Institutional Review Board | Webster University

Institutional Review Board


The Webster University Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for the review of all human subjects' research at the home campus in Webster Groves and all worldwide campuses, United States and international. 

The IRB process applies to all Webster University faculty, staff, and students conducting research involving human subjects on or off campus, as well as those requesting to do research at Webster University. Faculty members have a responsibility to inform students of the policies and procedures for obtaining IRB approval. The IRB process must be completed prior to any contact with human subjects.

The IRB follows the definition of Research and Human Subject as stated by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and noted in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR):

"Research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge." - 45 CFR § 46.102(l)

"Human subject means a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research: (i) Obtains information or biospecimens through intervention or interaction with the individual, and uses, studies, or analyzes the information or biospecimens; or (ii) Obtains, uses, studies, analyzes, or generates identifiable private information or identifiable biospecimens." - 45 CFR § 46.102(e)

The IRB process is guided by federal rules and regulations from the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) ( supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The review process is based on the Protection of Human Subject Code of Federal regulations, the Belmont Report and provisions of 45 CFR § 46 requiring institutions receiving federal funds to have all research involving human subjects be approved by the IRB.

Research conducted at international campuses must also follow all applicable processes of the country where research is being conducted. Documentation that international processes have been followed must also be submitted to Webster University's IRB. Additional information on the requirements for research conducted at international campuses can be found on the IRB's International Research page.

The purpose of the IRB research review procedure is:

  • To protect the subjects involved in research against foreseeable injury.
  • To protect the University, its faculty, staff, and students who conduct research from foreseeable liability.
  • To meet Federal regulations regarding University research.

Steps to Begin an IRB Application

  • Complete the required Training Program provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). Once finished, the final certificate can be emailed to the IRB for documentation. Researchers should also save an electronic copy for their own records. Successful completion of the training is valid for three years.
  • Read the Webster University Policy on Research Misconduct. The IRB cannot approve projects submitted after the fact. Review and approval prior to contact with human subjects is necessary to insure compliance with federally defined criteria for ethical treatment of human subjects.
  • Review the Policies and Procedures and Review Process to understand the different types of the research and the process for approval. Additional pages that fall under the Policies and Procedures sidebar will assist researchers in completion of their application.
  • Download, complete, and submit the required Forms. This page also contains an application checklist with links to resources and a "how to" guide with tips for completing a successful application. 

For more information on research and the IRB process, watch the Overview of Research and the IRB video tutorial. Please reach out to the IRB Expeditor at with any questions.