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Institutional Review Board

About the IRB

The PennWest Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a standing committee, constituted according to federal regulations, that is responsible for ensuring that the rights and welfare of human research participants are protected. All members of the University community who engage in activities that are classified as research involving human participants must submit their research proposals to the IRB for review and approval. Furthermore, any organization conducting research in which members of the PennWest community are research subjects must have its research project approved by the IRB.

An independent board, the IRB has the authority to verify that ongoing research studies involving human participants comply with regulations and may suspend or terminate approval for ongoing studies under its jurisdiction. It has the authority to approve, to require modification as a condition of approval and to disapprove proposed activities that are within the scope of its authority.

No research involving human subjects may be undertaken at PennWest without prior review by the IRB. Failure to observe the policies and procedures outlined by the IRB will be considered serious misconduct, subject to sanctions including possible recommendations for termination of faculty appointment, student enrollment or other affiliation with PennWest.

The primary goal of the IRB is the protection of research participants. The board does not endorse the quality of the research and approval does not absolve researchers from the responsibility to monitor and maintain the project within their professional guidelines. The ultimate responsibility for the ethical conduct of research remains with the researchers.

Apply for an Institutional Review Board Review

NOTE: This section applies to faculty, staff, and students of PennWest. Researchers from other institutions seeking to collect data at PennWest must first contact the IRB directly at for instructions.


  • Login to D2L Brightspace
  • Click the University Resources menu and choose Discover
  • Click IRB Submissions
  • Click the blue Enroll in Course button
  • An enrollment confirmation screen will pop-up, click Ok
  • Click the blue Open Course button to enter the course
  • Every time you login to D2L, the course will now be in your Communities semester in the My Courses widget

Applications are reviewed by the IRB on a continuous basis throughout the fall and spring terms. Applications submitted during the summer term may experience significant delays in processing, as the IRB maintains only minimal operations during these months.


  • Melissa Sovak 
  • Melissa Brydon 
  • Carrie Elkin
  • Nancy Carlino
  • Jacob Wheatley 
  • Morgan Colbert
  • Robert Skwarecki 
  • Joel Press 
  • Benjamin Reuter 
  • Dana Keener 
  • Cynthia Persinger 
  • Chris Harman
  • Ellen West 
  • Craig Fox
  • Kiarash Aramesh 
  • Erik Bentsen 
  • Ronald Craig
  • Joyce Jagielo
  • Ruth Stauffer 
  • Karl Sprenger 
  • Brandon Packard 
  • Laurie Bladen 
  • Briana Steele 
  • Patricia Johner 
  • Songyee Hur 
  • Lacey Fulton 
  • Laurie Pierce
  • Jennifer Boyer
Last Updated 8/3/22