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Human Research Protections Program

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HRPP Submission Forms, Consent Templates, & Approximate Review Timelines

Bookmark the above link to access current versions. Contact the HRPP if you're not sure which form to use.

Required Training for Protocol Submissions

The HRPP requires current (within 5 years of completion) CITI Human Research Training for all WWU researchers and key personnel/RAs interacting with participants or identifiable data. Complete the Social & Behavorial Research -- Basic/Refresher Course (#60805473).

Note: The HRPP does not require RCR training. But external funding agencies might require RCR and 3-year CITI expiration. The PI is responsible for determining and meeting funding agency expectations.

External co-investigators/key personnel interacting with participants or identifiable data should submit CITI training if available or OHRP Human Research Protections Training (Lessons 1 & 2 ONLY).

NOTE: The IRB does not review full-board protocols over the summer months; please plan accordingly.


We hope the New Year is off to a strong start for everyone. We’re in an exciting time of transition, as we seek to better support WWU researchers who work with human participants. We’re committed to establishing policies and processes that reflect the nature of research at WWU and that meet the needs of our campus research community. Our recent accomplishments will simplify processes while still prioritizing protections for research participants:

  • New User-Friendly Forms: Application for Exemption for minimal-risk projects, Expedited/Full-Board submission form, Modification Request Form.
  • New consent templates for different methods/populations.
  • Streamlined CITI human participant research training: now only four required modules, with supplemental modules as needed if relevant to a specific research project; extended expiration set to 5 years for non-federally funded studies.

Above all, we wish to create a positive, robust partnership with you in supporting a culture of research integrity at Western!

Your HRPP/IRB leadership, 

  • Dr. Andrea Rossing McDowell, Human Research Protections Program (HRPP) Administrator
  • Dr. Ira Hyman (Professor of Psychology), Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB)


Coming Soon!
  • Expanded website with all revised forms, templates (for consent, etc.), submission overview and tips, guidance pages, and FAQs.
  • New HRPP Policy & Procedures Manual.

While we work on these resources, please email or call with all inquiries. Dr. McDowell welcomes questions at any stage of the process (from ideas to initial drafts to final revisions) and can help determine the most appropriate submission form for your project.

Why the New Terminology?

Human Subjects vs. Human Participants

"Subjects" implies a passive role: research activities are done on and to individuals in a study. In contrast, "participants" reflects an informed, active role, better affirming the Belmont Report principle of respect for persons.


The Institutional Review Board (IRB) comprises 11 members from multiple WWU disciplines. IRB members review certain expedited submissions, convene to review full-board protocols needing higher-level risk assessment and mitigations.

The Human Research Protections Program (HRPP)--reports to the Vice Provost for Research and serves as the research integrity office supporting researchers conducting human participant research. Most WWU research qualifies as "minimal risk" and may use the Application for Exemption (from higher IRB review), for which the HRPP Administrator issues determinations. The HRPP Administrator manages all office processing and updates policies/practices based on current regulations and best practices in ethical human participant research.

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Andrea Rossing McDowell, PhD

In Fall, Dr. Andrea McDowell joined WWU as HRPP Administrator--a new position dedicated to improving processes and better supporting research integrity. She brings more than a decade of experience in human participant research administration and research ethics, and an extensive writing/editing/public speaking background. For more than 30 years, she has taught in the university classroom on subjects from writing and editing, to Russian/Soviet literature, to Student Development Theory, and most recently, Business Communication and Editing for Seattle University. She is also a professional Editorial Consultant for the CITI human participant training program.