An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a specially constituted review body established to protect the welfare of human participants in research. Federal law states that all institutions supported by a Department or Agency to which the Common Rule applies must establish an IRB to review and approve research involving human subjects.
Park University complies with all Federal regulations (e.g., 45 CFR 46) with respect to the ethical treatment and protection of human and animal research participants. Park University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversees the ethical conduct of research at Park University.  Park University is registered with the U.S. Federal Government’s Office of Human Research Protections (IORG Identifier IORG0003602).


All research connected with members of the Park University community must be reviewed and approved by the IRB. The Park University IRB defines "research" as a systematic investigation—including research development, testing and evaluation—involving a living individual about whom you obtain:

  1. data through intervention or interaction, INCLUDING surveys and interviews, and/or
  2. identifiable private information in a form associable with that individual.
Studies involving non-intrusive observation of public behavior are not obliged to undergo IRB review. The Park IRB recognizes the following definition for the term "public behavior" for the purposes of IRB exemption:
Public behavior is behavior occurring without the intervention of the researcher, and which the individual could reasonably expect to be observed. Observation of reactions to "staged" events and of behavior occurring in private settings (e.g., at home, in a bathroom stall) or in settings in which individuals have reasonable expectations of a limited audience (e.g., classrooms, meetings of identified groups) is not exempt. Adapted from US Department of Health and Human Services Code of Federal Regulations, 45 CFR 46.101(b)(2)
The Park University IRB recognizes social media activity as falling under this statutory definition of "public behavior," i.e., it is not considered to occur in a private setting, and it does not carry with it the expectation of a limited audience.
If you are a member of the Park University community (a student, faculty, or staff member at the Parkville campus, any of the campus centers, or online) and intend to conduct research that involves human participants, either on campus or elsewhere, you must have your research plans reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to the initiation of your project. Researchers who are not affiliated with Park University who intend to conduct research involving members of the Park University community as participants are also required to secure Park University IRB approval prior to beginning their research.  Upon completion of the research, researchers must file a “completion form” with the IRB Chair.
If your research takes longer than one year to complete, please submit a "continuation form" to the IRB Chair.
If you modify your research, please submit a "modification form" to the IRB Chair.
Please see the FAQ page for additional information.
First, you will need to complete the Canvas training (see below) in order to become eligible to apply. After you've completed the training, click on "IRB Application" on the left side of this page. This will take you to the online application submission page. In the process of filling out the application, you may learn that you need to provide supplemental forms; these will be available in the "Forms" section. Once you've submitted your application online, you will receive an e-mail explaining what comes next.
Please note: If you are a Park University student, you may not apply until you have a faculty advisor (usually your instructor of record) sign the Faculty Advisor Form (under FORMS). They should review and approve all work before you submit your final application.
We highly recommend that you download the Word version of the application under FORMS. This way, you can work on the application and save your work.  MyPark does not save applications that are not complete.
If you have any questions about this process, e-mail the chair of the IRB at
All faculty and student researchers must complete the free Responsible Conduct of Research training in Canvas.
To gain access to the Canvas shell please enroll at and accept the course invitation.

Note: After completing the course, you must follow directions to request a badge and training number to proceed with the IRB application.