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Human Subjects Research

OFFICE OF RESEARCH UPDATE: Exciting news, TCU research community! Our office is working hard in developing a new online system for Human Subject Research protocol submissions. We hope to have this system operational by the end of the semester and make it available to all by January 2022. During this time, our current services may see delays with review and approval processes. We encourage you to submit your protocol review request sooner rather than later if you have any time constraints. We ask that you patiently bear with us as we roll out the new system soon. For more information or questions, please do reach out to us via phone or email.


All indoor interaction with human subjects in research studies must adhere to the current TCU COVID guidelines in place at the time of the interaction.

The Protection of Human Subjects is based on U.S. federal law and key principles defined in the Belmont Report.   The TCU Institutional Review Board (“IRB”) oversees human subjects research at TCU and plays a key role in promoting adherence to ethical principles, professional standards, and applicable law related to human subjects research. The IRB reports to Research Compliance with open lines of communication to the Associate Provost of Research and Institutional Official.

The IRB develops standards and reviews proposed projects to ensure compliance with TCU policy related to provisions for health, welfare, privacy, dignity and human concerns in research involving human subjects.  Areas of concern include health, welfare, privacy, dignity and human concerns when research involves human subjects.  See the IRB Policies, Procedures and Forms for information about protocol review and approval.

If you are a principal investigator (“PI”) contemplating TCU human subjects research, you must submit a protocol to the TCU IRB for review and approval.  As the PI, you are responsible for the ethical conduct of the study. These responsibilities include proper documentation and reporting to the IRB, ensuring all researchers involved in the research are adequately and properly trained. The PI is ultimately responsible for the oversight of the consent process to ensure all participants are informed properly for adequate consent to participate. The PI assumes all responsibility for compliance of federal, state, local and institutional policies. The PI may not initiate any research involving human participants prior to the IRB approval.