Human Research Subjects (IRB)

University policy and federal law (45 CFR 46) require that all research involving living human subjects be reviewed and approved by an institutional review board (IRB). Universities and other research institutions agree to follow the federal regulations through a written assurance with the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP),U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The assurance document is called the Federalwide Assurance (FWA).

By signing its FWA, the University has commited itself to upholding the Code of Federal Regulations and the ethical principles of the Belmont Report for all research involving human subjects conducted by University faculty, staff, and students. As defined by 45 CFR 46, the Common Rule, there are three levels of appropriate human subjects review: exempt from the HHS policy; expedited review; and full board review. The level depends on the nature of the research, who the subjects will be and how much risk they will experience. For information on how to decide which type of review may be required, see the IRB section.


Reporting Concerns

Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Research Involving Human Participants

In order to fulfill this mission, SUNY campuses involved in human subjects research must establish a human research protections program. The mission of the program is to:

  • safeguard and promote the welfare of human research subjects by ensuring that their rights, safety and well-being are protected;
  • provide timely and high quality review and monitoring of human research projects; and
  • facilitate excellence in human subjects research.

At the University at Albany, an Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews all research studies that involve human subjects before the research may begin or be conducted.

Are you a subject in a research study? Do you have questions about your rights as a study subject? Do you have concerns or questions about a study conducted by the University at Albany?

If you have any questions or concerns about your role and rights as a research participant, would like to obtain information or offer input, or would like to register a complaint about a specific study, please contact, anonymously if you wish, the University at Albany Research Compliance Officer, Adrienne D. Bonilla, at 1-866-857-5459 or send an email to

You may also submit concerns or comments using our anonymous online reporting form,available here