On Wednesday, March 18th Vice Chancellor for Research Joe Incandela issued a memo to shut down all on-campus research.

**Please note: Highest priority is being given to all inquiries, requests, applications, and modifications related to COVID-19. For other inquiries and submissions, please expect a delayed reply. Thank you for your patience.**

Which human subjects research studies or study procedures must be paused?   

All studies or study procedures, whether conducted at the UCSB campus or off campus, involving in-person interaction with participants must be paused. You are encouraged to modify your study to add remote procedures that would allow you to continue your work without face-to-face interaction with participants. 

Do I need to notify the IRB or document somewhere that I am pausing my research?

In general, no, you do not need to notify our office. If you believe that pausing your research would harm your study participants, please contact our office as soon as possible. 

Which human subjects research studies may continue during the pause?

Studies or research procedures that do not involve any direct interaction with participants may continue, such as:

  • Web surveys (e.g., Mturk)
  • Telephone or audio-video conferencing (e.g., Zoom)
  • Mail surveys
  • Data analysis, either secondary use projects or data analysis activities on other projects

Must amendments be submitted to the IRB prior to implementation? 

Yes, changes to the project must be reviewed by the IRB prior to implementation. Currently the IRB is prioritizing review of study-related changes in response to the COVID outbreak.  If you need to change data collection procedures in response to the pandemic, please place in CAPS “COVID” on the One Tab of the protocol application. 

What should I do if I am planning on submitting a new study? 

The IRB is accepting and reviewing new studies.  New studies must include electronic (e.g., Qualtrics) or remote methods of data collection OR certify on the One Tab from the Faculty Advisor that any in-person interactions will not occur until the pause on in-person interactions is removed. 

The IRB will prioritize new studies studying the COVID outbreak, provided the study includes electronic or remote communication methods. 

What are some strategies for continuing research during the pause?

Modify your project to include an electronic or remote method of communication.  

For projects that collect sensitive and/or identifiable data, consider whether the revised procedures introduce any additional risk to participants. 

Components of previously approved studies that do not involve face-to-face interactions may continue during the pause. 


The University of California, Santa Barbara is committed to the ethical principles for the protection of human subjects in research set forth in the Belmont Report of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research and protections provided in 45 CFR Part 46. At UCSB, the Human Subjects Committee (HSC) serves as the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for reviewing research applications involving human subjects. The primary mission of the HSC is to ensure the protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects who participate in research conducted by university faculty, staff, and students.

Review and approval by the HSC is required before starting research involving human subjects.The HSC is charged with ensuring compliance with federal regulations, state and local laws, and UC policies.

Questions? Contact us at:

Email: hsc@research.ucsb.edu or orahshelp@research.ucsb.edu
Telephone: 805-893-3807 or 805-893-4290
Fax: 805-893-2611

Mailing Information:
Human Subjects Coordinator
Office of Research, 3227 Cheadle Hall
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2050

Campus mail code: MC 2050

For more information about the Committee and Human Subjects office, visit the About HSC page.
Human Subjects Training Requirements

Human Subjects Committee 

The Committee:

The UCSB Human Subjects Committee (HSC) is an independent administrative committee mandated by the Department of Health and Human Services and responsible to Office for Human Research Protections Program (OHRP). The HSC is composed of scientists, non-scientists, and community members with varying backgrounds of expertise, to promote complete and adequate review of human subjects research activities conducted by UCSB researchers.

The Office:

The UCSB Human Subjects Office is the administrative support unit that conducts administrative pre-reviews of proposed research activities, ensures researchers follow federal, state, and university regulations when using human subjects as research participants. The HS Office offers advice on and assistance with the development of human subjects protocol applications, and supports the HSC. The HS Office also provides education and outreach to the campus community and acts as a liaison between various campus departments, researchers, the HSC, and governmental agencies.

Federal Wide Assurance and IRB Registration:

Federal Wide Assurance (FWA): FWA00006361

Expires: 3/5/2021

Institutional Review Board Name (on file with OHRP): U California Santa Barbara #1

IRB Identification/Registration #: IRB00000307

Expires 2/28/2022