Human Investigation Safeguards

All work by faculty or students undertaken anywhere that involves human subjects in ways subject to federal or Yale guidelines must be approved by the Human Investigation Committee (HIC) at Yale. Failure to obtain HIC clearance may result in dismissal from the university. Both faculty and students should be aware that these are not pro forma requirements but serious in intent, as well as consequences, if there is failure to comply.

Consultation is available during the academic year and during the summer months. Unless their work is done entirely in a laboratory with no human subject involvement, students should assume that their work does require HIC approval. It is safer to submit the forms and be informed that HIC approval is not needed, than not to submit them and later be told that they were required. Most student research receives expedited review, but some projects are reviewed by the entire HIC, a procedure taking several weeks. Thus, students are advised to submit their HIC protocols at the earliest possible time.

The student’s faculty adviser and the faculty or student YSPH representatives on the HIC can assist the student in preparing an HIC protocol. Many student research projects involving human subjects also require written informed consent. Students should make sure that all informed consent procedures and forms have been approved by the HIC. Arrangements may be made for review by mail for those students outside the New Haven area.