-Each student will develop a consent form for a study on attitudes about risk factors for HIV transmission involving attendance of a three part educational program and collection of personal information including sexual and drug use behavior.
GUIDELINES FOR WRITING INFORMED CONSENT
An informed consent form outlines the research study and expectations for potential
participants. This document should be written in layman terms and typed on Delaware
State University letterhead. If a technical term must be used, define it the first time it is
used. Also, any abbreviation should be spelled out the first time it is used. The title of
the research project must be on the informed consent. Each consent form should
include the following elements:
Purpose – Include a statement that the study involves research, an explanation of the
purposes of the research procedure and the expected duration of the subject’s
participation, a description of the procedures to be followed and identification of any
procedures that are experimental.
Risks and Discomfort – Describe any reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts–
physical, psychological, social, legal or other associated with the procedure, and include
information about their likelihood and seriousness.
Discuss the procedures for protecting against or minimizing any potential risks to the
subject. Discuss the risks in relation to the anticipated benefits to the subjects and to
Benefits – Describe any benefits to the subject or other benefits that may reasonably be
expected from the research. If the subject is not likely to benefit personally from the
experimental protocol note this in the statement of benefits. Discuss the risks in relation
to the anticipated benefits to the subjects and to society.
Alternative procedures – Include a disclosure of appropriate alternative procedures or
courses of treatment, if any that might be advantageous.
Costs and Payments – It is assumed that there are no costs to subjects enrolled in
research protocols. Any anticipated costs to the subject for tests/procedures performed
specifically for the study, experimental procedures or use of equipment must be stated.
Any payments to be made to the subject (e.g., travel expenses, stipends) must also be
stated, including when the payment will be made.
Confidential information – Provide a statement describing the extent, if any, to which
confidentiality or records identifying the subjects will be maintained, and note the
possibility that the Food and Drug Administration or drug company supplying the
experimental drug may inspect the records.
Compensation – For research involving more than minimal risk, explain whether any
compensation or medical treatments are available if injury occurs, and it so, what they
consist of or where further information may be obtained.
Inquiries – Explain whom the subject should contact for answers to questions about the
research or research-related injuries (usually the PI) and the research subject’s rights
(IRB – Human Subjects Protection Committee chairperson).
Voluntary Participation – Include a statement that participation is voluntary, refusal to
participate will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to which the subject is otherwise
entitled, and the subject may discontinue participation at any time without penalty or
loss of benefits.
Required signatures – Each research subject or the surrogate decision-maker must
sign an informed consent form prior to entering the research protocol unless a protocol
was specifically exempted because of the nature of the study. Provide a statement of
consent written in the first person, i.e., “I hereby consent,” etc.
Signature lines for the following should be included on the informed consent form:
a) The subject or the subject’s legally authorized representative.
b) The witness of both the oral presentation and execution of the written consent.
c) The investigator or the person obtaining the subject’s consent form.
Each subject (or authorized representative) should be given a copy of the signed
informed consent. Include such a statement on the informed consent form.
For further information, please contact Mr. Dennis Rubino (302) 857-6834, or Ms.
Renee S. Jones at (302) 857-6819.
DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY
INFORMED CONSENT AND HUMAN SUBJECTS RESEARCH
Research investigators are responsible for obtaining informed consent from human
subjects (or their legally authorized representative). The consent information must be in
language understandable to the subject or the subject’s representative. Wording should
not include conditional language through which the subject or the representative is
made to waive or appear to waive any of the subject’s legal rights, or release the
research investigator, the sponsor, the institution or its agents from liability for
Avoid the person/tense used in the wording of the consent form. Statements
interchanging “I,” “you,” and “one” can be very confusing to the reader.
An effort should be made to be precise. As in our sample, the entire copy may be
produced on one side of paper.
