The Merrimack IRB Guidelines were developed to meet the needs of the Merrimack community. We would like to thank the Office for Human Research Protections for their guidance in this process. To develop these guidelines, the IRB Development Committee examined a range of the best practices in the field including those offered by the IRBs at St. Olaf College, Assumption College, University of Wisconsin, Utah State University, Drew University, Ohio State University, the Mayo Clinic, and St. Michael’s College.
Guidelines for Offering Extra Credit for Study Participation
Professors may offer course extra credit to students as a kind of “payment” for participating in a research study. This option of extra credit should be an addition toward the student’s grade. The amount of extra credit offered should not be construed as “coercive” in any way (in other words it should be a small percentage of the overall grade for the course). All students enrolled in the course must be offered an alternative option to participating in research, and this alterative should be equivalent to the amount of work associated with study participation. These alternatives include attending a lecture, writing a brief report of a research article, or any other related assignment. The educational value and effort required should be comparable across these available options.