Capstone Guides and Research Approval
Step One: Read/review the Capstone Guides
Every MSA 699 student is required to obtain Research Review Application (RRA) or Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval before collecting data. The RRA process is handled by the MSA office. This page includes MSA 699 resources, forms, and templates for the Research Review Application process as well as the Student Guide to the MSA Capstone Project, Parts 1 and 2.
MSA 699 Resources (July 2016 Edition and January 2021 update):
- Guide Part 1 The Student Guide to the MSA Capstone Project(The Research Proposal and the Research Project)>
- Guide Part 2: RRA Process the Student Guide to the MSA Capstone Project (The Research Review Application Process, FAQs, MSA 699 Information, and Library Support)
Step Two: Complete the research review application form
Research Review Application Process
Forms for the Research Review Application (RRA) process:
The fillable PDF will accept either a digital signature (see instructions in Student Guide) or a typed signature.
- Research Review Application (please open the PDF and do a "save as" on your computer. This will allow you to use the check box and signature functions. We recommend using Firefox.)
- Research Review Application (fillable Word doc)
Step Three: Develop your supporting materials
MSA 699 Templates
Survey Cover Letter/Consent Form Templates (Word documents):
- Survey Cover Letter template with summary requested by email
- <Survey Cover Letter template with request form
- Survey Cover Letter template using email
- Survey Cover Letter template for MSA students for online survey
- Short survey invitation and page 1 of online survey
- Survey Cover Letter template for MSA students with age disclaimer
- Survey Cover Letter template with supervisor disclaimer language
Interview Templates (Word documents)
- Telephone Survey or Informal Interview Consent template with age disclaimer
- Telephone Survey or Informal Interview Consent template without age disclaimer
- Adult Consent Form Template with MSA info
Permission Letter Template (Word document)
Instructions and Help:
Step Four: Submit your Research Review Application and supporting materials to your MSA 699 instructor.
If you need IRB Approval:
Institutional Review Board Information
The majority of MSA students will complete the research review application process. Students with projects meeting the definition of research will be required to complete CITI training and go through CMU's IRB (Institutional Review Board) process. In brief, students will need the IRB process if they plan to use human subjects in their research and have the intent to produce generalizable findings.
CMU's Office of Research Compliance oversees the IRB process and applications are submitted via IRBManager. IRBManager is an Internet-based submission system and is the only method available for submitting an IRB application.
Please review the IRBManager User Guidance page for information about the IRB process and the use of IRBManager. Contact the MSA Office for additional assistance (989-774-2367). Please note that the instructor must be listed as the primary investigator on all IRB forms.
Online Training in the Use of Human Subjects (CITI)
CITI training certification is required for MSA 699 students and their instructors if the IRB process is needed. CMU has adopted the online training system offered through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).
Students and their instructors will register with CITI and complete the Basic Human Subjects—Social and Behavioral Focus course. The course must be completed at 80% or better for each module. This training must be in place before submission of any IRB materials through IRBManager.
Office of Research Compliance 989-774-6401