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Frequently Ask Questions

Mission and Purpose

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Institutional Review Boards (IRB) are administrative bodies established to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects recruited to participate in research activities conducted under the auspices of the DSHS and personal health information requests submitted to DSHS programs needing approval by an independent board.  This includes human subject research contracted to public or private entities.  The IRB has the authority to approve, require modifications in, or disapprove all research activities that fall within its jurisdiction as specified in the federal regulations, state regulations and statutes, and institutional policy.

Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 46.112 states, “Research covered by this policy that has been approved by an IRB may be subject to further appropriate review and approval or disapproval by officials of the institution.  However, those officials may not approve the research if it has not been approved by an IRB.”  The DSHS Research Executive Steering Committee reviews all first-time submissions that IRB #1 reviews and approves.

The DSHS Institutional Review Board Policy

DSHS IRB #1 and #2 Scope and Responsibilities

There are two IRBs at DSHS, each with the responsibility to protect human subjects in DSHS research or using their DSHS data.

  • IRB #1 reviews DSHS-affiliated* social, behavioral, educational, and health science research.
  • IRB #2 reviews DSHS-affiliated* mental health, mental retardation, and substance abuse research. The DSHS IRB #2 website


*DSHS-Affiliated Activities:  A DSHS-affiliated activity is one that is sponsored or co-sponsored by DSHS; is conducted by or under the direction of any employee or agent of DSHS in connection with institutional responsibilities, using any DSHS property or facility; or involves the use of DSHS program data.


Last updated March 28, 2016