The IRB is a standing committee of University faculty, community members, and the IRB chair. In keeping with its mission as a Catholic university, the University of St. Thomas is committed to maintaining an Institutional Review Board responsible for assessing physical, emotional, psychological, social, and economic risk to maintain the safety dignity, rights, and privacy of all human participants in research. In order to protect human participants involved in research, the University operates its human subject protections programs under a Federalwide Assurance (FWA) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). The FWA represents a fundamental commitment to the protection of human participants regardless of research location or its sources of funding. In addition, the FWA applies to all human subjects research that is conducted at the University or using University resources regardless of who is conduction the research. The University has assured federal regulatory agencies that the institution will review all research studies that meet the federal definition for human subjects research. All studies that meet the federal definition for human subjects research conducted in connection with the University must obtain IRB approval prior to any contact with human subjects.