Institutional Review Board

Welcome to the WPI IRB

The WPI Institutional Review Board (IRB) was established to help investigators understand and comply with the ethical guidelines and regulatory requirements for research involving human subjects. The IRB's overall goal is to promote and support efforts to conduct innovative research at WPI which protects the rights and promotes the welfare of human subjects.

Federal mandate (The Common Rule, 45 CFR 46) and WPI policy require that the WPI Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and approve ALL applicable research involving human subjects that is performed under the auspices of WPI. Types of research that must be reviewed include engineering, physiological, behavioral, sociological, and nutritional studies, including projects involving human tissues, blood or images, questionnaires, and interviews.

Certain specific categories of research are exempted from review by federal regulation. However, only the WPI IRB can make/approve the determination that a research activity qualifies for an exemption. Thus, ALL projects involving human subjects at WPI must be reviewed and approved or exempted by the WPI IRB. The review process is outlined on this Web site.

IRB approval must be obtained before any human studies are begun. For research involving minimal risk, approval is granted for one year and must be renewed annually. For research involving more than minimal risk, renewal frequency will be determined by the IRB upon approval.

Questions about the IRB and the contents of this Web site should be directed to