The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for reviewing all research proposals that involve human participants prior to initiation of that research.  Even projects that involve minimal involvement of human participants, such as surveys or questionnaires, require some procedural IRB review.  The IRB reviews research proposals to ensure risks have been minimized and the potential for benefit has been maximized before human subjects participate in the research.

The IRB also ensures, when required, that human subjects only volunteer to participate in research after providing legally effective informed consent. The IRB may approve, require modifications (to secure approval), or disapprove research. IRB approval is required for human subject research performed by all faculty, students and staff.