Blog #6

  1. Does your work require IRB approvals? If Yes, articulate your detailed IRB strategy. If No, explain why you don’t need IRB approval and identify situations when you might need IRB approval. 


We decided that our project needs IRB approval (exempt status). Specifically, our project falls into Exempt Category 2: Surveys, interviews, educational tests, and public observations.


Our project meets the definition of research; we are performing a systematic investigation which will include testing and evaluating copra dryers. While researching, we will indeed further generalizable knowledge pertaining to the coconut industry. 


In order to get a better sense of what our design really needs to be, we will be talking to and questioning human subjects. Most of the information that we will be collecting will not be personal or private; we want to know about their agricultural practices. Essentially, we want to know how they conduct their work so we can better fit our design to their needs. In order to gauge the success of our project, we may need to gather information regarding income, to measure how much additional income our processing technique is generating. We might interview Filippino family households, therefore, we might need to get informed consent. We will have to consider whether our informed consents will be conducted in Filippino instead of English and how the process of obtaining signed informed consent looks like in the Philippines.


The research we are conducting on human subjects involves little to no risk at all. The product we are designing is to be used by the people we are researching, not on them. The product causes no physical injuries or mental distress to stakeholders. 


We’ll also need to apply for Philippines Ethics Board if necessary:


  1. Develop an outline for your mid-semester presentations. What supporting evidence will you provide for each point? How will you boost your credibility every step of the way?


Time: 5 minutes → Number of slides to present: <10. Number of slides to back-up for questions part: 10-15? 


Strategy: simple story, go to product quickly, make sure to build up credibility as well.




“How long does it take to dry your hair in the morning? We can all agree that the faster you can dry your hair the better. Incidentally, the same is true for drying coconut meat into copra.”

  • Connect drying coconuts with a process people do daily

[Slide 1]: Define the overall problem using facts (3.5 million coconut farmers, earn less than $2/day) – small landowner farmers aren’t making enough money

  • Explain problems with current drying techniques and how it is hurting farmers
    • The dryers being take multiple days, are susceptible to molds and bacterial growth, and produce inconsistently dried copra (facts here)
  • Explain problems with the copra/coconut market and how that is hurting farmers
    • Lack of consistency in the moisture content of copra produced by small landowner farmers is causing a lot of pricing issues, thus causing market problems (facts here)

[Slide 2]: Discuss and display potential designs/solutions – explain how our product is avoiding problems found in current drying techniques

  • Target specifications – potential prototypes that we have

[Slide 3]: Discuss partners / Stakeholders that are involved with the project: list stakeholders and emphasize on our connection with UPD (credibility boost).

  • Explain how UPD has already been doing research for half a year and has connections on the ground over there with valuable stakeholders (farmers)

[Slide 4]: Explain the potential scalability – Whatever we make in the Philippines has a high likelihood of being replicable in other coconut producing countries (fact here)

[Slide 5]: We are working closely with a group of students from UPD to design/prototype a device that processes and produces higher quality copra in the Philippines 

[Slide 6]: Introduce the team, major, name, connect experience with project

1 Comment on Blog #6

  1. lef219
    March 5, 2020 at 2:41 am (1 year ago)

    Good work identifying the questions you will need to address for IRB. The Sierra Leone Autism Screening team has a really nice structure for how they have broken up tasks to complete their IRB approval. Your presentation looks good too once you add facts in the places you have indicated. One thing I would consider is switching the order of slides 4 and 5 – finish talking about what you have done and the partnerships that are involved, then talk about how that can scale.

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