Surveys, Questionnaires and Interviews

When surveys/questionnaires are distributed and/or interviews are conducted for research purposes, they are subject to COUHES review.

Surveys/questionnaires should begin with statements that describe the purpose of the research and state that:

  • Participation is voluntary.
  • Subjects may decline to answer any or all questions.
  • Subjects may decline further participation, at any time, without adverse consequences.
  • Confidentiality and/or anonymity are assured.

Interviewers must inform their subjects of these same rights.


  • No coercion to participate should be involved.
  • Data collected will be reported in such a way that the identity of individuals is protected.
  • Proper measures will be taken to safeguard data.

Ordinarily, written informed consent is not required but, for some types of interviews and questionnaires, COUHES may determine that written informed consent forms are required from participants.

When surveys are given electronically or online, COUHES may specify that on-line consent must be obtained. When this is required, investigators must provide a written description of study procedures, goals, and potential risks, and include a check box or button potential participants must click on - to signify understanding and consent - before they are able to view or respond to the survey.

COUHES will waive jurisdiction over surveys, questionnaires and interviews if they are carried out as part of the administrative responsibility of the investigator, AND the data gathered are non-sensitive and will be used for MIT purposes only. Sensitive data includes, but is not limited to, academic performance, religion, ethnicity, sex, alcohol consumption and the use of illegal drugs. COUHES retains the right to decide when to waive jurisdiction.

Student surveys, questionnaires and interviews carried out for academic or other purposes are subject to COUHES review unless the supervising instructor or department head has cleared the study in advance with the COUHES office.

Investigators must include the following language in their consent form for online surveys: 

"For the submission of online survey responses, MIT reserves the right to withhold compensation and/or verify the identity of participants in the event it suspects multiple and/or fraudulent survey responses."