Student-athletes, like all students at UConn, are a vulnerable population because of concerns with issues of coercion, undue influence and privacy.  However, their involvement in research studies raises special concerns regarding recruitment and compensation for research studies since they are subject to NCAA rules and regulations that are related to their eligibility for participation in athletics.


Any member of the coaching staff, faculty or graduate student researchers are encouraged to contact the IRB office prior to submission of the protocol for advice to minimize the potential for undue influence, coercion, or NCAA compliance concerns.  You may be advised to consider using anonymous data collection methods or an independent third party to consent participants or collect data.

If student-athletes are specifically recruited for a research study because of their status as athletes, the researchers must obtain approval from the Athletics Research Committee prior to enrollment. Written documentation of approval from the Athletics Research Committee must be provided to the IRB and indicate that they understand the research, are supportive of student-athlete participation, and, confirm that it will not jeopardize the student-athlete’s NCAA eligibility.


If results of the research will be shared with the coach or any member of the coaching staff, sports medicine or athletic training staff or any staff person in the Director of Athletics office, the nature of the data being shared must be fully explained in the protocol application.  In addition, the student-athletes must be informed of this in the consent form. NCAA rules regarding countable athletically related activities may apply in research that involves the student-athlete engaging in an athletics activity even if no athletics staff member is present.  In certain situations, research may not be able to be shared with coaches if providing such information will trigger the activity to become countable.  The Athletics Research Committee will advise when such a situation arises.

Compensation to Student-Athletes

Per NCAA Bylaws, a student-athlete may receive compensation from an institution for participating in a research study involving only student-athletes, provided the study is initiated and conducted by a faculty member at a member institution and the study and compensation arrangements are approved by the institutional review board of the faculty member’s institution consistent with policies applicable to other institution-based research studies.

Updated 6.14.2024

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