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Research Compliance - Human Subjects

The mission of the SDSU Human Subjects Committee is simple and straightforward: We assist researchers in protecting people from harm when they participate in research. To this end we apply the principles found in the Belmont Report and the regulations in the Common Rule. Human subjects committees are also known as Institutional Review Boards for the protection of human subjects (IRBs).

Levels of oversight, turnaround times and meeting dates:

At SDSU an activity will fall into one of four levels of oversight:  

  1. not human subjects' research,
  2. exempt human subjects' research,
  3. human subjects' research eligible for expedited review, and
  4. human subjects' research requiring committee review.

Researchers are strongly encouraged to seek a determination that their research is or is not human subjects' research (oversight level 1) and may not make a unilateral decision that their activity may be approved as exempt. A determination of not human subjects' research usually can be provided in one or two days; exempt review and approval generally takes less than five working days. Please allow 10 to 15 days for expedited approval. The SDSU has adopted a just-in-time format for convening the Human Subjects Committee.

  1. Exempt research categories
  2. Categories of research eligible for expedited review


All researchers proposing to do human subjects research are required to take training in the protection of human research participants found at

Submitting a proposal:

Please download the current form and submit your proposal in electronic format to Scan the first page with signatures into your document or send a copy of the signed cover sheet to the Office of Research Assurance & Sponsored Programs at SAD 200, Box 2201. If your CITI training certificate has not previously been submitted, enclose it as a separate document. Additional materials (surveys, flyers, etc.) should be submitted in electronic format and attached at the end of the proposal form in a single Word or PDF file. We prefer that you name the file IRB (and your last name). If the size of the file becomes prohibitive, divide the file where appropriate and submit multiple attachments.