Content Overview:

  1. Will SLS assist me if I’d like to turn my SLCE work into a publication? Or some other public-facing document?
  2. Will SLS help me document my SLCE work?
  3. Should I be concerned about obtaining IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval for my SLCE project?
  4. How do I make sure that my SLCE project and any deliverables are in compliance with Georgia Tech’s intellectual property protocol and guidelines?
  5. For Students’ Use: Video and Photography Equipment/Campus Resources


Will SLS assist me if I’d like to turn my SLCE work into a publication? Or some other public-facing document?

Sharing your SLCE activities with SLS can offer you a quick and easy way to publicize your work, your community partner, and the deliverables that your students have produced as part of your course. We’re happy to celebrate your work with you through the following forms:

  • Your own reflection on SLCE, discussing both the planning and teaching involved and how your work connects to the SLS Big Ideas. (See examples on our Reflections page.)
  • Blogging/Reflective student writing on the event, what they learned, and how they are planning on following up with the community partner. See Nicole Kennard’s blog post on our Reflections page about what she learned during her experience with an SLS Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service activity off-campus.
  • Guidance about academic journals and conferences that relate to service learning and sustainability issues and support for you if you are undertaking pedagogy-focused scholarship on your SLCE endeavors. If you’re interested in pedagogical research please contact the Service Learning and Partnerships Specialist (Ruthie Yow).

SLS also partners with faculty on workshops and longer-term projects, such as VIPs and NSF Broader Impacts. If you’re interested in these opportunities, please contact SLS Director, Jenny Hirsch.


Will SLS help me document my SLCE work?

Even if you are not immediately interested in publishing, we would love to help you document your SLCE activities! Contact the SLS Program Manager (Kris Chatfield) for a photographer for your event.  Affiliated courses are given the option of requesting photographers for course events.  If SLS does not have a photographer available, we can contact Institute Communications for your photography needs.  PLEASE NOTE:  All students and/or partners that will be photographed need to be provided with notification ahead of time AND MUST sign the Georgia Tech Group Image License and Release Form photo waiver.


If you prefer that students do their own documenting, the links below will be helpful. But please keep in mind: students and faculty should never record partners or partner activities without the consent of the partner! Such an agreement/consent can be included in your Collaborator Agreement.




Should I be concerned about obtaining IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval for my SLCE project?

If you are not planning to publish research on your project or activity in your course, you do not need IRB approval.  If you ARE going to publish your scholarship about the activities your students engaged in (for example, surveying them about their work or experiences with a community partner/doing a project in the community) then you need to submit an application for IRB exemption. (It is rare that faculty seeking to publish on student activities for a course would not be granted exemption, but it is still crucial to apply.)  You will be able to easily fill out an application by going to  If you aren’t sure whether you need to engage at all with IRB, contact Kelly Winn at 404.385.2175 or Melanie Clark at 404.894.6942.


If you are going to use student work in an article you wish to publish, you do need to obtain the permission of the student.  For a sample permission form, take a look here.


If you are not about to undertake a project, but you are curious about what kinds of scholarly activities DO require IRB approval, they are described here:  Tech’s Institutional Review Board’s (IRB) Policy and Procedures Manual. 


How do I make sure that my SLCE project and any deliverables are in compliance with Georgia Tech’s intellectual property protocol and guidelines?

Within higher education, intellectual property (IP) issues often hinge on whether the deliverable is for an external client, and whether that client has paid to work with a student group on the given product.  According to Georgia Tech’s intellectual property guidelines, while the Institute owns the intellectual property for faculty research, students are actually the owners of intellectual property for any work they produce. There are cases that are exceptions. For example, in the case of some Capstone Design projects, the client has paid to work with a student team and to own the IP that results from that work. In this case, students are informed in advance about this arrangement and move forward working with that client only if they agree to cede their IP rights. In the case of another program at Tech – Engineering for Social Innovation – IP for all projects belongs to the client and the students only work on a project if they agree to this arrangement.

In other cases, students need to work out the IP arrangement directly with the client themselves. For example, this is the case in most Mechanical Engineering capstone projects. As seen in the screenshot below, of the beginning of the Project Submission form, the client must state at the outset—when submitting the project for consideration—whether they wish to be given the IP. If the client requests the IP assignment—for example, a nonprofit organization might want to own the design of a prototype—then that client is responsible for creating their own IP agreement and working with the student team to complete and sign off on it.

Capstone Design Project Submission Form asks the client to specify IP assignment

While we do not have a template for an IP agreement, we strongly encourage you to use the Collaborator Agreement template to establish a mutual understanding around the project as a whole, including IP ownership. SLS staff are happy to provide additional guidance in drafting this agreement if needed. Please contact Ruthie Yow, the Service Learning and Partnerships Specialist.  And although we cannot provide any legal advice, in the rare cases in which teams need professional legal support and guidance, we can facilitate a conversation with GT Legal Affairs. 

Finally, note that not all programs follow the same processes or use the same documents for project and IP agreements. Programs that have specific guidelines will often have their own client agreements outlining them. In all cases, whether or not such an agreement exists, we encourage all SLS project teams to use our Collaborator Agreement to help work through any issues around intellectual property and who owns the deliverable – and to establish a strong working agreement for the project overall.  


Note: The Georgia Tech library has a useful collection of materials pertaining to patents and trademarks, as well as occasional workshops dedicated to learning more about intellectual property rights.


For Students’ Use: Video and Photography Equipment/Campus Resources

The Georgia Tech Library has an extensive collection of materials available for checkout from periods ranging from 4 hours to 2 days at the library services desk. Please request materials at least 48 hours in advance. Example equipment includes Go Pro cameras, flip video recorders, SDHC camcorders, MiniDV camcorders, DSLR cameras, digital cameras, and peripheral accessories. For more information regarding this equipment, contact Justin Ellis, Instructional Technology Associate.


VLab (Virtual Lab) allows you and your students the opportunity to access a wide variety of software applications with your own personal computer. (Examples include the Adobe Creative Suite and MatLab.)


Georgia Tech’s Multimedia Studio is located on the ground floor of the library. The studio hosts Mac Minis and iMacs, a plotter, scanners, printers, and the Lewis H. Beck multipurpose room, a great space for audio recording or presentation rehearsal. The studio staff can provide one-on-one assistance and are a terrific resource for working with the software the studio has available for use, including the Adobe suite and iMovie.


Paper & Clay is a for-profit art studio located on the second floor of the Student Center. Paper & Clay offers affordable printing of banners and posters. See their website for more information.