The Mission

The mission of St. Petersburg College is to empower our students and community to achieve success and economic mobility through academic excellence and engagement.


A premier college enriching and strengthening lives through a community of care.

Additional Links

Please click on one of the following topics for more detailed information:

For additional information contact the Department of Institutional Research and Effectiveness or the
Research Review Committee Chair, Sabrina Crawford


Conducting Research at SPC

Thank you for your interest in conducting research at St. Petersburg College. All research involving human subjects at SPC is governed by Board of Trustee Rule 6Hx23.908Conducting Educational Research and Board of Trustee Procedure P6Hx23.908Procedure: Conducting Educational Research.

SPC uses a Research Review Committee to review applications and is responsible for the assessment, approval, and monitoring of research studies for the purpose of the human subject’s protection and supporting the interests of the College. Reviews take place on an on-going basis throughout the year. Upon committee approval, the research candidate will have twelve months to complete their research, however, they may request a renewal (extension) if more time is needed.

Be advised that St. Petersburg College safeguards the privacy of our students and employees. Though we may agree to contact students or employees on your behalf with an invitation to participate, we will not, under any circumstances, provide contact information directly to researchers without the express consent of the student/employee. Please take this into account when planning your data collection.

Research at SPC can fall into several categories – please review each one below and see which best suits your purposes.

Preliminary Approval

In order to grant preliminary approval (a site letter) before your university IRB review, the Research Review Committee needs to know exactly what your research will entail in order to appropriately make a judgment on the feasibility of a project. So, if you require a preliminary letter for your University IRB, you will need to complete the application process as if you were applying for regular approval. In other words, all of the components of the study must be finished with the exception of IRB review. This means that the proposal has been defended with dissertation committee approval obtained, the proposal is complete including data collection materials, recruitment materials, and consent forms; human subjects training for all researchers is done, and the University IRB application is finished and ready for submission.

Click Here for the Research Study Application

Internal SPC Employees Study Approval

To request approval to conduct research at St. Petersburg College, a research applicant will be required to submit a completed Research Study Application along with the required supporting documents.

These documents are required for local review:

  1. Complete “Application for a Research Study” (applications will not be reviewed until all elements are complete)
    • Answers must be provided to all questions
    • The application must contain all required signatures
    • All required supplemental materials must be attached
  2. Copy of the full Research Proposal (The full proposal must include the Background, Materials, Methods and Analysis plan. If this is a dissertation it must include Chapters 1-3 in their entirety.)
  3. Copies of all data collection materials and tools, including but not limited to: data collection forms, test questions, questionnaires, surveys, and interview scripts
  4. Copy of the informed consent form, participant information document, oral consent procedure, and/or consent script. Please include copies of all materials to be provided to the participants
  5. Copies of materials to be used for subject recruitment (including, but not limited to e-mails, posters, letters, electronic announcements, scripts for in-person interactions, etc.)
  6. Proof of Human Subjects Training for all Investigators and the Sponsor
  7. Copy of funding letters, memorandum of agreement or other documents pertinent to the sponsorship of the study (only if applicable)
  8. Copy of IRB application submitted to other institution
  9. Copy of IRB approval letter
Eternal to SPC Researchers Study Approval
At the present time, College Administration has made the decision that in most cases we are not accepting applications for research studies from investigators who are not current faculty, students or staff of the college. There are two exceptions to this moratorium:

  1. You have a study that will offer a direct and immediate benefit to St. Petersburg College, its students, faculty, and/or staff and you have an SPC employee sponsor for this study.
  2. Your only need is to have an invitation to participate in your study distributed electronically to students, faculty, and/or staff and you will not be using SPC resources to conduct research or perform any study activities on SPC properties.

Guidelines for Non-SPC researchers who wish to conduct research on SPC property and/or with the use of SPC resources

  • The proposed study must offer a direct and immediate benefit to St. Petersburg College or to its students, faculty, and/or staff. Direct and immediate benefit means tangible and current benefits to SPC students, staff or institutions. Adding to generalizable knowledge, creating benefit at a future date, or benefiting the academic field of the researcher, in general, is NOT considered sufficient immediate benefit.
  • St. Petersburg College does not allow outside parties to conduct research without an SPC employee sponsor. The sponsor must be an employee with appropriate training and experience to be able to oversee a research project of the type being requested. The sponsor must be willing to take full internal accountability for the research including assisting the researcher to follow all guidelines and regulations of SPC.
  • The identification and contact of a potential employee sponsor, as well as obtaining the identified person’s agreement to function as a sponsor, is the sole responsibility of the researcher. Neither SPC nor the Research Review Committee will act as an intermediary to locate sponsors for outside research projects.
  • If you meet these criteria, please fill out the form:  Research Study Application” and submit the forms as per the directions. All forms must include ALL the required signatures (i.e. Sponsor, Dean, etc.) and include all required documents before the application will be reviewed.

If approved by the Research Review Committee you will be able to conduct your research in partnership with your SPC Sponsor.

