South Carolina Department of Mental Health

Institutional Review Board Manual

Resource Material
University/College Degree Student Sponsorship Criteria



The SC Department of Mental Health recognizes and supports the need for student led/conducted research as a vital component of degree programs at  universities and colleges. The Department also acknowledges that many students may be unable to financially compensate SCDMH Divisions, Centers, and/ or Facilities for the assistance required by the student to complete required degree completion research. SCDMH offers ten research sponsorships to students conducting research to fulfill degree requirements.  Student must meet the following criteria in order to apply for sponsorships.
  1. The student (including student employees) must be enrolled in an accredited College or University program.

  2. The research must have clear current and/or potential value to the patients and staff as well as to the student requesting to conduct human subject research. 

  3. The student must submit a letter to the Director of the Center, facility or Division detailing the estimated time and resources the department may be expected to provide to assist the student in fulfilling their required degree related research project. That letter must be included in the sponsorship application packet.

  4. The research must be in-line with the agency mission “To Support the Recovery of Persons with Mental Illnesses.

  5. The research topic must have approval of the students’ thesis and/or dissertation committee.

  6. Research must be conducted in accordance with all Federal Regulations that exist to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects involved in research including seeking Institutional review Board when appropriate.

  7. Students must complete the IRB/Research approval and application process, complying with SCDMH Institutional Review Board decisions.

  8. Students, regardless of financial, need may not conduct any research without the approval of the Facility/Center or division Director, the Research Approval Committee and, if necessary, the SCDMH Institutional review Board.

  9. Sponsorship packet must include:

    • Project Application for Research 
    • Facility/Center Director Letter of Support
    • Estimated Cost Associated with Outside Research form
    • Unaffiliated Investigator Agreement (Non-SCDMH Employee) If applicable
    • Privacy Practices Agreement (HIPAA)
    • Non-Employee Signature Page If applicable
    • Request for a Waiver or an Alteration of Individual Authorization If applicable

(Note: As SCDMH is responsible for the safety and security of its clients, patients and employees therefore only the SCDMH has the authority to grant an investigator(s) permission to conduct research on, with or for clients, patients, or staff. Although a student may seek research approval from their university or college IRB, no student can substitute that for the approval of the SCDMH IRB. )