Step 1: Determine the level of required SCC review

Full SCC Review

Most surveys require full SCC review. Unless your survey falls into one of the three categories below (exempt, student class project, recurring survey), follow the instructions in Step 2 for full SCC review.

Exempt Projects

If your survey meets the SCC’s exempt criteria, you can move forward without SCC involvement. If you are unsure if your project is exempt, contact SCC Chair Adam Johnson ([email protected]).

Student Class Projects

If your survey is a student class project conducted under the guidance of a faculty member, the faculty member can submit a Notification of Surveys for Class Projects form to the SCC Chair, Adam Johnson ([email protected]). No further SCC involvement or review is required.

Expedited Review of Annual or Recurring Surveys

If your survey has already received SCC approval from a prior term, and if you plan to administer it again with minimal changes, you can follow the steps below for Expedited Review.

Step 2: Submit application materials for SCC review

Full SCC Review

All of the following application materials should be submitted in a single email to the SCC Chair (Adam Johnson; [email protected]). Please plan for up to two weeks for the SCC to conduct a full review.

Expedited Review of Annual or Recurring Surveys

All of the following application materials should be submitted in a single email to the SCC Chair (Adam Johnson; [email protected]). Expedited reviews can take up to one week.

Step 3: Submit any additional IRB approvals or 3rd party data agreements (if applicable)

IRB Approval (if applicable)

Federal regulations do not consider surveys used for internal planning, assessment, or decision-making to be “research.” Therefore, most surveys for internal use will not require IRB approval.  However, surveys conducted for academic research or with the intent of sharing findings in a scholarly or professional context, whether through publication or through professional conferences, qualify as “systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge” under e-CFR 46.102.l. If you intend to share your survey findings publicly in scholarly or professional contexts, you will need to contact the Macalester IRB to determine whether your survey is exempt from IRB review. The SCC needs to be notified of IRB approval in such circumstances as well.

3rd Party Partners (if applicable)

If survey participants’ original responses (the raw survey data) is collected by or shared with any 3rd party organization, such as another institution, consortium, or private company, then the SCC needs information about how this 3rd party plans to use and protect Macalester’s data. Most 3rd party organizations who partner with institutions to conduct surveys have standard data use and data protection statements, such as the examples below. Please include such a document with your SCC application.

Off-Campus Researchers

Surveys conducted by off-campus researchers must be done in collaboration with a Macalester staff or faculty member, who must serve as a primary researcher on the project. Under most circumstances, off-campus researchers who are not partnered with a Macalester staff or faculty member as a PI will not be allowed to survey Macalester community members. In rare cases, off-campus researchers will be allowed to survey Macalester community members without a Macalester collaborator IF they agree to share results in full with a relevant Macalester office or department AND IF said results have the potential to directly benefit that office in its ability to serve its mission to the College. An application for off-campus researchers can be found here.