The Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (CUHS) serves as the Institutional Review Board for the Cambridge and Allston campuses at Harvard University. Human subjects research at Harvard University is guided by the ethical principles set forth in the Belmont Report (Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research). The minimum standards are set by the Department of Health and Human Services regulations at 45 CFR part 46 and the Food and Drug Administration’s regulations at 21 CFR part 50 and 21 CFR part 56.

News & Announcements

NIH Single IRB Policy Implementation Date Extended

June 16, 2017

NIH is extending the effective date of the NIH Policy on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board for Multi-Site Research to January 25, 2018.   The policy will apply to all competing grant applications for due dates on or after January 25, 2018.  For R&D contracts, the policy will apply to all solicitations issued on or after this effective date.

Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions to assist in the implementation of the policy will be available at:

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We're Moving!

May 19, 2017

Starting July 1, 2017 we will be located in the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center, Suite 935, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 01238.  We look forward to seeing you in our new location!

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ESTR Update Scheduled for 6:00pm ET Thursday, April 27

April 14, 2017

ESTR will be offline for a configuration update on Thursday, April 27 from 6:00pm ET to approximately 7:00pm ET. With this release, Harvard is adding some configurations to support IRB review, along with policy-based updates.  Release highlights include:

  • SmartForm revisions to clarify prompts and requirements around interest reporting and listing study team members.
  • Activity and workpsace updates to support IRB staff in the review process.
  • Updated PI and Faculty Sponsor assurance to further clairify requirements assocaited with interest reporting and
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CUHS to Transition to OVPR

March 15, 2017

The Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (CUHS) office, staff, and IRB will be moving from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), Research Administration Services (RAS) to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) in Central Administration (CADM), effective as of July 1st, 2017.

Historically, the CUHS was constituted as a standing faculty committee of the FAS, and the CUHS staff have remained embedded in FAS despite the growth in volume of human subject research from other university area schools (currently, half of the volume of research studies reviewed by CUHS are from

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Undergraduate Research Ethics Training

February 8, 2017

To help undergraduates properly prepare to conduct research, the IRB will offer training in the spring of 2017 (for spring and summer 2017 projects). This training is designed to help you develop a proposal that minimizes risk and to guide you on completing templates for the protocol and informed consent documents.  

Research Ethics training seminars for undergraduates will be offered on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, February 22, 4:00-5:30pm, Sever Hall 213
  • Thursday, March 23   4-5:30pm – Sever Hall 113
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