The HTH GSE’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) was created to ensure that all research conducted by GSE students and faculty meets legal and ethical requirements, as determined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The IRB’s primary concern is to protect all human participants from harm, whether physical or psychological, and to see that all research respects human dignity and upholds its duty to maximize benefit for individuals as well as the community. The HTH GSE IRB has been approved for Federalwide Assurance (FWA) by the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP).  All faculty and students conducting research with human subjects must be approved by the IRB committee prior to beginning their research. Applications are reviewed once submitted and notification of IRB approval typically takes one to two weeks.

Our IRB is in accordance with the following guidelines:

In addition, all research conducted by HTH GSE students and employees should abide by the High Tech High Graduate School of Education Human Subjects Policy.

The HTH GSE’s IRB is comprised of a minimum of five members whose areas of expertise are varied. In addition to members from within the HTH community, the IRB includes at least one member from another institution.


Current IRB Members:

Ben Daley, EdD, HTH GSE
Stacey Caillier, PhD, HTH GSE
Heather Lattimer, PhD, University of San Diego
Robert Riordan, EdD, HTH GSE
Kelly Wilson, MA, HTH GSE



1. Prior to conducting research, all students and employees must complete the following Human Subjects Research/IRB Tutorial. Upon successful completion of this tutorial, please print and scan the CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION (or take a screen shot) and attach this to the IRB application.

2. Obtain permission, as needed, from the director, principal, or school district of the location where the study will take place. For High Tech High employees, a signed letter from the school’s director is sufficient. Please see a sample administration permission letter on the IRB Application and Forms page (link below).

3.  Complete the IRB APPLICATION on the IRB Application and Forms page (link below).

4. Attach all DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS (surveys, questionnaires, interview protocols, etc.). If unsure of what data collection instruments to include, please read  The HTH GSE Guide For Educational Research.

5. Include RECRUITMENT MATERIALS, such as flyers, verbal scripts, and cover letters that you will use to recruit participants, if applicable.

6. Include CONSENT LETTERS for all participants, as well as their parents if participants are under the age of 18. Please see the IRB Application and Forms page (link below) for sample consent letters. Be sure to include all required language in the consent forms (see sample letters).

7. Utilize the IRB CHECKLIST/RUBRIC on the IRB Application and Forms page (link below) to assemble your IRB submission packet. IRB committee members will utilize the IRB Checklist/Rubric to review your work.  Be sure that your IRB submission packet includes the items above in the following order:

  • Human Subjects Research/IRB Tutorial Certificate of Completion
  • Completed IRB Application
  • Data Collection Instruments
  • Recruitment Materials (if applicable)
  • Consent and Permission Letters
  • Signed Administrator Permission Letter

8. Include all of the above in one document (with the possible exception of a scanned, signed Administrator Permission Letter and scanned IRB/Human Subjects Tutorial Certificate of Completion) and email it to

Thank you to San Diego State University for granting us permission to share access to this tutorial.


IRB Application and Forms