Institutional Review Board

The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research is the first point of contact regarding human subjects research at (or involving) Towson University faculty, staff or students.

Guidance in Response to COVID-19


As TU plans for the return to campus, the IRB is beginning to field questions about when in-person research can begin. The IRB will continue to advise that research be conducted remotely whenever possible. The IRB is working to develop guidelines and requirements for in-person research. These plans will be shared with the Return to Research committee before being finalized.

At this time, no in-person research with human subjects may take place. Until TU returns to full occupancy, both previously approved projects and new projects proposing in-person interactions will need to elaborate plans to minimize risks to human subjects in the context of COVID-19. The IRB will provide guidance to investigators specific to minimize risk to human subjects. Until that guidance is finalized, amendments and new applications for in-person research will be reviewed but final approval will not be given.

Thank you for your patience as we develop these requirements. The IRB looks forward to working with the research community to make sure proper protections are in place for the investigators, university, and participants before in-person research resumes.


The IRB has issued the following guidance for IRB approved studies that need to move online for data collection. 

OSPR is working with the IRB to expedite COVID-19 related protocols as quickly as possible. If you have a COVID-19 protocol, please make sure to include a reference to this in the title so staff is aware of the type of research being conducted. Although we are doing our best to expedite these as quickly as possible, approvals ultimately rely on the completeness of the application, timeliness of the PI returning any revisions, and reviewer approval.


The TU IRB Process

Towson University follows a unique review process. Visit the Process Overview and Research & Review Categories pages for more information on current processes, procedures, and deadlines. 

What Is the Institutional Review Board?

The use of human subjects in Towson University faculty, staff or student research requires approval by the appropriate university review committee, the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB is appointed by the Provost, and is comprised of volunteers from TU’s faculty and staff, and at least one member of the community. The IRB is responsible for reviewing research involving human subjects to ensure compliance with all governmental regulations with the use of human subjects. Approval of the IRB must be obtained prior to the involvement of human subjects in research, and for any modifications to the project after IRB approval which would impact the human participants.

Applicable federal regulations are detailed in Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 46.

Towson University Institutional Review Board Members

Have questions that may be related to your academic major or discipline? Contact your IRB college representative.

IRB Administration

  • Compliance Administrator: Ashley Dawson, OSPR Staff
  • Chairperson: Elizabeth Katz, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
  • Vice Chairperson: Bethany Willis Hepp, Ph.D., Department of Family Studies and Community Development

Representatives from the College of Liberal Arts

  • Bruce Mortenson, Ph.D.,  Department of Psychology


  • Melissa Groves, Ph.D., Department of Economics


  • Deborah Gartland, Ph.D., Department of Special Education
  • Scot McNary, Ph.D., Department of Educational Technology and Literacy
  • Lijun Jin, Ed.D., Department of Elementary Education

REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE College of Health Professions

  • Devon Dobrosielski, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology
  • Peter Lisman, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology
  • Saradha Ananthakrishnan, Ph.D., Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics

  • Todd Moyer, Ed.D., Department of Mathematics


  • No representatives at this time.

Community Member

  • Greg Dildine, Community and Civic Volunteer

Towson University Information

  • Federal-Wide Assurance Number — FWA00003648, expires 8/2022
  • IORG Number — IORG0002307
  • IRB Number IRB00002844