Human Subjects Research

Research Integrity and Compliance serves as the University point of contact for the different IRBs that review human subjects research against federal regulations and ethical standards. For questions about which IRB to use, assistance with a unique case, or questions about accessing VUMC clinical resources, please contact


The Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) Human Research Protections Program (including the IRB) reviews most VU studies. See the tip sheet for VU researchers (under ‘Guidance’) for the difference between informed consent and an information sheet; the definition of “engaged” in research; the difference between recruitment and screening; the difference between non-research and research projects, an overview of the single IRB process, information on conducting research in schools, and HRPP resources.

Contact the VUMC IRB if you have questions.

BRANY IRB for International Studies

BRANY is an independent IRB that reviews all VU research studies with an international component that do not include

  • VUMC Key Study Personnel (KSP)
  • resources owned or shared by VUMC
  • funding transferring through VUMC
  • data transferring to VUMC,
  • nor HIPAA protected data.

If your international study includes any of the above items, it will be reviewed by VUMC IRB. See more on the criteria and instructions for submitting studies to BRANY.

VU Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research (SBER) IRB

VU is establishing a Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research (SBER) IRB (see MyVU article). The effort is being led by Mila Tahia, Director of the VU Human Research Protections Program, and a faculty committee, along with support from VU stakeholders and our partners at VUMC.

All members of the VU research community are invited to hear the latest on the development of the VU IRB and ask questions during monthly, virtual IRB Update & Q&A sessions.

The next two sessions are scheduled for:

VU SBER IRB Advisory Committee

The Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research (SBER IRB) Advisory Committee guides the development and launch a VU SBER IRB. The faculty committee informs hiring decisions, policies and procedures, and software functionality and supports outreach to the VU research community.

Committee Members

  • Elizabeth Zechmeister, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science, Associate Provost for Research and Innovation (Committee Chair)
  • Amanda Goodwin, Professor of Literacy Education
  • Akos Ledeczi, Professor of Computer Science
  • Daniel Levin, Professor of Psychology and Human Development
  • Liane Moneta-Koehler, Assistant Provost for Research Integrity and Compliance
  • Jeremy Neal, Associate Professor of Nursing
  • Bunmi Olatunji, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Psychology
  • Mila Tahai, Director of the VU Human Research Protections Program

Recording, Transcribing, and Sharing Video

Recording and transcription might be a part of your human subject protocol. To protect participant privacy, secure software must be used. The Office of Cybersecurity developed Video Conference Recording and Sharing Guidance with approved applications and instructions for recording, transcribing, and sharing video.

Access to VUMC Clinical Resources

Vanderbilt University researchers may need access to VUMC clinical systems, facilities or patients to complete research projects. If you are faculty, staff, a postdoc or a graduate student, check eligibility and request access to VUMC Clinical Resources.