A. BASIC ELEMENTS OF THE INFORMATION NECESSARY FOR “INFORMED
1. Statement that the study involves research, an explanation of the
purposes of the research, and the expected duration of the subject’s
participation. Use the word “research” to make this element clear.
2. An invitation to participate–worded perhaps as “You are invited to
participate in a study of …. We hope to learn ….”
3. Why the subject was selected–if this is appropriate to the project.
4. A description of the procedures to be followed and identification of any
procedures which are experimental.
5. A description of any reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts.
6. If any benefits can be reasonably expected, they should be described.
7. A disclosure of any appropriate alternative procedures that might be
advantageous for the individual.
8. Aspects of confidentiality of information–if data is in form of tape
recordings, photographs, movies or videotapes, researcher should
describe period of time they will be retained before destruction. Showing
or playing of such data must be disclosed, including instructional
9. An explanation of whom to contact for answers to pertinent questions
about the research and whom to contact in the event of research-related
injury to subject. This is usually the researcher or the faculty advisor.
10. An explanation of whom to contact concerning issues on human subjects
rights. This is IRB – Human Subjects Protection Committee Chair or the
Office of Sponsored Programs.
11. If subjects are paid a fee or receive some service in lieu of financial
compensation for participating, this should be described.
12. A statement that participation is voluntary, refusal to participate involves
no penalty or loss of benefits to which the subject is otherwise entitled and
the subject may discontinue participation at any time without penalty or
loss of benefits. If the subject is receiving some form of course “credit” for
his/her participation, the effect of withdrawal from the experiment on
“credit received” should be explained.
13. For research involving more than minimal risk, an explanation as to
whether any compensation and/or medical treatments are available if any
injury occurs and, if so, what they consist of, or where further information
may be obtained.
14. Concludes with statement of acceptance to participate in the research study
including the signature of the subject or responsible agent, unless nature of
research is such that signed consent forms are unnecessary.
B. DOCUMENTATION OF INFORMED CONSENT
1. Research investigators shall be responsible for insuring that informed
consent is documented by the use of a written consent form approved by
the IRB – Human Subjects Protection Committee and signed by the
subject or the subject’s legally authorized representative, unless this
requirement is specifically waived by the IRB – Human Subjects Protection
Committee. A copy of the signed consent form is given to the person
signing the form; the original signed consent form is retained by the
2. The requirement for the investigator to obtain a signed consent form may
be waived by the IRB – Human Subjects Protection Committee if it finds
a. the only record linking the subject and the research would be the
consent document and the principal risk would be potential harm
resulting from breach of confidentiality.
b. the research presents no more than minimal risk and involves no
procedures for which written consent is normally required outside of
the research context.
3. When the IRB – Human Subjects Protection Committee waives the
documentation requirement, it may require the investigator to provide
subjects with a written statement about the research, generally including
the relevant elements of informed consent. In all cases, a written
statement describing the informed consent procedure shall be provided to
the IRB – Human Subjects Protection Committee.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FINAL FORM ADMINISTERED MUST BE APPROVED BY
THE IRB – HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION COMMITTEE BEFORE IT CAN BE
LEGALLY ADMINISTERED; SAMPLE COPIES OF THE FORM MUST BY LAW BE
RETAINED BY THE IRB – HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION COMMITTEE.
Sample Subject’s Consent Forms are attached. NOTE: Three samples are shown, a
comprehensive form, a cover letter format and oral consent–investigators should
develop a consent form appropriate to the type of subject and the nature of the
proposed research. Please remember to write at the educational level of the intended
SAMPLE COVER LETTER FOR CATEGORY I/II PROJECTS
(When signed consent form is not required or appropriate,
e.g., anonymous research involving minimal risk, non-sensitive data, etc.)
Dear (potential subject pool, e.g., student, teacher, manager):
You are invited to participate in a research study [state what is being studied].
We hope to learn [state what the research project is designed to discover or
establish]. You are being asked to participate in this study because [state why person
is appropriate subject].
