Protection of Research Subjects

USC takes pride in our scientific research and our research facilities. An important research-related area in which USC is making a concerted effort toward national excellence and accreditation is the program to protect human subjects in research.

The Office for the Protection of Research Subjects in the office of the Vice Provost for Research is charged with this responsibility. You can reach this office through email ( or phone (213-821-1154).

Faculty who use or may use humans in research -- whether through collaborations, use of biological specimens, data, devices, or student projects -- must comply with human subject regulations, and scientific and ethical expectations.

USC has human studies boards (IRBs) at both HSC and UPC.

The IRB staff and OPRS have goals of making the approval process easy and encouraging excellent human subject research, while protecting and safeguarding the subjects. If you have questions whether your research qualifies as human subject research, the IRB staff and OPRS are available to help.

Further information is available concerning the Ethical Conduct of Research:

  • USC offices
  • USC policies
  • Federal and Other Offices
  • Federal and Other Guidance