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Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Protection of Human Subjects

Temporary Virtual Services

Due to COVID-19, the Human Subjects in Research Committee have temporarily transitioned to remote services which are available online during business hours from 8 a.m - 5 p.m, Monday - Friday. The physical office for the Human Subjects in Research Committee is closed until further notice.

Applications, amendments, and extensions will continue to be received, reviewed, and processed via email at If your application includes requesting face-to-face interactions with participants as your data collection method, the committee will continue reviewing those applications for approval at this time with the contingency that data collection may not begin until after the suspension of face-to-face interactions with human subjects has been lifted. Email is the preferred method of communication with our staff at this time.

This site is currently under construction. Please check back frequently for additional content.

The Human Subjects in Research Committee (HSRC) at Chico State is responsible for ensuring the ethical conduct of human subjects research conducted by university faculty, staff, and students. The HSRC is primarily responsible for the review and continuous monitoring of human subjects protocols to ensure adequate protection of subjects and compliance with university policy and federal regulations governing the ethical and responsible conduct of research. Chico State holds a Federalwide Assurance (#FWA00001655) issued by the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) and follows the principles of the Belmont Report and guidance from the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (also known as the “Common Rule”).

All human subjects research conducted at Chico State, regardless of funding source or regardless of the institution that reviewed the research, is subject to institutional, local, and state (including tribal law), and federal policies and regulations and must be submitted to and approved by the HSRC prior to initiation. Determinations on whether planned activities meet the definition or constitute research are made by the HSRC Chair. Activities that do not meet the definition of research do not require HSRC review and approval to proceed as planned.

Depending on the nature of the research, submissions may be exempt from full board review. Importantly, “exempt” does not mean that the research can proceed in the absence of HSRC review and approval. If a submission meets the criteria for exemption from full board review, it is reviewed by the HSRC Chair or other designee. Similarly, submissions may qualify for expedited review. “Expedited” does not mean that the submission is reviewed on a shorter timeline. Expedited reviews are also conducted by the HSRC Chair (or another designee). Submissions not meeting the criteria for exempt or expedited review are reviewed by the HSRC during monthly convened meetings (see HSRC Calendar below). Although Principal Investigators are encouraged to identify which level of review is most appropriate for their research, decisions about which level of review a submission will receive are made by the HSRC Chair.

The HSRC is comprised of scientists, non-scientists, and community members with diverse backgrounds to provide a comprehensive review of the proposed research. HSRC members are required to complete ethics training in human subjects research. HSRC members are appointed at the recommendation of the Chair and serve one-year, renewable terms. To support the HSRC on behalf of the university, Chico State Enterprises (CSE) provides the administration of the HSRC. CSE staff member Sharon Ruggirello serves as the HSRC Coordinator and works in consultation with the HSRC Chair to provide educational offerings such as seminars or workshops. Sharon is happy to answer general questions regarding the protection of human subjects and can be reached at

NOTE: As of August 01, 2019, all researchers and faculty advisors involved in human subjects research are encouraged to complete online ethics training through the CITI Program. This training should be completed before application submission. Please visit the CITI Program website for instructions on how to register and complete the training.

All inquires regarding the protection of human subjects should be direct to Sharon Ruggirello at

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Contact Information

Chico State Enterprises

Human Subjects in Research Committee
25 Main Street, Ste 205
Chico CA 95928-5388

Phone: 530-898-3145
Fax: 530-898-6804

Dr. Patrick S. Johnson
HSRC Chair

Sharon Ruggirello
HSRC/IACUC Coordinator

CITI Training Info

About Research Participation (external)

Which Level of Review is Most Appropriate for My Research?

Can I Waive/Alter Informed Consent?