Human Research Protections Program

Two students conducting community engaged research.

UC Santa Cruz follows the Belmont Report’s Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research while complying with federal regulations, state laws, and University of California (UC) policies.

The primary role of the UC Santa Cruz Institutional Review Board (UCSC IRB) is to protect the safety, rights, and welfare of human subjects in research conducted by UC Santa Cruz investigators. The IRB is composed of physicians, scientists, non-scientists, and community members with varying backgrounds to promote complete and adequate review of the research activities conducted at UC Santa Cruz. Members are appointed by the vice chancellor for research, who is the UC Santa Cruz institutional official (IO) responsible for the human research protections program.

All research activities at UC Santa Cruz involving human subjects must either be reviewed and approved by the IRB, or be determined by the Office of Research Compliance Administration (ORCA) to be exempt from IRB review, before any research activities involving human subjects begin. UC Santa Cruz investigators engaged in human subjects research activities are expected to conduct human subjects research in an ethical manner, adhering to federal regulations and institutional policy, and as described in the IRB approved/exempt certified study.

The IRB analysts in the Office of Research Compliance Administration (ORCA):

  • Provide guidance and administrative support to the IRB.
  • Facilitate review of human subjects research studies.
  • Provide regulatory support to the UC Santa Cruz research community by assisting investigators in navigating federal, state, and university policies regarding human subjects research.
  • UC Santa Cruz operates under Federalwide Assurance number FWA00002797, on file with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). 
  • The UC Santa Cruz Institutional Review Board (UCSC IRB) is registered with DHHS under IORG number IORG0000158.   
  • UC Santa Cruz is a SMART IRB participating institution.
  • UCSC IRB has received CARE-Q certification.
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Last modified: Jul 18, 2024