Institutional Review Board


The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is designed to review, approve initiation of, and conduct periodic review of all research projects involving human subjects conducted by PennWest Edinboro faculty, students or staff, including collaborative projects with other institutions and agencies.

about the IRB

The PennWest Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a standing committee, constituted according to federal regulations, that is responsible for ensuring that the rights and welfare of human research participants are protected. All members of the University community who engage in activities that are classified as research involving human participants must submit their research proposals to the IRB for review and approval. Furthermore, any organization conducting research in which members of the PennWest community are research subjects must have its research project approved by the IRB.

An independent board, the IRB has the authority to verify that ongoing research studies involving human participants comply with regulations and may suspend or terminate approval for ongoing studies under its jurisdiction. It has the authority to approve, to require modification as a condition of approval and to disapprove proposed activities that are within the scope of its authority.

No research involving human subjects may be undertaken at PennWest without prior review by the IRB. Failure to observe the policies and procedures outlined by the IRB will be considered serious misconduct, subject to sanctions including possible recommendations for termination of faculty appointment, student enrollment or other affiliation with PennWest.

The primary goal of the IRB is the protection of research participants. The board does not endorse the quality of the research and approval does not absolve researchers from the responsibility to monitor and maintain the project within their professional guidelines. The ultimate responsibility for the ethical conduct of research remains with the researchers.

Apply for an IRB Review

NOTE: This section applies to faculty, staff, and students of PennWest. Researchers from other institutions seeking to collect data at PennWest must first contact the IRB directly at for instructions.


Applications are reviewed by the IRB on a continuous basis throughout the fall and spring terms. Applications submitted during the summer term may experience significant delays in processing, as the IRB maintains only minimal operations during these months.