For Participants

Before joining a research project, we encourage you to learn more about your rights as a research volunteer and the risks and benefits of being in research.

Visit the U.S. Health and Human Services: About Research Participation for resources to learn about participating in research and making informed decisions. 

What is an Institutional Review Board (IRB)?

The IRB is a committee whose primary purpose is to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects participating in research.  IRBs are typically made up physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers, physical therapists and/or other health care professionals.  All IRBs also have non-scientific community members to represent the interests of research participants. 

At the University of Pittsburgh, the IRB is responsible for oversight of human subject research conducted by the staff, faculty and students at the University of Pittsburgh and the UPMC institutions.  You can learn more about the IRB and from the Human Research Protection Office (HRPO) page

Who Can I Contact at the University of Pittsburgh?

You can always contact our Human Research Protection Advocate with questions or concerns: 1-866-212-2668 or If you are currently enrolled in a research study, you can also contact the study doctor directly at the phone number on the front of the consent form

Can I become a Community Member of the Pitt IRB?

Yes! The mission of an IRB community member is to help to protect the rights and welfare of those individuals volunteering as research subjects.  Community members come from a variety of backgrounds and are not required to have a scientific background.  Each brings their individual knowledge and community experiences to the discussion to reflect the perspective of the volunteer research participants.  Find out more information on our Community Member FAQ page.

How Can I Learn More or Become Involved in Research at the University of Pittsburgh?

Pitt+Me is a community of patients, volunteers and researchers working together as partners in research and clinical trials to advance healthcare.  The Pitt+Me News page provides information on the latest happenings related to studies and what members of our community are up to. 

How Can Our Community Organization Become Involved with Research?

Contact the Community PARTners Core at the Pitt Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)