Human Subjects Research

UNA is committed to the responsible and ethical conduct of research and the protection of human subjects used in that research. In all work governed by this policy, the welfare of human subjects is considered preeminent and, along with full compliance with applicable regulations and institutional policy, takes precedence over specific research programs.

This policy provides guidance on the use of human subjects in any activity at the University of North Alabama (UNA) deemed to be research, which is defined as a systematic investigation designed to contribute to generalizable knowledge. This policy applies to all entities of UNA (faculty, administration, staff, students, and contracted consultants) engaged in any research activity using human subjects that is directly or indirectly supported by UNA. The Human Subject Committee (HSC) of UNA will administer this policy.


Proper attention to the protection of human research participants is of vital importance to UNA’s research activities. Ethical considerations form the foundation for protecting participants, and today regulatory law embodies the ethical review procedures for the vast majority of medical and behavioral research in the United States. This section of our website is intended to provide investigators with a synoptic overview of the ethical and legal approach to human research participant protections at UNA. Since federal regulation dominates the research landscape in this area, much of the material has general applicability.

Do I need HSC approval?
Education and Training
Ethical Principles
Federal Policy
Policies, Guidelines & Forms
Public Datasets
Regulatory Updates
Related Links
What's new with Final Rule?

On May 7, 2015, Governor Robert Bentley signed into law Act 2015-167, lowering the age of majority to participate in IRB-approved research conducted by a federally accredited college or university from 19 years old to 18 years old. Therefore, parental consent is no longer required for 18-year-olds, who may now provide their own consent to participate in IRB-approved research conducted at the University of North Alabama.