IRB Homepage

The High Tech High Graduate School of Education’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) was created to ensure that all research conducted by students and employees in our school network meets legal ethical requirements, as determined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The IRB’s primary concern is to protect all human participants from harm, whether physical or psychological, and to see that all research respects human dignity and upholds its duty to maximize benefit for individuals as well as the community.

Our IRB is in accordance with the following guidelines:

The Belmont Report 

The Code of Federal Regulations 

In addition, all research conducted by HTH GSE students and employees should abide by the High Tech High Graduate School of Education Human Subjects Policy

The HTH GSE’s IRB is comprised of a minimum of five members whose areas of expertise are varied.  In addition to members from within the HTH community, the IRB includes at least one member from another institution.

Current IRB Members
Katie Sciurba, PhD, HTH GSE, Chair
Stacey Caillier, PhD, HTH GSE
Heather Lattimer, PhD, University of San Diego
Robert Riordan, EdD, HTH GSE
Kelly Wilson, MA, HTH GSE


1. Prior to conducting research, all students and employees must complete the following Human Subjects Research/IRB Tutorial:[1]. Upon successful completion of this tutorial, please print and scan your CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION (or take a screen shot) and attach this to your IRB application.

2. Obtain permission, as needed, from the director, principal, or school district of the location where your study will take place. If you are a High Tech High employee, a signed letter from your school’s director is sufficient. Please see a sample ADMINISTRATOR PERMISSION LETTER on the IRB Application and Forms page (link below).  

3.  Complete the IRB APPLICATION on the IRB Application and Forms page (link below), which should include the name of your advisor if you are a graduate student.

4. Attach all DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS (surveys, questionnaires, interview protocols, etc.). If unsure of what data collection instruments to include, please read THE HTH GSE GUIDE FOR EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH.

5. Include RECRUITMENT MATERIALS, such as flyers, verbal scripts, and cover letters that you will use to recruit participants, if applicable to your study.

6. Include CONSENT LETTERS for all participants, as well as their parents if participants are under the age of 18. Please see the IRB Application and Forms page (link below) for sample consent letters. Be sure to include all required language in the consent forms (see sample letters).  

7. Utilize the IRB CHECKLIST/RUBRIC on the IRB Application and Forms page (link below) to assemble your IRB submission packet. IRB committee members will utilize the IRB Checklist/Rubric to review your work.  Be sure that your IRB submission packet includes the items above in the following order:
  • Human Subjects Research/IRB Tutorial Certificate of Completion
  • Completed IRB Application
  • Data Collection Instruments
  • Recruitment Materials (if applicable)
  • Consent and Permission Letters
  • Signed Administrator Permission Letter
8. Print two hard copies of your packet and submit them to your advisor or include all of the above in one document (with the possible exception of a scanned, signed Administrator Permission Letter and your scanned IRB/Human Subjects Tutorial Certificate of Completion) and email it to

[1] Thank you to San Diego State University for granting us permission to share access to this tutorial.

Updated: December 20, 2013, 12:45 pm

 --  Resources  --  Faq's  --  Contact Us  --