Human Subject Research

It is the policy of Pepperdine University that all research involving human participants must be conducted in accordance with accepted ethical, federal, and professional standards for research and that all such research must be approved by one of the university's Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). In the review and conduct of research, Pepperdine University is guided by the ethical principles set forth in the Belmont Report. In addition, all human subjects research conducted by or under the auspices of Pepperdine University will be performed in accordance with the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, DHHS (CFR), Title 45 Part 46 (45 CFR 46), entitled Protection of Human Research Subjects, and Parts 160 and 164, entitled Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information and the California Protection of Human Subjects in Medical Experimentation Act. Where applicable, FDA regulations on human subjects research will be followed (CFR Title 21 Parts 50 and 56, Protection of Human Subjects and Institutional Review Boards). In addition, research conducted with human subjects must be performed in accordance with the accepted ethical principles established by professional organizations or societies that are applicable to the area of investigation. The actions of Pepperdine University will also conform to all other applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Pepperdine University has assured the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) of the DHHS that all human subjects research will be conducted in accordance with 45 CFR 46 and has been issued Federal Wide Assurance by the OHRP.

The primary goal of the Pepperdine University IRBs is to protect the welfare and dignity of human subjects. A secondary goal of the Pepperdine IRBs is to assist investigators in conducting ethical research that complies with applicable regulations. Thus, when a faculty member, student, and/or employee of Pepperdine University wishes to conduct research involving human subjects, her or his research proposal must be reviewed by one of the following IRBs:

  1. Graduate and Professional Schools IRB: Responsible for reviewing research applications of investigators from the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, the School of Law, and the School of Public Policy.
  2. Seaver College IRB: Responsible for reviewing research applications of investigators from any division/department within Seaver College. Staff members or employees of Pepperdine who do not have a faculty appointment, but who are conducting research investigations also should submit IRB applications to the Seaver College IRB.

Prior to initiating any research project that seeks to obtain data from human participants, the investigator must obtain written approval from the appropriate Pepperdine IRB.

Where to Submit Applications?

All new IRB applications must be submitted using the new eProtocol IRB system at Helpful resources are available to assist with applying online and submitting an IRB application at Pepperdine University. If you have any questions please contact the Graduate and Professional School or the Seaver IRB, respectively:

Graduate and Professional School IRB
(310) 568-5753
Graduate School of Education & Psychology
Pepperdine University
6100 Center Drive 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90045


Seaver College IRB
Dr. Susan Helm, Chairperson
Pepperdine University
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263

IRB Specific Websites

Individuals submitting IRB applications are encouraged to check for IRB-specific policies and guidelines at the Seaver College and GPS IRB web sites.

Pepperdine University IRB Administrative Personnel

Dr. Rick Marrs Provost (310) 506-4261
Dr. Lee Kats Vice Provost
Authorized Institutional Official
Signatory Official
(310) 506-4310
Mrs. Katy Carr Assistant Provost for Research
Human Protections Administrator
(310) 506-6084
Dr. Helen Williams Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Research Integrity Officer
(310) 568-5615
Mrs. Kim Miller Pepperdine HIPAA Privacy Official Chairperson (310) 506-6464
Dr. Judy Ho Chairperson, GPS IRB (310) 568-5753
Dr. Susan Helm Chairperson, Seaver College IRB (310) 506-4325
Ms. Andrea Quintero IRB Manager (310) 568-2305