IRB Member Responsibilities

Member Conduct

IRB members are expected to act according to professional standards of courtesy and respect during discussions with each other and with researchers and research under review.

IRB members review documents that may contain personal, confidential, and/or proprietary information. Members are responsible for maintaining all IRB proceedings and documents in strict confidence, within the limit of applicable state and federal laws.

WSU requires that all oversight committee members sign a certificate of confidentiality affirming their agreement with these terms.

Time Commitment

The approximate time commitment per month for reviews, preparing for IRB meetings, and attending the meetings is between 7-13 hours per month.

The WSU IRB meets twice a month, with meetings scheduled for 2.5 hours each. The maximum time commitment per month for IRB meetings is 5 hours.

Time commitment for reviews may vary greatly depending on a member’s particular expertise and the volume of protocols submitted for review. Generally, reviewers are assigned between 2-4 protocols to review a month, with an approximate timeline of 1-2 hours per review.


Members are expected to meet the minimum requirements for initial training and continuing education established by the institution. This includes:

  • Initial new member orientation: Members train with HRPP staff covering basic IRB operations and how to conduct and document a review. Members are then paired with HRPP staff members or experienced IRB members for mentored reviews for a semester.
  • Completion of CITI’s IRB Member modules. All members must complete CITI’s IRB Member training modules within 90 days of their appointment. This training is good for 5 years, and retraining may be necessary if federal regulations change.
  • Attend at least one of the Bi-Annual Continuing Education sessions
    • These are usually offered at the beginning of the fall semester and end of spring semester and are 4 hours each.
    • Other forms of continuing education may be substituted upon request by the member and approval by the HRPP Assistant Director. Acceptable alternatives include but are not limited to: Attendance of a national IRB specific meeting or training (e.g. PRIM&Rs AER, SBER, IRB 101 or IRB 301, or HCCA annual meeting).


Members are expected to attend as many convened meetings of the IRB as possible, but no less than ½ of the convened meetings during a year. Additionally, members are expected to attend convened meetings where they served as either the primary or secondary reviewer for a protocol under consideration.

Alternate members are both welcome and encouraged to attend any convened meetings, and may be called upon to act as a voting member in place of another member with similar expertise when another member is unable to attend on short notice or must recuse themselves (e.g. due to a conflict of interest).

Conflict Of Interest

Any member with a conflict of interest involving a protocol under review by the IRB must disclose the conflict of interest the IRB Chair or IRB Staff as soon as possible.

The conflicted member may take part in the pre-vote discussion, in particular when their specific knowledge may be helpful in answering questions of the IRB, however:

  • They may not serve as reviewer, make a motion, vote, or be present during voting.
  • They will be asked to recuse themselves prior to final discussion and voting.