Human Subjects in Research


To protect the rights and welfare of human subjects in research, to establish Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversight of research involving human subjects, and to comply with the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects and applicable federal laws and regulations.


This policy applies to all members of the campus community, including but not limited to university faculty, staff, students, adjunct and clinical faculty, visiting faculty, postdoctoral appointees, visiting scholars, and visiting scientists engaged in university-sponsored research conducted in campus facilities or at off-campus locations irrespective of the risks, project scope, funding, or location of the research.


Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation


Individuals engaged in university-sponsored research activities involving human subjects, human tissues, or medical records of human subjects must comply with:

  1. The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects and federal agency regulations and guidance for the protection of human subjects;
  2. Food and Drug Administration regulations for drugs, biological products, and medical devices;
  3. Policies and requirements approved by an IRB; and
  4. Standards and procedures approved by the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS) or the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation (OVCRI).


The VCRI is the Institutional Official responsible for compliance with federal and state laws and is responsible for the effective functioning of the human research protection program. The VCRI appoints members to one or more IRBs consistent with the requirements of federal regulations.

The IRBs are committees that perform ethical review of proposed research. Only an IRB has the authority to approve proposed research activities involving human subjects or medical records for human subjects. The IRBs, VCRI or OPRS have authority to require modifications to proposed activities before approval. Research involving human tissues may require approval by an IRB, the Institutional Biological Safety Committee (IBC) or both committees.

Principal Investigators must submit proposed research to the OPRS that manages the IRB review process. Investigators are responsible for providing all information necessary for IRB review. No research activities subject to this policy may begin before IRB approval.

The IRBs may establish additional policies and requirements as necessary for compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to the use of human subjects or medical records for human subjects in research. The OPRS, a unit reporting to the OVCRI, provides administrative support for the review of research by the IRBs. The OPRS may establish standards and procedures necessary for implementation of IRB policies or requirements and for business operations of the human subjects’ research protection program.

Principal Investigators are responsible for reporting to the IRB unanticipated problems or adverse events during research activities. The IRB and OPRS report concerns about human protection and non-compliance to the OVCRI.


There are no exceptions to this policy.


The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation.