Today was the day I set for myself to complete all the online coursework required to qualify for IRB certification, since I’m concerned that some of my proposed spider research might require approval. The fact that the work is on spiders isn’t a problem (it was weird discovering that invertebrates don’t seem to count as “animals”), but that I’m planning to survey people’s — you know, human beings’ — homes might be of some concern. I’m dotting those i’s and crossing those t’s to make sure.
Anyway, I hadn’t realized what a painful slog it was going to be. Lots of the modules have these little staged videos illustrating cases of problematic behavior. I’ve already decided that I hate Smarmy Grad Student and Smug PI so much. I have to take a little quiz after each module, too, which are usually easy, but the ones on financial reporting put me to sleep, and jeez, I had to take an online cours in Export Controls and Economic Sanctions which was 90% acronyms, I think. For instance, my work has to comply with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which is going to put a real crimp into my nefarious plans for spiders.
Now it’s done, at least, and my brain is only bleeding a little bit.