Informed Consent


Principal Investigator: Dr. Rosalind S. Chou

Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Katie Acosta, Dr. Elisabeth O. Burgess, Dr. Dawn Baunach, dr. darryl holloman, dr. maura ryan, dr. wendy simonds

I. Purpose:

You are invited to participate in a research study. The purpose of the study is to investigate the climate for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer) students at Georgia State University (GSU). You are invited to participate because you identify as a member of the LGBTQ student community at Georgia State University. A total of 200 participants will be recruited for this study. Participation will require approximately ninety minutes of your time to complete an online survey. The online survey will be available from August 2016 through July 2017. Only students age 18 or older can participate in the project.

 As a member of the LGBTQ student community at Georgia State University you are being asked to volunteer to complete a survey. This survey will ask you about your experiences at GSU. By completing this survey you will help us to do two things. You will help us identify ways that GSU is meeting the needs of its LGBTQ students, and also help us find out ways that GSU is not meeting those needs. Your responses will also help us identify ways that GSU can improve the experiences of its LGBTQ students.

 II. Procedures:

 If you decide to participate, you will be asked to complete a one-time online survey. At the completion of the survey, you will be asked if you would like to be interviewed in person by a member of the research team. If you are willing to be interviewed in person about your experiences as a LGBTQ student at Georgia State University, you will be asked to provide your email address. If you are not willing to be interviewed about your experiences, you will not be asked to provide your email address or any other identifying information.

III. Risks:

There is the possibility that participation in this study may cause you to recall negative situations and experiences related to being a LGBTQ student at Georgia State University. There is a possibility that answering personal questions about your experiences as a LGBTQ student at GSU could result in discomfort or anxiety. If you experience any emotional or psychological problems as a result of this survey, contact Dr. Baunach ( who can talk to you and if needed refer you to the GSU Counseling Center. You will be responsible for any cost of professional treatment.

IV. Benefits:

Participation in this study may not benefit you directly. But by investigating the experiences of LGBTQ students at GSU, the research team will be able to recommend improvements to college administration. Overall, we hope to gain information about the climate for LGBTQ students and identify ways to improve the climate for LGBTQ students.

V. Voluntary Participation and Withdrawal:

Participation in research is voluntary. You do not have to be in this study. If you decide to be in the study and change your mind, you have the right to drop out at any time. You may skip questions or stop participating at any time. Whatever you decide, you will not lose any benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.

VI. Confidentiality:

We will keep your records private to the extent allowed by law. The research team (Drs. Acosta, Baunach, Burgess, Chou, Holloman, Ryan, and Simonds) will have access to the information you provide. Information may also be shared with those who make sure the study is done correctly (GSU Institutional Review Board, the Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP)). We will use a questionnaire number rather than your name on the study. The information you provide will be stored on password- and firewall-protected computers in locked offices. Your name and other facts that might point to you will not appear when we present this study or publish its results. The findings will be summarized and reported in group form. You will not be identified personally.

Your computer’s IP address will not be collected as part of the online survey. Upon completion of data collection, all identifying information (for example, an email address provided to indicate a willingness to be interviewed in person) will be stripped from the online survey data.

VII. Contact Persons:

Contact Dr. Rosalind S. Chou at if you have questions, concerns, or complaints about this study. You can also call if you think you have been harmed by the study. Call Susan Vogtner in the Georgia State University Office of Research Integrity at or 404-413-3513 if you want to talk to someone who is not part of the study team. You can talk about questions, concerns, offer input, obtain information, or suggestions about the study. You can also call Susan Vogtner if you have questions or concerns about your rights in this study.

 VIII. Copy of Consent Form to Subject:

 If you wish to have a copy of this consent form to keep, please use the print function of your internet browser.