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About the Office of Human Research Ethics

Seal: Full Accreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to expanding and disseminating knowledge for the benefit of the people of North Carolina and the world. An important part of that commitment to knowledge is research of the highest quality on all aspects of the health and behavior of people, and such research is only possible through the participation of humans as research subjects. Human subjects are partners and participants in research and a precious resource to the university. At UNC-Chapel Hill, human subjects research is a privilege, but not a right. Consistent with that philosophy, it is the mission of the UNC-Chapel Hill Human Research Protection Program to ensure that

  1. the rights and welfare of human subjects are paramount in the research process;
  2. the highest standards of ethical conduct are employed in all research involving human subjects;
  3. research investigators are properly trained in the ethical and regulatory aspects of research with human subjects;
  4. research investigators deal honestly and fairly with human subjects, informing them fully of procedures to be followed, and the risks and benefits of participating in research; and
  5. research using human subjects at UNC-Chapel Hill conforms with all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations and the policies of the university.


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill fosters a research environment that promotes the respect for the rights and welfare of individuals recruited for, or participating in, research conducted by or under the auspices of the Organization.

Getting Started

Prior to initiating an IRB application, new researchers are expected to complete an introductory online course in human research ethics, as well as to familiarize themselves with the IRB submission and review process.

Dates and Deadlines

Upon receipt of your application, the IRB will determine level of review. Only those proposals subject to full board review, i.e., by committee, are required to meet submission deadlines.

Online Submission Guide

Task- and screen-specific, printable guides on how to complete the IRB Application and navigate the IRBIS user interface.

Central/External Reliance Agreements

A reliance agreement may be required when you are collaborating with researchers external to UNC who are engaged in research.

Additional Forms

There are a few additional forms that are not provided online and may be accessed here.

New Common Rule

On January 21, 2019 the Final Revision to the “Common Rule” will go into effect as announced by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The revised “Common Rule” will be followed by 20 agencies and will continue to outline the basic provisions for Institutional Review Boards (IRB), informed consent, and Assurances of Compliance.

Required Ethics Training

UNC is committed to providing training and an on‐going educational process for IRB members, the staff of the IRB and HRPP Office, investigators and members of their research team, related to ethical concerns and regulatory and organizational requirements for the protection of human subjects.

IRB Resources

Links to useful resources on IRB and related issues.