An IRB is a federally-regulated committee charged with assuring that research involving human subjects is ethical, equitable, and humane. To this end, an IRB conducts both an initial review of a proposed research protocol as well as ongoing review of approved research. During the initial review, an IRB will consider whether a proposed research protocol meets established criteria for minimizing risks to human subjects. Based on this consideration, an IRB may approve or deny the protocol, or may alternatively condition approval upon certain changes to the protocol.
An institution may register its own internal IRB or may contract with an external IRB. UC Hastings does not have an internal IRB, and therefore relies on external IRBs.