Why is Research Subject to IRB Review?

The purpose of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is to protect the rights and welfare of individuals who participate in research studies.  The IRB reviews human subjects research to ensure that research participants are not placed at undue risk and that they give uncoerced, informed consent to their participation. 

Through an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the University of Chicago assures that all research involving human subjects conducted at the University of Chicago or by University faculty, students, or staff, will be conducted in accordance with the ethical principles spelled out in the Belmont Report and will comply with the federal regulations and policies for IRB review and continuing approval of federally-funded research. The University has chosen as matter of institutional policy to extend such review to non-federally-funded research. 

Additional information about the University's human subjects research protection policies and Federalwide Assurance (FWA—the agreement between the University and the HHS Office for Human Research Protections) can be found here: http://humansubjects.uchicago.edu/.  The University of Chicago Federalwide Assurance (FWA) number is FWA00005565.  The Institutional Official (the official who signs the FWA on behalf of the University) is the Associate Vice President for Research in the University Research Administration office.