The IRB’s Mission
The goal of the IRB is to protect human research participants by ensuring that
- participants' rights and welfare are adequately protected,
- research is guided by the ethical principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice as set forth in the Belmont Report,
- research is conducted with the highest level of expertise and integrity, and
- research complies with all applicable laws, policies and regulations.
What is an Institutional Review Board (IRB)?
An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a federally mandated panel that is charged with overseeing the protection of human participants in research. Stanford has eight IRBs, seven that review medical research and one that reviews non-medical research.
At Stanford, the IRBs are formally known as Administrative Panels for the Protection of Human Subjects. The IRBs are part of the Research Compliance Office and derive their authority from the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research. They are a major component of the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP). The HRPP is made up of many Stanford component organizations who share a common goal of excellence in protecting human participants in Stanford research.
The HRPP complies with federal, state, and local regulations, and Stanford policies. It is accredited by the American Association of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP).
The IRBs oversee research for the following institutions:
- Stanford University (SU),
- Stanford Hospital and Clinics (SHC),
- Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH),
- Veterans Administration Palo Alto Health Care Services (VAPAHCS) and
- Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR).
Most IRB members are affiliated with these institutions. Each IRB is comprised of Stanford University faculty members, students and community members. IRBs are also mandated to include non-scientific members and members not affiliated with the institutions listed above.
Researchers - Getting Started
To help you get started with the IRB process, visit