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Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects

Are you conducting research? If your project proposal involves research of human subjects as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR part 46), the project must be reviewed by Western Wyoming Community College's IRB. The WWCC Office of Planning and Improvement will help you determine whether your project/proposal fits the definitions of "research" and "human subjects" and will help you complete the forms for submission to the IRB.

To conduct research that involves the use of human subjects, the College is required by federal mandate to have an assurance of compliance for protection of human research subjects. This assurance serves as WWCC's agreement with the government in promising that all individuals involved in human subjects research will be treated ethically.

Principle Investigators should familiarize themselves with these documents prior to initiating research.

WWCC's IRB policies and procedures are based upon the following:

All projects conducted at WWCC by instructors, administrators, staff, and students that involve human subjects must be reviewed. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Projects with or without funding
  • All projects that involve an outside collaboration (i.e., information/data sharing and/or data gathering)
  • All applications being reviewed by an outside board
  • Research utilizing surveys, interviews, oral history (Note: If video or audio recording is intended to be used during the study, it must be identified within the research proposal.)
  • Questionnaires
  • Retrospective data analysis
  • Research on individual or group characteristics or behavior
  • Focus groups, pilot studies
  • Classroom research projects
  • "Exempt" projects (see Exemption Categories)

Initial IRB Review:
Following an initial review of the application describing the nature of the research, a proposal may be:
  • Exempt from further review.
  • Appropriate for an Expedited review by the chair and sub-committee.
  • Subject to Full Review by the full IRB.

Annual Review:

Once a project is approved, the approval is effective for no more than one year. A continuation application must be submitted before the end of the approved year. If the application is not reviewed, all work on the project must be stopped. This includes data analysis, even if no contact with subjects is occurring.

Protocol Changes:

If any changes occur in the project within the approval year, it is necessary to contact the Office of Student Learning. Prior to changes being instituted, Principle Investigators are to submit a request for an addendum or modifications to the Office of Planning and Improvement. In an addendum the Principle Investigator explains any proposed changes and includes any relevant supplemental materials. Supplemental materials may include, but are not limited to, revised consent forms, copies of recruitment posters and ads or additional instruments.

Record Retention:

Principle Investigators are also responsible for the retention of all data pertaining to the research project. The government requires records to be retained for three years after the close of the project.

Review Process for Full Board Review:

The IRB meeting is generally held the second Friday each month during the semester. On the meeting date, members discuss and vote on each application. The following scenarios represent possible outcomes:

  • Approved: Application is approved with no revisions.
  • Contingent/pending revisions: Application may be approved once specific revisions are made.
  • Denied: Application is denied without further consideration.


Principle Investigators must have completed Office for Human Research Protections (ORHP) approved training within the last two years prior to project approval. IRB training documentation must be kept on file with the Office of Planning and Improvement.

Available approved trainings:
NIH Office of Extramural Research Training (no cost) or CITI Training (fee based)

Questions related to IRB should be directed to the Planning and Improvement office at

(307) 382-1600 or toll free (800) 226-1181