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Introduction to the IRB


California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) is committed to the protection of human subjects in research. To assist with this goal, the University has designated a Human Subjects Committee (also called the Institutional Review Board, or IRB) to review proposals for research involving human subjects. The Committee evaluates the research only in terms of its compliance with ethical standards regarding the treatment of subjects. While individual researchers are ultimately responsible for their practices, the Committee's review is designed to provide objective input as another level of protection for the subjects. In addition, the independent review by the Committee is of benefit to those who could be held accountable for the research practices -- the researchers and the University.

Prior to conducting research, investigators (researchers) must:

-Electronically submit an IRB form (also called a protocol) to the Office of Research.

Please email the completed protocol to the IRB administrator/Compliance associate Bruce W. Kennedy at In order to facilitate application tracking, please change the application file name to include your name and one or two words describing the subject of the application.

Remember to print off the signature page of the protocol application and sign it.  Send that to the IRB office in the Office of Research by campus or postal mail.  Signatures must be "fresh" not electronic. Approval of the protocol is contingent upon having all signatures (PI and all co-PIs), which indicates an understanding of -- and compliance with -- the protocol contents and IRB policies. 

Approval period depends upon the type of review (full, expedited, or exempt). Typically, most protocols are reviewed by the expedited method which can take from two to four weeks, provided that the application packet is complete. Use this self check-list (DOC) to evaluate your application before submitting it for IRB review; doing so is likely to accelerate the process.

When the review has been completed, an approval memo to conduct the research project is issued under signature of the IRB chair.

-Complete CITI training.

All people involved in conducting the research (investigator, advisor, and co-investigators) are required to complete CITI training for approval of your IRB protocol. The following link takes you directly to the CITI web page for coursework on aspects of research with human volunteers. Go to the section on "Continuing Education and Training" for instructions and details as well as other training opportunities.

Human Subjects Training

PI encouragement - In case you feel discouraged by the effort and comments while submitting your IRB protocol for review and approval, this is a reflection by someone who can sympathize with you.