Institutional Review Board

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About the IRB 

Welcome to the Western University of Health Sciences’ (WesternU) Institutional Review Board website.  Institutions that conduct federally funded research using humans as research subjects are required by federal law to establish a committee responsible for reviewing such proposed research to ensure that the rights and welfare of the subjects are protected.  To comply with this requirement, WesternU has established the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects, i.e., “The IRB”.  Western U investigators, the IRB and the University have a shared responsibility and work together to ensure the protection of human research subjects.

Do I need to Apply to the IRB?

All proposed research projects involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to initiating the research.  WesternU investigators who wish to engage in human subjects research should consult the IRB Manual (see link to the left) for the minimum guidelines established by federal regulations and the policies established by WesternU for human subjects research.

Investigators may find it useful to consult the Decision Charts provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) in determining if an activity is research involving human subjects that must be reviewed by the IRB under the requirements of HHS regulations (45 CFR 46).  Contact the IRB Office at 909-469-5606 if questions remain.


Investigators must complete human subjects protection training prior to engaging in human subjects research.  Proof of training must be submitted along with any IRB protocol application.  Click on Training in the column on the left for more information regarding required training.

How to Apply

The IRB has adopted a new electronic submission platform called IRBNet.  Within IRBNet, you may download and submit protocol applications and supporting documents for each project.  Refer to Submission Process on the left for guidance in submitting a) a new proposal, b) a progress, final or premature closure report, c) a reportable event, d) an amendment request or e) a Request for Determination.  For help, contact the IRB Office at irbsubmission@westernu.edu  or 909-469-5606.

Surveys & Questionaires

Surveys and questionnaires are commonly used to gather research data and generally qualify for Exempt status under Criteria Code 2.  Investigators are referred to the IRB Manual for a full description of the Criteria Codes.  The link at the left provides several resources to guide investigators in constructing a valid survey or questionnaire.


Q: Must all research on campus go through the Office of the Institutional Review Board (OIRB) for review?

A: All research involving human subject matters must go through the Office of the Institutional Review Board (OIRB) for consideration and approval. 

Q: Is an application always required?

Yes, if requesting to perform research that could involve human subjects, you must submit an application, utilizing the university’s form for IRB.

Q: When will my application be reviewed?

A: The applications will be submitted to the board, which meets approximately monthly. 

Q: Is training on how to complete the IRB application available?

A: Some guidance, or, advice on the application process, training information on the protection of human subjects, and other helpful information is included, below.


updated 03-09-18