Institutional Review Board (IRB)

WCU is guided by the ethical principles regarding all research involving human subjects as set forth in the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research entitled, "Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research: The Belmont Report".

In addition, the requirements set forth in Title 45, Part 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations will be followed for all applicable Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) funded research and for all other research without regard to source of funding.


Frequently Viewed/Helpful Documents



  • Please contact the IRB co-chairs, Dr. Melissa Reed and Dr. Nicky Cattano, if you have any questions. You can call or setup a Zoom meeting about any IRB matters.
  • You may also contact the IRB staff with any questions/concerns/requests at

IRB Processing Time and Procedures for Submitting to the WCU IRB:

Initial review of your application will take place within three weeks of when the IRB reviewer receives your application. Your IRB reviewer may request edits and changes to your application, this can take an additional two to three weeks to complete. Please plan ahead and allow at least one month for the entire review, revision, and approval process to be completed. The IRB cannot honor requests for a "quick turnaround" or reviews completed by a certain date.

CITI Training Requirements

CITI Program COVID-19 Training

Why IRB Applications are Returned

Revised Common Rule Now in Effect

Revisions to the Common Rule (federal human participant research regulations) went into full effect on January 21, 2019.

In accordance with this revision, WCU requires all PIs to submit an updated IRB Application Form. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs recommends that all PIs watch this brief video, which provides an overview of the impact these changes may have on your IRB application process and complete the CITI IRB training for the Revised Common Rule.

Revised Common Rule

NEW!! Cayuse Electronic IRB Submission

We are excited to introduce our NEW electronic application submission process through Cayuse!  Please access Cayuse with your WCU Single Sign On information.

Some faculty have been pre-loaded into the system based on previous IRB use.  If you get an error or an alert that your account has been disabled, you will need to put in a request to ADD yourself (or any investigators that are not found in the current system).

Please submit your application through this Qualtrics form

Once the IRB Office receives the information, it will be uploaded into Cayuse and will “roll-over” during automatic updates at 12 noon or 12 midnight. Please allow up to 2 business days for this to occur.

NEW!! Informed Consent Creator

  1. Please click on this link, informed consent creator, to start your consent form. This is a new form to help you easily create a consent at the proper reading level.
  2. Complete the form in its entirety
  3. You will be given the opportunity to review the form before submission
  4. After you preview the form, click submit
  5. Your consent form will be e-mailed to you as an editable Word Document

After you receive and review the document:

  1. Make any necessary changes, but avoid editing too much since you may increase the reading level
  2. Once you are finished with the document, please complete a spelling/grammar check on it including the reading level.
  3. Access the directions for Readability Set Up . The highest reading level should be at an 8th grade level.
  4. Attach the consent form to your IRB application and follow instructions under “Procedure for IRB Application Approval”

Should you have any difficulties or questions, you can

contact the Institutional Review Board


contact Dr. Cheryl Monturo.

Procedure for IRB Application Approval

  1. Utilize the Health and Human Services Human Subject Regulation Decision Charts to determine if your activity is research that must be reviewed by an IRB.
  2. If you have determined that your research must be reviewed by an IRB please follow the following steps:
    1. Submit the IRB Application Form

      via e-mail

      **This updated form is in compliance with the revised common rule and is the only version that the IRB will accept (revised date 1.20.2019).

    2. You must submit the application as one Word document. All attachments must be converted to Word and added at the end of the application. If you have documents that are native PDF's (often scanned documents, and CITI certificates), please utilize the "take a snapshot" option in Adobe PDF (found under Edit). This will allow you to drag over an area of the document in order to copy it. Once copied, the information can then be pasted at the end of the IRB application form.
    3. Within 3-4 business days of the submission of your application, you will be copied on an e-mail which confirms that your application has been forwarded to an IRB committee member for review. This gives you the contact information for your reviewer.
    4. Within three weeks, you will receive an e-mail regarding the status of your application. If your reviewer requests revisions to your application, these revisions must be made to your original application using the "track changes" feature in Word. If revisions are requested, you will receive a Technical Review form (TR). Download blank form for reference . The TR form you receive will have specific instructions regarding changes that are requested. You will have two weeks to make the requested changes or request additional time and then the revised application can then be sent directly to your reviewer and copied to the email address.
    5. Once your protocol is approved you will receive three PDF documents (Final Application, Final TR and Approval Document) and then you may begin your research. You cannot begin your research until you receive these documents. Your protocol approval is good for one year and you must request additional time to extend (see Exempt Protocols Only: Protocol Renewal Procedure OR Expedited & Full Board Review Protocols Only: Federal Requirements for Continuing Review and Closure Procedure.)
What can you do to move your research plan along the IRB process quickly!

Mandatory Human Subjects Training (CITI Training)

WCU is a subscribing institution with The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program). CITI provides comprehensive online training in Human Subjects Research.

All PI’s, co-PI’s, and faculty sponsors submitting a new application to the IRB are required to create an Account with CITI and complete Human Subject Research Training. You will have two modules to choose from: Biomedical (Biomed) and Social-Behavioral-Educational (SBE). Please choose the module that is most closely related to your research.

