Many Macalester students conduct research while studying away. In order to ensure that this research meets Macalester standards, there are two important steps for you to take.

  • First, students planning to do research while on study away are required to complete an online module on responsible conduct of research (RCR). Students will be emailed with information about RCR the semester before they study away.
  • Second, if students are planning to use the research upon return to Macalester, they must also have approval from an appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Watch an orientation video on study away research

Research during study away must be ethical

If you plan to do research while away on human or animal subjects you are required to complete an online module covering ethical research methods the semester before you leave.

  1. You must complete an online certification module that covers appropriate research practices.
    The semester before you study away, you will receive information on how to complete this module via email. If you do not receive this email, please contact the Center for Study Away. This must be done prior to leaving campus the semester before you study away.
  2. Decide if you want to use this research upon return to Macalester.
    Many students choose to use research done on a study away program for a paper or project at Macalester. This could take the form of a senior capstone, honors project, or any other work.
    1. If you do not want to use your research from abroad at Macalester: Follow the guidelines of your study away program. However, you cannot change your mind and later seek IRB approval once the research has begun. If you do not have IRB approval, you will not be able to use any research done during study away for a paper or project at Macalester.
    2. If you want to use your research at Macalester: Follow the information outlined below. 

Research Review During Study Away

If you plan on using your research at Macalester when you return, you must have approval from an appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB). 

    1. Determine if your study away program has an IRB that is recognized by Macalester.
      Currently, Macalester recognizes the research review process at the following organizations/universities:
      – ACM (Associated Colleges of the Midwest): Macalester recognizes ACM’s review process for research that is determined to be of minimal risk by ACM. Any research that ACM determines to be of more than minimal risk needs to be reviewed by Macalester’s Study Away Institutional Review Board. 
      – Direct Enroll: University of Otago
      – Macalester: Globalization, the Environment, and Society in Cape Town
      – Macalester: Perspectives on Globalization at Leiden University College
      – SIT (School for International Training) 
      – University of Minnesota
    2. If your program has an IRB recognized by Macalester:
      Follow the procedures of your program’s IRB. Keep a copy of your research proposal and any response you receive from your program (approval letter, email, etc.). Send this information to the Center for Study Away either while you are studying away or immediately upon your return to campus. These documents will be kept on file at the Center for Study Away.

      *Please note that your program’s IRB approval only applies to research you conduct while studying away. Under the scope of this IRB approval, you may use any of your findings in a Macalester paper or project, however, any supplemental research you plan to conduct after return needs to be approved by the appropriate on-campus review board.

    3. If your study away program does not have an IRB that is recognized by Macalester:
    4. You will need to go through Macalester’s Study Away Institutional Review Board (SAIRB).

      1. You will need to complete the SAIRB Research Questionnaire and send it, along with any supporting materials, to
      2. You should submit these materials after your study away program begins and at least 2 weeks before you want to begin your research. This will give SAIRB enough time to review your proposal.
      3. Any questions should be directed to the Center for Study Away.

        *Please note that SAIRB approval only applies to research you conduct while studying away. Under the scope of this IRB approval, you may use any of your findings in a Macalester paper or project, however, any supplemental research you plan to conduct after return needs to be approved by the appropriate on-campus review board

SAIRB Forms

SUMMER RESEARCH

If you began research during an approved study away semester and plan to continue this research during the summer you will have your research reviewed by the SAIRB.

Other students (e.g. those who did not recently study away or those whose summer research is unconnected with semester study away research) will have their research reviewed by the SSIRB.