Human Subjects Review Board

The HSRB at RWU protects individuals who participate in research conducted at the university or as sponsored by a member of the RWU community. 

We also offer resources and consultation to students, staff, and faculty conducting research with human participants. 

We are excited to announce the new process for submitting HSRB Initial Applications! 

The new Etrieve system is now live and 

the Qualtrics application is no longer available for Initial Applications.

  • HSRB Initial Application information will remain the same the application will be submitted via Etrieve rather than Qualtrics. 
  • You can find details about this change, and the process of application, in the Basic Steps section of this website
  • There are additional details, including a video showing the process of Initial Application, in the Resources section of this website
  • Still have questions about this change or anything HSRB related? We welcome questions and consultation!  Please contact us at


The HSRB adheres to federal assurances through the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP).  Additional information and resources regarding federal assurances can be accessed HERE.

The HSRB evaluates an applicant's level of request for review (Exempt, Expedited, or Full) based upon the definition of research and level of risk to participant outlined by the OHRP and RWU HSRB protocols.  Board members are available to provide consultation and support throughout  the HSRB process. Please feel free to email us at

The role of the HSRB is to evaluate your protocol to ensure that individuals' rights are respected, according to the OHRP guidelines and recommendations for research, including the following activities involving human participants:

  • quantitative or qualitative research studies
  • community engagement activities
  • program evaluations
  • interviews
  • surveys
  • observations
  • other activities and interventions with human participants

How to Apply

The HSRB offers guidance regarding the definition of research, determining the appropriate review status for your proposal, and the application process.  Please begin with the BASIC STEPS tab to begin the HSRB application process. 

RWU Human Subjects Review Board COVID-19 Response (revised December 15, 2020)

Changes in the RWU HSRB policy reflect the university's commitment to supporting faculty and student research programs, while minimizing risks to research participants and RWU personnel (principal investigators and research assistants)  This approach is consistent with recommendations outlined by the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), and those of the RWU Emergency Response Team. 

Please see our Resources for questions regarding RWU HSRB guidelines for either research involving an ONGOING/Approved protocol or for a NEW/Proposed application.