Policy Spotlight Series: Protection of Human Subjects in Research

June 7, 2021
Ian Harazduk
Compliance Analyst & Privacy Officer
Chief Compliance Office
June 7, 2021

Each month the Chief Compliance Office will highlight a policy for its Policy Spotlight Series. This month focuses on the recently revised UC policy on Protection of Human Subjects in Research:

Protection of Human Subjects in Research

The recently revised presidential policy describes the responsibilities in protecting the rights and welfare of Human Subjects who participate in Research in which the University is engaged. In order to safeguard the rights and welfare of Human Subjects in Research, the UC follows the ethical principles of the Belmont Report, which includes respect for persons, beneficence, and justice.

The UC also adheres to all applicable federal laws and regulations (i.e. the Common Rule for Research that is funded or supported by multiple federal agencies), state laws and regulations and University policies and guidelines. When engaged in Research that is not subject to the Common Rule, the campus may replace specific Common Rule requirements with commensurate protections for Human Subjects so long as the University follows the ethical principles referenced in the Belmont Report and that those commensurate protections are consistent with other applicable federal or state laws.

UC Riverside maintains Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) that are charged with review and oversight of Research involving Human Subjects, in accordance with University policies and federal regulations. As a reminder, all faculty, staff and students who are conducting Research involving Human Subjects within the course and scope of their University duties must submit an IRB application to the IRB for approval or exempt determination.

For more information and resources regarding Human Subjects Research at UCR, please visit the Office of Research Integrity page, which includes information from the two Institutional Review Boards that review all Human Subjects Research at UCR—Socio-Behavioral (IRB-SB) and Clinical-Biomedical (IRB-Clin).

As an example of the difference between these two boards—if the research is asking participants if they feel stressed given the current COVID-19 pandemic, then this would be reviewed by the IRB-SB; but if the research will assess a participant’s stress levels through physiological measures (e.g., monitoring their heart rate or conducting a blood draw to test cortisol levels), then this would be reviewed by the IRB-Clin.