the time of appointment as chair, and is non-renewable.
The ARC will elect three IRB Committee members from among its membership, one member each from Science/Math, Life Sciences and Liberal Arts. IRB Committee positions are for one-year terms renewable as long as they are still members of the ARC.
AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY
Authority to Act
The Academic Research Committee facilitates academic research for faculty and students through four functions: support, quality assurance/review, funding and reporting. The Committee has authority to act in each of these areas as follows:
- Encourages and supports research initiatives and activities, including evaluating needs for in-service training and mentorship.
- Recommends, through established administrative policy-making channels and the University Senate, actions and/or changes to policies applicable to research under its jurisdiction.
- Makes available to faculty and staff, ARC grant applications and IRB applications.
- Coordinates with SAU legal counsel, SAU Institutional Research, SAU Risk Management,
and SAU Administration to ensure:
- Compliance with legal, regulatory, and ethical laws, regulations, mandates, and provisions, and
- Containment of University risk exposure related to academic research.
- Receives notification of the development of unexpected risks in the course of conducting research, and, where appropriate, recommends actions relating to that risk.
- Supports the integrity of University research activities, including quality, feasibility, and value.
- Reviews, approves or denies funding requests from SAU faculty for academic research.
- Cooperates with the SAU Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance to establish the annual grant budget used by the Academic Research Committee to facilitate campus-wide academic research.
- Coordinates with the SAU Accounting Department Office in distributing approved research grant funds.
RECORDING AND REPORTING
- Receives, reviews and maintains records of all on-going campus wide academic research
conducted by faculty and students which meet the following criteria:
- Research is seeking either internal or external funding.
- Research involves human subjects.
- Research involves animals or plants.
- Research is described as other.
- Reports annually, and as requested, to the University Senate the activities of the Academic Research Committee and the Institutional Review Board subcommittee.
- Makes available to Academic Administration and Dean of Graduate Studies, through the ARC and IRB SharePoint sites, the current status of on-going campus wide academic research.