HRPP Policies & Procedures Manual


The Washington State University (WSU) Institutional Review Board (IRB) Policies and Procedures Manual is your reference document detailing the policies and regulations governing research involving human participants and the requirements for submitting research proposals for review by the WSU Institutional Review Board (IRB).

This manual presents the most current information for reference to investigators, staff, and students conducting research activities involving human participants. Sections of the manual describe and explain the various aspects of the review process and regulatory requirements. Investigators and IRB committee members should familiarize themselves with the contents of the manual. In addition, investigators should carefully review the sections of the manual that address their specific research activities before submitting applications to the IRB.

Since the field of human subject protection is constantly evolving, sections of the manual may be subject to change and should be referenced regularly. If you have any questions or inquiries on the current procedures, please contact us:

The review of human subjects research performed by faculty, students, or employees of WSU is conducted by the IRB. The IRB is comprised of faculty representatives from various academic disciplines and regional campuses at WSU; physicians, researchers, and non-scientific members; and community representatives who are not affiliated with the University. The IRB operates within the federal guidelines with respect to the review and approval of research applications involving human participants. The welfare and dignity of individuals who participate in research is a central concern of everyone involved with the protection of human participants in research. Our primary goal is to develop a fair and transparent process in which participants voluntarily decide to take part in a study based on an intelligent and knowledgeable assessment of the risks and benefits of the research.

The IRB is charged with a twofold mission:

  1. to determine and certify that all research reviewed by the IRB conform to the regulations and policies set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Washington State regulations and University policies regarding the health, welfare, safety, rights, and privileges of human participants; and
  2. to assist investigators in conducting ethical research that complies with the DHHS, FDA, Washington State regulations and University policies in a way that permits accomplishment of the research activity.

The University, investigators and their research staff, and the IRB, share the collective responsibility for the ethical conduct of research. This collaboration must exist in a culture of trust, transparency, and honesty by upholding the highest ethical principles in the conduct of research. In preparing an application, the investigator is creating an ethical strategy that should reflect the norms and standards of the scientific community and the society served by the research. By upholding the highest standards, we build public support for the pursuit of greater knowledge in a safe research environment.