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ECU's Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Submission Service: Vireo: Pre-Research Approvals

East Carolina University Submission Guide for the Graduate School Theses and Dissertations.


Pre-Research Approval

Pre-Research Approvals

Before beginning research, the student must be sure they obtain any necessary pre-research approvals. The student should discuss with their research advisor about any pre-research approvals that may apply.

All research being performed for the completion of a thesis or dissertation must have a committee. There are requirements that must be met for the committee members.  

  • Faculty chairing or serving on thesis or dissertation committees must have appropriate graduate faculty status as defined in Part II, Section IV of the Faculty Manual. In general, the chair and at least two additional members of a thesis or dissertation committee must have either associate graduate faculty status or full graduate faculty status. Graduate teaching faculty may serve as a fourth or fifth member of a committee as provided in Part II, Section IV of the Faculty Manual
  • External Thesis and Dissertation Committee Members. Individuals external to ECU with demonstrated expertise in the area of study in a thesis or dissertation may serve on, but not chair a thesis or dissertation committee.  The external member should have a terminal degree in an appropriate discipline or extensive professional experience. This appointment must be approved by the faculty Graduate Program Director or Coordinator and the unit graduate faculty members serving on the thesis or dissertation committee. The Graduate Program Director will maintain a record of external members’ credentials (academic CV or resume) in case they are needed for external review.  

Once a research committee is formed, the following form must be completed by the student and submitted to the Graduate School. There is a 45-day limit to gather signatures once the approval form has been started.

Students whose research involves human subjects, animals, biohazards, or radiation must have their research proposals approved by the appropriate compliance committee BEFORE beginning their research.  The following document provides more information about the steps necessary to follow this mandatory approval process. IRB and IACUC approval letters, if applicable, are required to be included in the work as the first appendix.  The student's name must appear on the approved IRB protocol - if the student is continuing research started by another, then an Amendment Approval Letter (which would be the included in the document as the second appendix) must also be included that shows the current student's name.