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The West Virginia University Office of Human Subject Protections is responsible by federal law for ensuring the protection of the rights, welfare, and well-being of participants involved in research studies conducted by WVU faculty, staff and students.

Institutional Review Board

All research conducted at WVU is overseen by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB carefully reviews and monitors research to ensure that it is carried out legally and ethically. Research cannot be started until the IRB approves the protocol.


Every research participant has the following rights:

  • To be treated with respect, including respect for your decision to enroll in, continue in, or stop participating.
  • To be given time to read the consent form and have the research explained to you.
  • To be given time to ask questions, and to be informed of contacts for questions and concerns.
  • To be given a copy of your signed consent.


Questions that you should ask before you agree to participate in research:

  • Why is the research being done?
  • What will be done to me during the research?
  • How will I benefit from the research?
  • Could the research hurt me?
  • What will the researcher do with my information?
  • Will the research cost me anything?
  • Who pays if I'm unexpectedly injured as a result of participation?
  • How long will the research project last?
  • What happens if I decide to stop participating before the research project is completed?

Participant Resources

The links below are provided as a courtesy to participants to learn about being or becoming a research volunteer. 

Contacting the IRB and WVU OHRP

Participants may contact the WVU OHRP with questions or concerns at any time.