Research Involving Human Subjects

Western Washington University is responsible for the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects used in research by, or under the supervision of, faculty and staff members of the University, when such research, including pilot studies, is carried out as part of their duties as teacher, investigator, thesis advisor or graduate student, or other academic activities.



The National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires all researchers, students, and staff involved with human subjects to complete human subjects protection training. To avoid discriminating between externally and internally funded principal investigators, the HSRC asks that all researchers provide evidence of training at the time their protocol is submitted. To facilitate this process, the National Institutes of Health on-line training course may be accessed at:

The entire review/exam process takes up to 1 hour but can be taken and saved in 20-minute segments. At the successful end of the exam, the NIH program provides a certificate of completion. A copy of this certificate must accompany each research protocol submitted to the HSRC as evidence that the training requirement has been fulfilled.

Note: The Human Subjects Review Committee does not meet during the summer to review protocols requiring full board review. Projects eligible for exemption or for minimal risk (expedited) review procedures are processed during the summer. If you think your project may require full-board review, please submit your Human Subjects Activity Review form and all materials to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs by May 15 at the latest to insure processing before the end of Spring Quarter.


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Page Updated 07.28.2016