Please follow the instructions below in order to create your account with CITI and begin your training: (please note, if you already have created a CITI account, please log-in and start at #10 below

  1. Go to and click on Register under Create an account.
  2. Enter West Chester University into the Select Your Organization Affiliation text box (choose WCUPA when it appears as you type)
  3. Select Continue to Step 2
  4. Follow on-screen instructions for step 2-4
  5. For step 5, regarding CEU credits, please select No
  6. For step 6, you only need to enter the information with an asterisk
  7. For step #7, under Human Subject Research Courses, choose either the Biomedical or the Social-Behavioral-Educational training module. Choose the module that most closely relates to your research **do not select the IRB members or IRB administration module**
  8. Other courses can be selected as desired, but are not required for IRB applications
  9. After all courses have been chosen, click complete registration, and then click finalize registration.
  10. To begin the training, please select "Social & Behavioral Research - Basic/Refresher" or "Biomedical Research- Basic/Refresher" from your course list. **Do not select any Responsible Conduct of Research Module**
  11. If you do not see "Social & Behavioral Research - Basic/Refresher" or "Biomedical Research- Basic/Refresher" on your course list, please select "add a course or update learner groups" and under Human Subject Research Courses, choose either the Biomedical or the Social-Behavioral-Educational training module. Choose the module that most closely relates to your research**do not select the IRB members or IRB administration module**
  12. Once you pass the training, you much attach your completion report to your IRB application, in order for the IRB to accept the certificate, the course name must read "Social & Behavioral Research - Basic/Refresher" or "Biomedical Research- Basic/Refresher"
  • If you have any questions regarding which trainings to register for, please contact:

NOTE: NIH Protecting Human Subject Research Participants’ training certificates are no longer being accepted with new applications. However, NIH training will still be accepted for revision and renewal applications (as long as the training has been completed within three years).

Revision Request to a Previously Approved IRB Protocol

ALL revisions to WCU IRB approved protocols (even minor revisions such as adding a new student assistant’s CITI Human Subjects Research training completion report) must be submitted as a formal revision to

the Institutional Review Board

for review and approval.  Please follow the following steps:

    1. Complete the IRB application form :
      1. Check off Yes to I.F. and provide the approximate date of review.
      2. Check off Revision to I.G. and provide the Protocol ID# of the original submission.
      3. Highlight the revisions in the body of the application. Unchanged portions of the application can be cut and pasted from your original application.
    2. E-mail the completed form (in Word format only) to the Institutional Review Board
      1. In the subject line of the e-mail, should read revision application of approved protocol.
      2. In the body of the e-mail, clearly list your revisions by application section (number/letter of section, or appendix documents)

Your application will be reviewed within three weeks. Failure to follow above instructions will result in return of your application and processing delays.

Closure Information for All Applications

Upon completion of your project – WCU requires all investigators to close their research project. Investigators who wish to close their research study should complete this closure form in lieu of a Continuing Review Form.


Expedited & Full Board Review Only: Federal Requirements for Continuing Review and Closure Procedure

Except for human research studies that have been granted Exempt registration, Department of Health and Human Service's Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP) regulations requires the IRB to continually review ongoing research at intervals appropriate to the potential risk to participants, but at least annually.

Continuing Review Process (not required for those protocols approved as "exempt". See Exempt Protocols Only-Protocol Renewal Procedure)

  • Approximately two months prior to your approval end date, you will receive a Continuing Review form .
  • Complete this form even if your project has been completed or is discontinued.
  • Return the form, as one word document, to the Institutional Review Board no later than two weeks after it is received.
  • You will receive status of your continuing review within three weeks.

IRB Office Hours

Dr. Nicole Cattano

WCU IRB co-chair

Fall 2020 - every Thursday 9am-10am

Email, call or Zoom about any IRB matter.

Meeting ID: 980 5348 3618
Passcode: 811185

IRB Drop In/Open Sessions

Dates and times for the Fall 2020 IRB Drop In/Open Sessions will be posted as scheduled.

IRB Coordination across Pennsylvania’s State System Universities

  • If there is a need to coordinate multiple IRB reviews of research that uses human subjects from more than one State System university, please follow the PASSHE State System Policy

Institutional Review Board Members

    • Nair, Julie
    • Nursing
    • 930 E. Lincoln Hwy 121
    • 610-436-2331
    • Park, Innhwa
    • Languages & Cultures
    • Mitchell Hall 232
    • 610-436-2640
    • Roman, Aaron
    • Communication Sciences & Disorders
    • 201 Carter Dr. 417
    • 610-436-3436 

Non-WCU Community Members

Sims, Christopher

IRB Monthly Meeting Schedule:

The Fall 2020 monthly meeting schedule is as follows:

Thursday, September 10th, 2pm-4pm

Friday, October 9th, 3pm-5pm

Thursday, November 12th, 2:30pm-4:30pm

Friday, December 4th, 3pm-5pm


  • Please contact the IRB co-chairs, Dr. Melissa Reed and Dr. Nicky Cattano, if you have any questions. You can call or setup a Zoom meeting about any IRB matters.
  • You may also contact the IRB staff with any questions/concerns/requests at
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