Institutional Review Board

The Webster University Institutional Review Committee (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. 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 a Human Subject as stated by The Department of Health and Human Services noted in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR):

"Human subject means a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains; (1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or (2) identifiable private information." - 45 CFR 46.102 (f)

The IRB process is guided by federal rules and regulations from the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) supported by the US 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 45CFR46 requiring institutions receiving federal funds to have all research involving human subjects be approved by the IRB.

Research conducted at international campuses must follow any applicable process within the country. Documentation that international processes have been followed is also submitted to Webster University's IRB.

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


The following are links to guide you though the process of submitting your research to the IRB for approval.

1. Who needs to submit an application
2. Approval / Changes
3. Progress / final report

1. Who needs to submit an application

Faculty Researchers:

All Webster University faculty members on the home campus in Webster Groves, and all worldwide campuses, United States and international engaging in research involving human subjects must obtain IRB approval.

Student Researchers:

All student initiated research projects utilizing human subjects which are conducted outside the classroom require IRB review. In addition, all Webster University students must have a faculty mentor/advisor (not a committee) who will oversea 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 and doctoral projects utilizing human subjects.
  • Research Methods classes that require students to collect data outside the classroom.
  • Any Individualized Learning Experiences involving human subject research.

Classroom Exercises:

Instructors may wish to submit a blanket proposal before the beginning of class if they have designed a class research project that they would like to be reviewed by the IRB. In submitting a blanket proposal, the instructor is indicating that all student projects covered by the blanket proposal will be conducted in the fashion described in the proposal.  Instructors should submit the proposal far enough in advance to allow enough time for the Committee to reach a decision prior to the scheduled beginning of the project. Click on the link to determine: "Is My Classroom Activity Research"

Institutional Research:

The following types of institutional research do not need approval from the IRB:

  • Research using data from University's Management Information System CX (CARS).
  • Activities conducted for Webster University program evaluation, such as teaching evaluations. Comparing different educational settings or strategies is NOT considered program evaluation (see categories of research).
  • Institutional research using Webster University public information.
  • Institutional research using data found in existing Webster University documents or records.

Researchers Not Affiliated With Webster University:

Often researchers from other institutions want to collect data using Webster University faculty, staff, or students. The following criteria apply to this situation:

  • Researchers must have received IRB approval from their own educational institution. The researcher will provide the IRB with a copy of the IRB approval letter. Student researchers without off-site IRB approval will need to go through the Webster IRB process. They are required to have a faculty mentor/advisor.
  • Faculty researchers without off-site IRB approval will need to go through the Webster IRB process.
  • Corporate researchers will also need to go through the Webster IRB process.

Please contact the IRB Chair if you have any questions or are the least bit unsure whether to submit a project for review.

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2.  Approval / Changes

Research may not begin until the IRB Committee has approved the proposal. Refer to the policy on non compliance for more information.

Any changes to an approved application protocol must be submitted to the IRB using the Change-In-Protocol form.

Go to the Forms page

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3. Progress / Final Report

The Principal Investigator must complete the IRB Progress/Final Report within one year of the initial approval of the research project. Failure to complete this form will result in a request to cease research. Refer to the policy on non compliance for more information.

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IRB Expeditor

Lisa Muex-Sisson
Academic Affairs
Loretto Hall 151
470 E. Lockwood Ave
St. Louis, MO 63119
Phone: (314) 246-7949


IRB Co-Chairs


Brenda Boyce, Interim Chair (Fall 2015)

Eric Goedereis, Behavioral & Social Sciences

Mary Preuss, Biological Sciences