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About Us

We exist to protect research participants from unintended harm, especially in the areas of confidentiality and informed consent. The secondary goal is to assist faculty, staff, administrative personnel, student researchers in avoiding errors or oversights that can result in justifiable actions, including lawsuits, against the university.

Please note that the PHRRC committee will not be reviewing protocols for the month of July.

PHRRC Submissions

Each researcher is required to complete ethics training; Biola offers free ethics training through Citi Program. You will need to click on the right-hand search bar to register, then follow the instructions laid out by your specific program detailed in our program tips. Once each of the required courses is completed a certificate will be electronically issued. This certificate is good for 3-years from the date of completion. Please submit this certificate along with your application.

    In addition, a three-level structure has been established for the approval of research projects involving human participants. More detail is given in the protocol guidelines.

    Level I: Proposals for research that presents no risk to participants (see Section 11.0) are eligible for exempt review. The co-chairs, review coordinators, or a designee from the PHRRC committee will review the proposal. Very few proposals will fall into this category.This level of review should take approximately 1 week.

    Level II: Proposals for research involving minimal risk may be eligible for expedited review. These proposals will be reviewed by either a PHRRC co-chair or review coordinator plus one other PHRRC committee member for blind review. This process will typically take 2 weeks.

    Level III: Proposals for research involving more than minimal risk or studies involving vulnerable populations (a disparity in power exists between the researcher and the participants) or sensitive topics will be subject to a full review by one PHRRC co-chair or review coordinator and two members of the PHRRC committee for blind review. This process will typically take 4 weeks.

    Guidelines and Forms for Qualified Research

    All qualified research must go through the university's PHRRC. We now offer a fully electronic submission through Formstack or you can use the attached forms listed below (COVID templates should be used if you plan on meeting in-person with survey participants). The original word document application should be carefully filled out and submitted electronically to administrative staff at the Office of Academic Research and Grants (OARG) at and also cc your director/chair if applicable. Research proposals are generally processed within four to six weeks of submission. However, the researchers should leave additional time for unanticipated delays: Biola holidays, the end of each term, or for the review of requested changes to the protocol.

    Examples of Qualified Research

    Here are some examples of the types of research that are required to seek approval from the PHRRC:

    • Research conducted by graduate students on Biola students, staff or faculty for dissertation
    • Research conducted by faculty members on Biola students, staff or faculty
    • Departments conducting focus groups for Biola students, staff or faculty feedback
    • Research by outside persons or agencies on Biola students, staff, or faculty

    Research conducted as part of a class assignment does not require PHRRC approval.

    Internal or departmental surveys for the purpose of self-study, and not for public dissemination (i.e., publication), do not require PHRRC approval. Instead, such internal surveys will be reviewed by the departmental supervisor for ethical considerations and a copy of the survey will be sent to the PHRRC for later reference. It is suggested that all surveys that do not use an informed consent form present a statement at the top of the survey indicating that participants are giving their implied consent by completing the survey. In addition, it should be stated at the top that participants are free to choose not to answer any questions for any reason. If you are unsure whether or not your study falls into this category, please contact the PHRRC.

    Ethics Codes

    Questions about the ethics of your research project that aren't addressed in the PHRRC Guidelines? Here are a few of the most widely used ethics codes for research:

    The Belmont Report was created by the National Institutes of Health in 1979, and summarizes the "basic ethicalprinciples and guidelines that should assist in resolving the ethical problems that surround the conduct of research with human subjects" (p. 1, The Belmont Report). The APA's Code of Ethics is referenced by many disciplines, and is called by the authors of the Belmont Report, "the best known" code.


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