Weller Academic Building, Room 309
61 Sever Street
Worcester, MA 01609
Survey Research Policy
The purpose of the Survey Research Policy is to manage surveys of the Becker community from internal or external constituents. In this context, a survey is considered to be a series of five (5) or more questions, distributed to more than fifty (50) people for the purpose of research or analysis. This policy requires any person or group wishing to conduct research on Becker College constituents (students, alumni, staff, and faculty), or wishing to use Becker resources to conduct human subjects research of any kind, to gain approval from the Becker College Research Review Committee (BCRRC). The goal of this policy is to:
• Minimize the burden on Becker students, and others, participating in surveys/research studies.
• Uphold ethical principles of human subjects research.
• Ensure that data collected is valid, reliable, and used to inform decision-making.
Please note: The survey research policy will not replace the legal requirement of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) review. Most research, including survey research, involving live human subjects requires the oversight of an IRB. The BCRRC is not a substitute for IRB oversight and approval. Contact the IR office to see if additional IRB approval is required before beginning your research project.
Procedure to Obtain Permission for a Survey Request
Step One: Obtain permission from the following:
a. Department Head of the requester for employees.
b. Course instructor for students conducting surveys/human subjects research as part of academic coursework.
c. Non-Becker community members are required to obtain a Becker sponsor to administer a survey/conduct research on campus involving any Becker community member.
Step Two: The Office of Institutional Research (IR), in consultation with the Becker College Research Review Committee, must review and approve research involving members of the Becker Community. To obtain approval:
a. Fill out the online Survey Approval Form. IR should receive the form at least two weeks prior to the desired data collection timeline.
b. The requester will be informed by email if the research project request is approved. IR may recommend appropriate timing for data collection; provide advice on survey design; provide guidelines for sample size; work with individuals to set obtainable (or realistic) response rate goals and share information about existing survey questions and/or to minimize duplication.
c. Once a survey is approved, annual approval is required. Inform IR of all subsequent administrations of approved surveys so that the survey calendar can be updated.
d. Approved surveys will be listed on the survey calendar with survey title and administration date(s).
Exclusions from the Research Approval Process: (Projects may still be subject to IRB approval.)
Any class projects with fewer than 50 students participating, such as, students administering surveys to students at Becker College as part of a research project for a class.
Survey Review Committee
The Vice President for Academic Affairs appoints the Becker College Research Review Committee. The committee includes representation from Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Institutional Research.