Office of Research Assurances

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Washington State University Institutional Review Board

Determination of Human Subject Research Flowchart

Does your activity directly or indirectly (data and samples) involve human subjects?
YES   NO No IRB review required.
Is the activity a systematic investigation, including research* development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge?
IRB review and approval is required before starting the research*. Submit Human Subject Application.
Activity is not research*, however, ORA review may be required if the focus is on certain populations.
Does the activity intentionally focus on or include one or more specific populations:

o Children under 14 years outside established educational setting
o Neonates/ Fetuses
o Prisoners
o Pregnant women
o Decisionally impaired
o HIV/AIDS patients
o Native American Tribes with whom WSU has agreement
o Crime victims
o Students or employees under the supervisory or evaluative authority of the researcher
o Substance abusers
o Non-English speaking
o Terminally ill
o Institutionalized individuals
IRB review may be required before starting the research*. Contact IRB Coordinator for further guidance.
ORA review may be required. Contact ORA for further guidance. YES                                                                   NO
No IRB review required.

*Research includes all theses, dissertations, publications, and/or presentations. For a complete explanation, check the definitions.

This flowchart is a guide to assist researchers in determining if their activities should be reviewed by the WSU IRB. All researchers must comply with the policies and procedures in the IRB manual. Version: February 2008

Office of Research Assurances, P.O. Box 643143, Neill Room 427, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-3143
If you have any questions, please contact the IRB at or (509) 335-7646.