If you decide to participate in the project [describe the procedures to be
followed, e.g., please complete the attached survey and return it in the enclosed
envelope] — [describe confidentiality conditions].
If you have any questions about this research, please call [name of faculty
advisor/investigator]. If you have questions concerning the rights of subjects involved
in research studies, please call the Office of Sponsored Programs at 302-857-6819 or
Your voluntary completion of the survey constitutes consent to participate. Thank
you for assisting us with this study.
Name of faculty/student researchers
and University affiliation
e.g., John Smith
Students in Management 689
Obtaining Oral Consent: If oral consent is necessary due to limited literacy or language
comprehension, the subject or his/her legal representative will be asked to sign a short
form stating that the basic consent form elements have been orally presented. Both the
short consent form and the oral presentation must be approved by the IRB – Human
Subjects Protection Committee. A witness must also be present for this presentation
and must sign both the short form and a written summary of the oral presentation. The
subject or his/her legal representative must be furnished with a copy of both signed
SAMPLE ORAL CONSENT
HELLO–I am a [describe who you are, including university affiliation, e.g.,
student in (Department) at Delaware State University]. We are conducting research
[describe project and method of data collection, e.g., telephone survey, etc.].
Your are being contacted because [explain why you are calling, e.g., random
survey, resident of Dover, listed in yellow pages].
If you agree, I would like to ask you some questions about [describe nature of
survey]. The survey should take [specify amount of time]. Your responses are
[confidential] and will be grouped with other people who are called.
Do you have any questions about the research project? May I proceed with the
Sample Subject Consent Form/Statement
Project Director or Principal Investigator:
Title of Project:
You are invited to participate in a research study of [state what is being studied]. We hope to
learn [state what the study is designed to discover or establish]. You were selected as a possible
participant in this study because [state why the subject was selected].
If you decide to participate, we [or: Dr. and associates] will [describe the
procedures to be followed, including their purposes, how long they will take, and their
frequency]. [Describe the discomforts and inconveniences. An estimate of the total time required
must be included]. [Describe the risks reasonably to be expected]. [Describe any benefits
reasonably to be expected. If benefits are mentioned, it is advisable to add:] We cannot and do not
guarantee or promise that you will receive any benefits from this study.
[Describe appropriate alternative procedures that might be advantageous to the subject, if
any. Any standard treatment that is being withheld must be disclosed.]
[A statement describing the extent, if any, to which confidentiality of records identifying
the subject will be maintained.] If you give us your permission by signing this document, we plan to
disclose [state the persons or agencies to whom the information will be furnished, the nature of
the information to be furnished, and the purpose of the disclosure.]
[If the subject will receive a fee for participating, or services in lieu of a fee, describe the
amount or nature.] [If there is a possibility of additional costs to the subject because of
participation, describe it.]
[For research involving more than minimal risk, an explanation as to whether any
compensation and/or medical treatments are available if injury occurs, and if so, what they
consist of or where further information may be obtained.]
Your decision whether or not to participate will not prejudice your future relations with
[(Institution) and the named cooperating institution, if any]. If you decide to participate, you are free
to withdraw your consent and to discontinue participation at any time without prejudice.
Before you complete and sign the form, please ask questions on any aspect of the study that is at
all unclear to you. If you have any additional questions later, Dr. (give a phone number
or address) will be happy to answer them. If at any time you have questions concerning your rights as a
research subject, you may call the Office of Sponsored Programs, 302-857-6819 or 857-6811.
YOU ARE MAKING A DECISION WHETHER OR NOT TO PARTICIPATE. YOUR SIGNATURE
INDICATES THAT YOU HAVE DECIDED TO PARTICIPATE, HAVING READ THE INFORMATION
I acknowledge that I have received a personal copy of this consent form. Copy received: _____
Time Relationship to subject
[This line should not appear on forms that will
be given to subjects consenting for
Signature of Witness Signature of Investigator