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Welcome to the home of the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) Institutional Review Board (IRB). Our IRB is responsible for oversight of all human subjects research projects undertaken by WVDE staff. Our primary goal is to ensure that research subjects are adequately informed of their rights as study participants. Further, we are charged with educating investigators about the requirements to ensure the risks associated with participation in research activities, however small, are minimized.

In 2011 the WVDE formally established a comprehensive Human Protections Program and pledged to comply fully with the United States Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Regulations for the Protection of Human Subjects as specified in Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 46, Subpart A ("The Common Rule") and Subparts B - D. The WVDE also pledged to comply with the United States Department of Education's Regulations which are codified in Title 34 CFR Part 97.

At that time, the WVDE made an institutional federalwide assurance (FWA) to comply with these regulations. The FWA is a promise to adhere to the regulations for protecting individuals who participate in research studies. Part of the regulations requires the designation of an IRB that is tasked with reviewing all research activities covered by the FWA. To learn more about the terms of the FWA, please see:

Important Information for WVDE Employees

  • All WVDE staff (both full- and part-time) who use human subjects or identifiable private information about human subjects to conduct research within the course of their job responsibilities must complete the necessary education requirements to work with this information. See the Education section of this site for more details.
  • Furthermore, these staff must secure approval for their research projects from the WVDE IRB before initiating the work regardless of funding source (federal, state, or other). Please see the Is My Project Subject to IRB Review section of this site for more information.
  • The WVDE IRB is not authorized to review/approve research projects for non-WVDE employees.
  • The WVDE's FWA number is: FWA00018898
  • Our IRB's registration number is: IORG0007370
  • For more information about the IRB's purpose and function, please see the WVDE IRB Manual.
  • Inquiries about the WVDE IRB may be directed to Patricia Hammer (email:, phone: 304-558-7881)