SU & Federal Policies

IRB Policies & Procedures

Deans, department chairpersons, program directors, faculty advisers, and individual investigators must be familiar with IRB policies and procedures as detailed throughout the IRB website. Interpretation of IRB policies and procedures is solely the right and responsibility of the IRB.

The University and the IRB recognize that honest errors may occur in the research process. To distinguish instances of knowing and willful research misconduct from “honest” errors, simple carelessness, and minor infractions, the IRB may conduct a for-cause audit.

Seattle University Research Policies


Seattle University is committed to supporting a research community of the highest integrity, especially with regard to the collegial, professional and ethical process of conducting research. To help promote research integrity, this policy issued by the Office of the Provost defines (a) “Research Misconduct,” (b) the steps for making an allegation of Research Misconduct, (c) the steps for examining and acting on such allegations and (d) the efforts the University will make to foster responsible conduct and provide training intended to prevent Research Misconduct. For more information, please review the policy and the procedure for reporting such allegations (both updated Feb. 2017): 

SU Research Misconduct Policy [PDF]

Reporting Research Misconduct [PDF]

For information about general policies and guidelines for SU faculty, please see the SU Faculty Handbook.

For information about research supported through the Office of Sponsored Projects, please see their website and accompanying policies.

Federal Policies on Human Subjects Research


The Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) is the Federal authority that issue guidance on the welfare and protections of individuals involved in human subjects research.

Common Rule

The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, known as the Common Rule, establishes regulations for all research involving human subject participants. OHRP within the Dept. of Health and Human Services retains general jurisdiction over these matters.

Institutions receiving Federal funds must have an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to review and monitor all funded human subject research. Additionally, institutions must submit periodic letters of assurance to the Federal government indicating compliance with the regulations. Seattle University’s Federalwide Assurance ((FWA, on file with HHS) commits the University to abide by the Common Rule for all federally funded research.


Belmont Report

Additionally, Seattle University's FWA has assured the Federal government that it will review all human subjects research according to the ethical principles of the Belmont Report, regardless of whether studies are funded.

Published in 1974 by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, the Belmont Report identifies three ethical principles for research involving human subjects and offers guidelines for meeting those principles: respect for persons, beneficence, and justice.