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What is the IRB?
The Belmont Report
Public Health Institutional Review Board (PH IRB)

Protecting the rights of persons participating in research

The Public Health Division has established the Public Health IRB (PH IRB) - an administrative body created to review research studies to ensure that the rights and well-being of people who are subjects in research are adequately protected.

The PH IRB serves as the IRB for both the Public Health Division (PHD) and Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD). Both of these agencies are committed to the concept of ethical research and reviewing all research involving human subjects, regardless of funding source. 

To affect the reviews, the PH IRB is structured and functions in accordance with the Common Rule (45 CFR 46.) Each agency has a federalwide assurance in place with the Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP) and as such, no human subject research may be initiated without prior IRB approval.

  • OHA-Public Health Division FWA#0000520
  • Multnomah County Health Department FWA#00004186

PH IRB approval is required for all research with human subjects if any one or more of the following applies:

  • The research is sponsored by either PHD or MCHD;
  • The research is conducted by or under the direction of an employee or agent of PHD or MCHD in connection with his or her agency responsibilities; or
  • The research involves the use of PHD or MCHD non-public information to identify or contact human research subjects or prospective subjects.

How to Submit a Research Project to the IRB

Investigators wishing to pursue PH IRB approval for a research project must submit the following information:

  • Initial Review Questionnaire (IRQ)
  • Protocol and grant application
  • If applicable: recruitment flyer, phone scripts, consent/assent forms, assessment instruments or questionnaires, and any other material that a research subject may be reviewing

An electronic copy as well as hard copy of the material must be forwarded to the Public Health IRB Coordinator. The hard copy submission should be double-sided and have the appropriate signatures. The electronic copy should be submitted in an MS Word format if available. Submit material to:

IRB Coordinator
OHA Public Health Division
800 NE Oregon Street
Portland OR 97232 


Meeting Dates and Application Deadlines

Application material must be received by the deadline in order for the project to be reviewed at the appropriate PH IRB meeting. No exceptions will be allowed.  

Contact Information
IRB Coordinator