Many Macalester students conduct research while studying away. In order to ensure that this research is ethical and meets Macalester standards, here are some considerations and specific steps for you to take. 

Does your research involve human or animal subjects?

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 study away, you will receive information on how to complete this online module on responsible conduct of research (RCR) via email. If you do not receive this email, please contact the Center for Study Away (studyaway@macalester.edu). This must be done prior to leaving campus the semester before you study away.

Do you plan to use this research upon returning 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. 

  • If you do not want to use your research from study away at Macalester, then you should complete the online modules on responsible conduct of research (RCR), and then 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.
  • If you plan to use research conducted on study away upon return to Macalester, you should complete the online modules on responsible conduct of research (RCR), and then must apply for and receive approval from an appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB). The appropriate IRB for your project is determined by your study away program or university, detailed below. 

How do I get the appropriate IRB approval to use my research upon returning to Macalester?

The following programs or universities have a research review process that Macalester recognizes:

  • 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 the Macalester College 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) Study Abroad
  • University of Minnesota (MSID)

If you are participating in one of the above programs or universities for study away, 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 Macalester College Institutional Review Board (IRB). 

If you are not participating in one of the study away programs listed above, you need to get approval through the Macalester College Institutional Review Board (IRB). You can find all relevant information and application materials on the Macalester IRB website

Researchers seeking IRB approval should submit a completed application form and supporting documents via email to irb@macalester.edu. These materials should be submitted after your study away program begins and at least 2 weeks before you want to begin your research. This will give IRB enough time to review your proposal.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Any questions about research related to study away should be directed to the Center for Study Away (studyaway@macalester.edu). 

Any questions regarding the IRB application and approval process should be directed to Macalester College IRB (irb@macalester.edu).

Watch an orientation video on study away research (video)