The Institutional Review Boards are federally regulated entities with the mandate to review biomedical and social behavioral research studies that take place within or under the authority of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine. The purpose of review is to determine if the proposed research meets certain established regulatory, policy, and ethical criteria to protect the rights and welfare of the human subjects of such research.

University of Pennsylvania IRB Mission:
  • To promote the rights and welfare of human research participants
  • To facilitate excellence in human research by providing timely and high quality review of human research
  • To provide professional guidance and support to the research community

The University of Pennsylvania is guided by the ethical principles set forth in Belmont Report. The minimum standards are set by the Department of Health and Human Services regulations at 45 CFR 46 and the Food and Drug Administration’s regulations at 21 CFR 50 and 21 CFR 56.

In June 2007, Penn’s human research protection program (including the IRBs) was awarded full accreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs. Accreditation standards establish the highest expectations for the conduct and oversight of human research.