Social Behavioral Research

Social Behavioral Research Homepage

Social Behavioral Research Homepage

Social-behavioral (SBS) research generally involves the study of human behavior (people’s actions, what drives those actions, and psychological processes like emotion) as well as social processes (how individuals interact). Social behavioral research in healthcare generally may seek to help predict, prevent, and manage illness. 


Social-behavioral research ranges from online surveys to behavioral interventional controlled trials. This section of the website contains curated IRB related content for social-behavioral researchers.

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Frequently Used Services


The Human Subjects Electronic Research Application (HS-ERA) is the IRB online submission system and e-application. Submission to the Penn IRB requires regular utilization of this website in conjunction with using HSERA.

How to Submit

This section describes the logistics and requirements for each type of IRB submission. Review instructions and associated guidance prior to creating your submission in HSERA.

Single IRB & Requests to Rely

Click for guidance on how to ask Penn to rely on an external IRB or serve as the single IRB of Record (sIRB)

Frequently Asked Questions

Click below for FAQs about HSERA, IRB review & submission requirements, required CITI training, and more!


Click below for information about training required to conduct human subjects research at Penn as well as curated educational sessions offered by the Penn IRB to guide members of the research community with their submissions and the conduct of human subjects research.



Click below to review our library of general and curated social-behavioral research guidance.

Upcoming Events

Jun 12, 2023 @ 12:00 PM


Jul 17, 2023 @ 12:00 PM


Aug 14, 2023 @ 12:00 PM


The Latest News from IRB

Jan 6, 2023 @ 12:00 PM

New IRB Requirements: 2023 NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing

The IRB has released guidance on associated IRB requirements related to the 2023 NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing of scientific data generated from NIH funded research.

Sep 26, 2022 @ 11:11 AM

New Informed Consent Templates

The Biomedical and Social Behavioral Consent form templates have been updated. Additional guidance has been added in multiple sections throughout the documents to better set expectations and assist study teams with developing consent forms. Likewise, some template language has been adjusted for clarity and to better align with regulatory requirements.

May 19, 2022 @ 11:30 AM

Continued Use of Blue Jeans with Penn Medicine Patients in Research

Over the past two years, the availability and capabilities of video conferencing tools have greatly expanded on campus, leading to redundant services with overlapping capabilities. 

As such, the BlueJeans Virtual Meetings service will be removed from the Common Good service portfolio next fiscal year (July 1, 2022) and will no longer be available to the majority of users after June 30, 2022.

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