IRB review and approval is required for all research involving human subjects conducted at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center or Penn State College of Medicine. Approval must be obtained prior to including human subjects in an investigation. Below are resources for preparing an IRB submission. New researchers are encouraged to contact the HSPO for consultation with an IRB analyst.

For recent announcements and new procedures see the HSPO Updates.



Research submissions to the IRB are made online at, in the institution's Centralized Application Tracking System, CATS IRB.   Templates and guidance for making an IRB submission are provided in CATS IRB, including:

  • Quick Start Overview, FAQs, and CATS IRB Training Tutorials (brief video tutorials with 'how to' information about CATS IRB) 
  • IRB Study Submission Guide  - step-by-step instructions for all types of submissions in CATS IRB 
  • CATS IRB Library  -   The IRB Library General tab contains the Investigator Manual which includes guidance on conducting research at Penn State, as well as information on how to choose the applicable research protocol and consent form templates needed for a submission.   These are available under the Templates tab, along with the Study Team Member Qualifications Template required for all submissions   

For hands-on CATS IRB Training see the workshop dates under Educational Resources.

Note:  To make submissions for Emergency Use of Investigational Test Articles, Review Preparatory to Research, or Research with Decedent Information see the link below for Forms and Instructions Not in CATS IRB.