Helpful Resource Links

Harvard Offices


Global Support Services (GSS)

GSS works with students, faculty, and staff in every School and Central Administration department to simplify global operations, facilitate collaboration, and flexibly address risks. We can help you on matters of safety and security, outbound visas, employment, finance, taxes, and other operational and administrative considerations abroad.

Harvard Office for the Vice Provost of Research

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) has broad responsibility and oversight for the review, development, and implementation of policies related to the organization and execution of academic research, especially in the sciences, and to aspects of the University's relations with industry. This website is intended to serve all Harvard scholars, new and experienced, as a hub that organizes and provides access to the many laws, regulations, and policies that may be applicable to one's research, and to resources that enable research.

Harvard Policy Guidance


Certificate of Confidentiality Guidance

This policy and procedures guidance outlines the responsibilities of the Harvard investigator, the relevant Grants and Contracts Office, and the relevant IRB in identifying the need for Certificates of Confidentiality and ensuring compliance with the NIH CoC Policy.


Clinical and Medical Science Services During Clinical Research

The guidance is intended to clarify what clinical projects are appropriate to carry out at the University, and set out procedures for review and oversight of those projects.


ESTR (Electronic Submission, Tracking, and Reporting) User Guide and Supporting Documents

Links to guidance on how to complete steps in ESTR. Also, learn how to get an HUID and how to log in, along with other basic use information.


Financial Conflict of Interest Policy

This policy, revised in May, 2012, provides guidance for school deans, faculty and other individuals holding teaching appointments, in identifying, evaluating, and managing conflicts of interest.


Harvard Research Data Security Policy

This university-wide policy addresses the need to protect confidential and sensitive information that is maintained in the various spheres of University administration. The research setting poses particular information security risks and challenges, including regulatory and contractual constraints that require additional policy provisions and protective measures.


Harvard University Financial Policy on Human Subjects Payments

This policy establishes the tax reporting requirements and data-security protocols related to the payment of human subjects at Harvard. High-risk confidential information must only be collected when necessary and any confidential information collected must be protected in accordance with the University’s Enterprise Information Security Policy.


Policy on the Use of Harvard Names and Insignias

Harvard University has developed standards to regulate the use of the Harvard name by schools, units, and individuals within the University, and their use by individuals and institutions outside the University, as authorized.


Provost Review Criteria

The OVPR has established criteria and procedures for University-level review of research proposals that pose management challenges and/or reputational risk and by providing reasonable review and oversight of major projects and programs. This process is intended to streamline the review process for PIs and administrators, improve management and administration, and reduce risks for program participants, for individual researchers, for Schools, and for Harvard as an institution.

Harvard Study Pools


Psychology Study Pool

The Department of Psychology administers the Study Pool – an online pool of current research studies for volunteer subject participation. The Study Pool serves both to introduce students and members of the community to the process of psychological research and provide members of the department with subject participants for their research.


Harvard Business School Computer Lab for Experimental Research

The Computer Lab for Experimental Research (CLER) studies human behavior and decision-making by inviting participants from across the Boston area.

Federal Offices


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Department of Education

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (34 CFR Part 99)

FERPA applies to research involving student education records for any institution receiving U.S. Department of Education funding, meaning that it applies to most public and private K‐12 schools as well as most public and private colleges and universities. Access to identifiable student records requires written permission from the parent (for minors) or from the adult student unless the research is being conducted by the researcher on behalf of the school.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Science Foundation

National Science and Technology Council Report on Expedited Review of Social and Behavioral Research Activities

Office of Civil Rights (HIPAA policy)

Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP)

The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) provides clarification and guidance, develops educational programs and materials, maintains regulatory oversight, and provides advice on ethical and regulatory issues in biomedical and behavioral research. OHRP also supports the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP), which advises the HHS Secretary on issues related to protecting human subjects in research.

OHRP Listing of International Social-Behavioral Research Standards

Includes a summary of 27 social-behavioral research standards from around the world. The standards were developed in 18 countries and by one international organization. The standards are organized by continent, and then arranged alphabetically by country name.

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) (34 CFR Part 98)

The PPRA, created by the No Child Left Behind Act, applies to survey research conducted in elementary and secondary schools receiving funds under U.S. Department of Education programs. The provisions of the PPRA apply to surveys that involve specific sensitive survey topics. The PPRA includes requirements for parental permission as well as for making survey questions available for parental review prior to administration.



When conducting human research internationally, the Principal Investigator is required to comply with applicable local laws, legislation, regulations, and/or policies. Additionally, if local IRB/ethics review is required, it must be obtained before any Human Research activities are conducted in the field. You can access the listing of over 1,000 laws, regulations, and guidelines on human subjects protections in 133 countries and from many international organizations on the OHRP website.