Institutional Review Board (IRB)

The IRB (Institutional Review Board) is a federally mandated body established under the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) regulations for the protection of human subjects (DHHS regulations for the Protection of Human Subjects (45 CFR 46). Purpose is to protect the rights and welfare of individuals recruited to participate in research activities conducted under the auspices of New Mexico State University (NMSU).  Research involving human subjects includes the collection of data about or from human subjects (including surveys) and the use of existing data (including specimens).

The guiding ethical principles of NMSU’s IRB are embodied in the Belmont Report (“Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research,” The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, April 18, 1979). The principles of respect for persons, beneficence and justice are accepted as critical considerations for the ethical conduct of research involving human subjects.

University policy requires the IRB to review and approve all research involving human subjects conducted by faculty, staff, and students, on- and off-campus, regardless of funding source, if any, prior to initiation of the research.  The IRB must also review and approve any changes to an approved research project before implementation.

Additionally, the IRB is tasked with monitoring ongoing research for adherence to Federal regulations and institutional policies and procedures.   Federal regulations require the Principal Investigators and all research team members to complete and document appropriate training in the protection of human subjects.

All applications for IRB review and approval must be submitted electronically via Streamlyne,  the online review system. 


The NIH (National Institutes of Health) definition of a Clinical Trial  for Human Subjects Research studies has broadened to include behavioral outcomes. For those researchers applying for NIH funding on/after January 25, 2018, it is critical to correctly determine if your research meets the NIH definition of a clinical trial. These studies must be registered using the NMSU organizational account in the Clinical Trials Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS) on  The NIH has detailed guidance, decision tools and FAQs on their website at NMSU has also added the “Good Clinical Practice (GCP) – Social and Behavioral Research Best Practices for Clinical Research” training to our Institutional course offerings at CITI Program ( This online training is free for all NMSU researchers, and fulfills the NIH training requirements.

Please contact the Office of Research Integrity & Ethics at or 575-646-7177 if you have any questions.