Who must submit a Request for Approval to Conduct Research for review by the WGU IRB?


Who must submit a Request for Approval to Conduct Research for review by the WGU Institutional Review Board (IRB)?


Anyone who intends to conduct research that involves humans must review the requirements for human subject’s protection. Many WGU degree programs include courses that involve data gathering from people. However, not all data gathering is considered research. In most WGU degree programs, unless you are in the Teachers College non-licensure degree programs or are seeking to use WGU data, the data gathering is not considered research and you will not need to fill out this form. IRB protections are largely intended to assure the following:


  • Research participants are properly informed about research activities.
  • Research participants understand any foreseeable risks associated with the research endeavor.
  • Research participants are not compelled to participate and may stop their participation in the research at any time without any penalty.
  • Research participant confidentially is protected to the fullest intent possible given the research context.


These protections apply to all research involving students, faculty, or staff from the Nursing, Education, Information Technology and Business colleges as well as most clinical or behavioral research studies proposed by agents of WGU. All human subject researchers must consider how human subject data is intended to be gathered and used. If the data meets the definition of research, complete the Request for Approval to Conduct Research. Capstone courses requiring data gathering for research purposes will include specific IRB information and guidelines. Review the course of study (COS) requirements and task directions and consult with course mentors or contact irb@wgu.edu if you have questions concerning IRB requirements.


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