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Institutional Review Board for the Public Health

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The Institutional Review Board for Public Health (IRBPH) is an administrative body established to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects recruited to participate in research activities or data collected on human subjects conducted under the auspices of the Department of Health with which it is affiliated. The IRBPH has the authority to approve, require modifications in, or disapprove all research activities that fall within its jurisdiction, as specified by federal regulations and local institutional policy. Research that has been reviewed and approved by an IRB may be subject to review and disapproval by Department of Health (DC Health) officials. However, DC Health officials may not approve research if it has been disapproved by the IRB [Federal Policy section 112].

The IRBPH functions independently of but in coordination with other communities. For example, an institution (e.g., university, hospital, government body, research institute) may have a research committee that reviews protocols to determine whether the institution should support the proposed research. The IRBPH, however, makes its independent determination whether to approve or disapprove the protocol based upon whether or not human subjects are adequately protected.

Who needs to apply for IRB

  • Researchers partnering with DC Health Agencies/Programs conducting public health research involving human subjects or DC Health program data collected on human subjects who are residents of the District of Columbia
  • Institutions/Government Agencies receiving Federal dollars for research or grants must submit protocol to IRBPH for review and approval
  • Researchers, administrators, etc., requesting data with identifiers from the DC Health’s Vital Records Office

All proposals must be received by the DC Health's IRB office ten (10) business days prior to the IRB meeting date. Please submit one (1) original copy and an electronic copy of completed application packet.


Under the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) within the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the District of Columbia Department of Health houses the Institutional Review Board for the Public Health (IRBPH) Number: 1–00002318, IORG Number: 0001841, Federalwide Assurance Number: 00003034.

2024 IRBPH Meeting Schedule [PDF]

Service Contact: 
Center for Policy, Planning and Evaluation, State Center for Health Statistics
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 442-5865
Contact TTY: 
Contact Suite #: 
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:15 am to 4:45 pm
Service Location: 

Health, Department of

GIS Address: 
2201 Shannon Place SE