Human Subjects Review Board

Welcome to the Roger Williams University Human Subjects Review Board (HSRB) website.

The HSRB at Roger Williams exists to protect individuals who participate in research conducted at RWU or by a member of the RWU community.  At RWU, activities that meet the definition of human subjects research may first need to be reviewed by the HSRB. We encourage you to read the policy statement that appears on this site (RWU HSRB Policy) to familiarize yourself with the definition of human subjects research. In most cases, this definition includes any interaction and/or intervention with individuals in the context of original research. This includes interviews, surveys, experiments, and observations of others. As a result, any research that fits this description will require some level of approval from the HSRB. Our role is to evaluate your research protocol to ensure that participants rights are respected.

Research conducted by RWU faculty, staff and students most often requires expedited review, meaning the review process generally takes ten working days. The HSRB will evaluate the level of risk to participants and review your application accordingly. Often in an expedited review, we find minimal risk to participants. In the case of a greater risk, or when confidentiality is an issue, we will require an increased level of review. Regardless of level of review, our primary concern is to ensure participants’ rights are respected. In order to help facilitate our review process, please be sure to include all necessary components to your application, with particular attention to obtaining consent. Don’t forget to complete the appropriate ethical training modules, also detailed in the policy document.

Please review the documents on this site to help determine 1) whether you need to apply for HSRB approval, and 2) if so, what level of review is sought. We are confident your questions can be answered by a proper review of our documents; however, we are here to provide any assistance as you navigate the HSRB process. Please feel free to email the HSRB Chair at