Guidelines for Non-SPC researchers whose only interest is the distribution of an electronic invitation to participate to students, faculty and/or staff

  • Petersburg College does not provide outside parties with personnel contact information for students, faculty, and/or staff without their explicit consent. If you wish to invite one of these groups of people to participate in your study, we are however sometimes willing to post electronic invitations/notices of studies looking for research subjects providing the following criteria are met:
    • The research study has been approved by a Federally recognized IRB (one with a Federal-wide Assurance) and is currently considered open and eligible to enroll by that IRB
    • The specific poster/research invitation wording has been approved by the same IRB
    • The only involvement of SPC will be the posting of the invitation: research will not be conducted on SPC property nor will SPC resources be utilized in any way.
  • If you meet these criteria, please fill out the form:  Research Study Applicationleaving the SPC sponsor and signatures blank, and submit it as per the directions.

If approved by the Research Review Committee, your request will be forwarded to the appropriate Dean/Administrator for final approval and dissemination.

Student Course Assignments – Research Application

Student course assignments are generally not considered “research” under the federal definition as these course assignments are not “systematic data collection” efforts intended to “develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.” Therefore, student course assignments generally do not require the Research Review Committee’s review, approval, and monitoring.

However, when student course assignments are in fact systematic data collection efforts intended to “develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge”, they are considered a research study and are subject to Research Review Committee review, approval, and monitoring. This attached checklist can help you determine if your course assignment needs to be reviewed by the Research Review Committee

Research Amendment – if Anything Changes or more time is needed

The Research Study Update form should be used if any changes need to be made to your protocols, documents, or personnel within the study in order to be approved by the Research Review Committee before implementing any of the potential changes.

For Proposal Amendment Requests researchers must submit:

  • Completed and signed “Research Study Update” form
  • Copy of the full Research Proposal with requested amendments highlighted
  • Copies of any study materials (data collection materials, tools, scripts, recruitment materials, consent forms, etc.) for which changes are requested
  • Copies of any other materials pertinent to the change (i.e. funding letter, etc.)

For Personnel Amendment Requests

  • Completed and signed “Research Study Update” form
  • Detailed information on which personnel are to be deleted and which added including complete contact information for new personnel
  • Proof of humans subjects trained for all new personnel
  • Signed Assurances (as applicable) for all new personnel
Request for Additional Time to Conduct Study

Research protocols are approved for a maximum of one year. After this time researchers must apply for an extension (renewal) in order to continue the research. Study renewal may be requested by submitting the Research Study Update form along with any required documentation and signatures to the RRC.

Researchers are advised to make this application well in advance of the expiration date of the study as research may NOT continue past the expiration date without re-approval. This means should the extension not be approved before the original expiration date that all research activities including, but not limited to enrollment, data collection, and data analysis must cease until re-approval is decided.

If you are unsure if you need to submit a request for renewal or for closure, please use the following questions to assist you in making the determination.

  • Are all research-related activities with human subjects completed or permanently discontinued?
  • Is all data collection complete or permanently discontinued?
  • Is any on-going data analysis limited to anonymous data only?

If you answered “No” to any of the above questions, then you must submit a renewal request for your study. (If you answered “No” to all of the above you may submit a closure request.)

Research protocols that were determined by the Research Review Committee to be “Exempt” do not require continuing review (renewal) as exempt studies by definition were not approved but exempted from the requirement for review.

When a Study is Over – Closing Procedures

A research study is required to be officially closed with the Research Review Committee when it is either complete or it is permanently discontinued. Closure involves officially informing the RRC of the cessation of the study using the Research Study Update form, selecting “Final Report- Study Closure Request” as the purpose of the update, and furnishing the committee with copies of all publications and/or presentation that resulted from the research.

A research study is considered complete when ALL of the following criteria are met:

  • All research-related activities with human subjects have been completed
  • All data collection is complete
  • Analysis of identifiable private information or specimens as described in the research plan approved by the Research Review Committee (RRC) is finished
  • Any on-going data analysis is limited to anonymous data only.
  • No additional papers or presentations will be submitted

A research study is considered permanently discontinued if it was approved but not completed and ALL of the following criteria are met:

  • All research-related activities with human subjects have been permanently terminated
  • All data collection has been permanently discontinued
  • Analysis of any previously collected data has been permanently stopped
  • No papers or presentations have been or will be submitted

Research Review Committee

Name Position Committee Position Degree
Beth Carlson Faculty Sign Language Interpretation Program Ph.D.
Sabrina Crawford AVP Institutional Effectiveness & Academic Services Ed.D.
Deanna Stentiford Dean Allied Health Sciences Ph.D.
Stan Vittetoe Provost Clearwater Campus Ph.D.
Carol Weideman Faculty Department of Mathematics Ph.D.
Fawzi Al Nassir Director Institutional Research Ph.D.
Nicholas Manias Faculty Ethics, Clearwater Campus Ed.D.
Chad Marin Librarian Learning Resources M.A.
Kellie Ziemak Director Career and Academic Advising Services Ed.D.
Shannon Ulrich Faculty College of Natural Sciences Ph.D.