A component of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) and a unit of the Office of Research Compliance, the Institutional Review Boards oversee human subjects research conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This includes research conducted off-site by University faculty and staff when acting as University employees or in connection with their University appointments. The IRBs review and oversee research to ensure that it meets ethical principles and complies with federal regulations, state laws, and university policies. The IRBs are composed of members from various disciplines in the medical, social, and behavioral sciences as well as community members.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an IRB must review all research involving human subjects, and the research cannot begin until the IRB has reached a determination. This is true even if a researcher perceives there are no risks for people who participate in their research.


The University’s Human Research Protection Program is accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs. Learn more about AAHRPP accreditation.

The University holds a Federalwide Assurance (FWA number FWA00005399) from the Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP) in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This FWA is a written assurance that investigators will comply with the Terms of the Federalwide Assurance for the Protection of Human Subjects. Investigators at the William S. Middleton Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital are covered by the UW–Madison FWA through an IRB Authorization Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding between UW–Madison and the Middleton VA Hospital.

The latest version of UW–Madison’s FWA: University of Wisconsin–Madison Federalwide Assurance

IRB00000366 – Health Sciences IRB

IRB00003739 – Minimal Risk IRB

IRB00000368 – Educational and Social/Behavioral IRB