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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 federal wide 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
  • All key personnel CV's and proof of human subjects research training
  • If applicable: recruitment flyer, phone scripts, consent/assent forms, authorization form, assessment instruments or questionnaires, and any other material that a research subject may be reviewing

All material must be forwarded to the Public Health IRB Coordinator. It is asked that before formatting the study documentation as a PDF, you save WORD copies as revisions may be requested. Appropriate signatures must be obtained, so on those documents in which a signature is required, please submit both WORD and PDF copies. Submit material to:

IRB Coordinator
OHA Public Health Division
800 NE Oregon St., Ste. 930
Portland OR 97232 


Submissions which are found to be incomplete or where the information may be lacking, incorrect, or inconsistent will not be forwarded to the IRB Chair for final determination until such issues have been resolved. This applies to all submissions requiring full, expedited, or exempt PH IRB review.

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. This applies to those studies in which a Full Board review will be required, meaning the research is not considered a minimal risk study. No exceptions will be allowed.  

Contact Information
IRB Coordinator