Human Research Requirements

If you are planning to conduct research at GW using human subjects, which will yield generalizable knowledge in the form of a journal article, poster presentation, master's thesis, or doctoral dissertation, you must obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval before collecting any data for your project.

Once your proposed research plan has been approved by the director of your master’s thesis or you have successfully defended your proposal to your dissertation research committee, you can initiate the IRB process online via the GW Integrated Research Information Software (iRIS), as outlined on the website of GW’s Office of Human Research.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Office of Human Research at (202) 994-2715 or [email protected].

Failure to obtain IRB approval before you begin data collection will result in the following:

  • You will not be allowed to use the data collected for the intended research purposes.
  • You may be asked to re-register for your thesis or dissertation research credits and to start the data collection phase over again. 
  • You will not be allowed to use the data collected for future research— i.e., you will not be able to publish any finding based on the unapproved research or to use any of the information gathered as the basis for a future study.
  • If the study is funded, you will not have access to the funds.