Policies & Procedures | Webster University

Policies & Procedures

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), "The IRB Committee is an administrative body established to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects recruited to participate in research activities conducted under the auspices of the institution with which it is affiliated."


This policy applies to:

  • University faculty members engaging in data collection involving human subjects, e.g. archival research, surveys, interviews, clinical trials, or experimental research.
  • All student initiated research projects utilizing human subjects which are conducted outside the University classroom setting.

A research project must be reviewed if:

  • it involves human subjects;
  • it is research as defined by the OHRP;
  • the possibility of publishing or disseminating results exists.

In addition, all Webster University students must have a faculty mentor/advisor (not a committee) who will oversee the execution of the research project.

It is expected that students engaged in the following research endeavors will submit an IRB application: 

  • all master's, post master's,  and doctoral projects utilizing human subjects;
  • research methods classes that require students to collect data outside the classroom; and
  • any Individualized Learning Experiences involving human subject research.

Research activities that fall under any of the federally defined exempt categories may not be subject to IRB requirements (e.g., annual reviews, informed consent requirements). However, it is strongly suggested that informed consent always be used. An IRB application must be completed since the IRB is the only body that can determine if a research project requires limited review or is exempt. Additional information on exempt research can be found at http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/policy/#exempt 

Incidents of non-compliance must be reported to ensure protection of human subjects and adherence to University policy. Unapproved research involving human subjects may place those subjects and the researcher at risk. All incidents of suspected non-compliance must be reported to the Chair of the IRB Committee.

Please review the information contained in the following sections for further understanding of the IRB policies and procedures: