Human Subjects/CPHS

The University of Houston is committed to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and public service. Concomitantly, the university seeks to protect the welfare of every person who may be involved in research and training projects in accordance with the federal regulations, and the ethical principles established by the Belmont Report.

Review and oversight of research involving human subjects or identifiable data derived from human subjects is the charge of a federally mandated committee called an Institutional Review Board, or IRB. The University of Houston has two IRBs, collectively known as the Committees for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS). CPHS is responsible for safeguarding of the rights and welfare of all persons participating in research projects.

Prior to proposing research to the CPHS, please review the regulations applicable to your project. 45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 46 (“The Common Rule”) specifically addresses the protection of human study subjects as promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Regardless of funding, all research at UH is held to the DHHS standard. 21 CFR 50 and 21 CFR 56 are the general regulations that govern U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated research. FDA regulations 21 CFR 312 and 21 CFR 812 govern research involving drugs and devices, respectively.

All UH faculty, staff or students proposing to engage in any research activity involving the use of human subjects must have approval from the CPHS prior to the recruitment for and initiation of research procedures. Any questions regarding CPHS or the research categories and policies found on this website should be directed the Office of Research Policies, Compliance and Committees at cphs@central.uh.edu. The submission of applications to the CPHS is currently handled through RAMP, the Research Administration Management Portal.

The University of Houston’s Federalwide Assurance number is FWA 00005994.

The main phone line for the CPHS office is (713) 743-9204, and our email address is cphs@central.uh.edu.

Applications to CPHS

CPHS applications must be submitted online through RAMP (see button on left).

  • Submit early to ensure enough time for routing. Once the protocol is submitted, RAMP will route the project to the required signatories. The submission date is the date by which all required approvers’ signatures must be obtained. The CPHS office will not receive the protocol to place on an agenda until the final sign-off has been obtained.
  • Draft your protocol in MS Word first. Although a Word version of the protocol is not accepted by the CPHS office for review, a template (DOC) has been made available as a tool. It is recommended that the protocol is constructed in Word first, and then cut and pasted into RAMP, thus minimizing the potential for time-out errors and serving as a backup so that work is not lost in RAMP if not saved in a timely manner. This template may also be used as a training tool for instructors of research methods courses.
  • Be sure the application truly qualifies for the classification you select (exempt, expedited or full board). Both exempt and expedited categories are federally mandated and only apply to specific types of research. Applications submitted incorrectly will be referred to the next appropriate committee meeting according to the submission deadlines, and may delay review.
  • Make sure the application is complete; answer all questions thoroughly and ensure appropriate attachments have been uploaded. All applications will undergo a preliminary administrative review to determine if the application is complete and meets the basic requirements for compliance with CPHS policies and procedures. Any application that is incomplete will be returned for additional information and resubmission before being assigned to a CPHS meeting.
  • Allow time for feedback and resubmission. CPHS meeting determination letters are sent approximately 5-8 business days following the meeting. Most require at least minor stipulations be addressed. When submitting your protocol, please budget time for addressing stipulations and CPHS office review of responses.
  • Ensure that all human subjects procedures listed in a grant proposal are contained within the protocol reviewed by CPHS. The Office of Research Policies, Compliance, and Committees (ORPCC) is tasked with performing a congruence review for all funded awards to ensure that research procedures described in the proposal are approved by the CPHS. This review is conducted prior to the release of research funds. A delay in the release of funds may result if procedures outlined in the grant are not approved in the protocol.

CPHS Committee 1

CPHS Committee 1 is responsible for the full review of human subject research protocols for the majority of departments and colleges at UH. This committee does not review protocols for College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS), except for the Department of Health and Human Performance. HHP protocols are reviewed by CPHS Committee 1.

CPHS Committee 2

CPHS Committee 2 is responsible for the full review of human subject research protocols for CLASS, with the exception of the Department of Health and Human Performance.

Contacts