Human Subjects Research
- A human subject is a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains:
- Data through intervention or interaction with the individual or
- Identifiable private information.
See our guidance related to COVID-19 and the associated impacts on human subjects research: COVID-19 Information
IRB review and approval is required prior to starting any research activity, including pilot data collection.
Take our online guidance survey for help tailored to your research: Human Subjects Research Guidance Tool
To obtain approval, complete and submit an IRB application.
Human subjects protection training is required.
The Review Process
Applications are reviewed in the order they are received. When we receive your application it goes into a queue for review.
The risk level of your research will determine how many people on staff will review your application. Greater than minimal risk studies require a "full board" review, which is a meeting of the IRB Committee. Minimal risk studies require only 1-2 reviewers.
The full board IRB Committee does not meet during Summer quarter. If your protocol is submitted during Summer quarter it will not be reviewed until the beginning of Fall quarter.
The turn-around time for an application (from submission to approval) will depend on the risk level of the project, its complexity, how complete your application is, and the current workload of the IRB.
Review our Human Subjects Research Compliance Manual for additional guidance on risk levels and how that affects the review timeline.
Oversight of applications continues even after approval. IRB review is required for making changes, adverse events reports, or extensions of your research.
If you need to request changes to your application, submit a Modification Form. See more information on modifications.
Please report any adverse events or issues that arise in your research and soon as possible, so that we can help you navigate the situation. Please submit a Problem Report. See more information on reporting issues.
Extending Your Project
If your research received full board review, you will need to renew your application by submitting a status report before your approval expires. See more information on status reports.
Closing Your Project
Please close your application if you have completed all interaction with subjects and identifiable data. See more information on closing your application.