Office of Human Research (IRB)

Auburn University Human Research Protection Program

The AU Human Research Protection Program is responsible for the ethical and regulatory requirements related to the protection of human participants in research.  The Program includes the Institutional Official (Vice President for Research), the Institutional Review Boards for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research (IRB), and the Office of Research Compliance (ORC).  On May 7, 2015, Governor Bentley signed into law Act 2015-167, which lowered the age of consent to 18 years old (previously 19 years) for IRB-approved research conducted by an accredited college or university.  This means that 18 years olds may now consent for themselves to participate in research conducted at AU under IRB approval.

Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research (IRB)

The IRB functions to protect the rights and welfare of human research participants. As such, the IRB reviews all research activities, regardless of funding, which involves human subjects for compliance with applicable federal, state, local, and institutional regulations, guidelines, and ethical research principles. All funded research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved under IRB procedures, prior to receiving funding. The IRB has the authority to approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), and disapprove research proposals and to suspend or terminate research that is not conducted in accordance with the IRB’s requirements or that has been associated with unexpected serious harm to subjects.

ORC – Human Research Protection Program

The ORC provides compliance oversight, independently and in conjunction with the IRB, for research activities involving the use of human subjects.  The ORC serves as an advisor and informational resource for institutional policy and regulatory requirements; provides educational opportunities, training, and investigator consultations; and serves as the administrator of the IRB.  As a part of committee administration, the ORC maintains the official committee records, documents and tracks protocol review activities, coordinates the protocol review and approval process, assists the IRB with protocol reviews, facilitates review of funded projects to ensure consistency with IRB approved protocols, and conducts required reporting to federal regulatory agencies, external organizations, and institutional administration.

Human Subjects Research


540 Devall Drive, Suite 200

Auburn, AL 36832

Phone: 334.844.5966