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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116711
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I am about to graduate with my masters degree and have made

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I am about to graduate with my master's degree and have made a mistake that I am very sorry for. While doing my capstone project for my master's degree I was being advised by an inexperienced research professor. We both thought if I did an anonymous survey that I was exempt from IRB approval. However, in the aftermath I now realize I needed to convene an IRB and apply for the exemption. I have been completely up front and apologetic about the situation. All of the data has been destroyed. I am now worried that I may not be allowed to graduate. What can I do?
If you received this information from the professor, this is your defense. As a student, while you are supposed to be familiar with research rules and approvals, the supervising professor who was advising on the project is ultimately responsible for advising you properly and to follow the rules. Thus, your defense here is that you presented this to the professor who advised you the approval or exemption was not required by the IRB and as such you should not be penalized for following the instructions provided by your advisor. In most all cases, where there has been an admission and an apology and you did indeed get this advice from your advising professor who is responsible for properly supervising you, no drastic sanctions are generally imposed.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The instructor says she didn't know I was doing the survey but I have an email transmission which shows that she did. Should I find a local lawyer to help me with this? I'm working part time and am trying to not do this unless its absolutely necessary.

The email is your proof no matter what she says now. At this point an attorney is not necessary, since you have your documentation in the email together with the argument above that you did present it to her and she did advise you improperly and it was simply a mistake which was immediately corrected when discovered.
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