International Research Reviews

The IRB also reviews many projects that take place internationally, which have some special considerations. When doing international research (whether as a student or as faculty), it is important to begin the IRB process as soon as possible. If the research will be using study sites outside the U.S. then in most cases a letter of permission from each site is required. If there is no local IRB that will be reviewing the study, then a letter of cultural context may also be required. Additional information on both of these can be found in the links below. For international research, HIPAA rules will not apply unless identifiable data will be brought back to the US for analysis.

Local ethical approval for the research may be needed, and this can take quite a while in some cases. Please see our Policies and Procedures (PDF), in the chapter entitled "Local Research Context; Research Conducted At Non-Emory Sites" for more detailed information.

Other laws and regulations, both U.S. and foreign, may apply to your international work. Completing the Export Control Assessment Form helps ensure compliance with rules related to sending materials and technology outside of the US or sharing information with foreign nationals. The International Project Review tool can help with other project planning and compliance-related considerations. 

Please contact Chris Rapalje in the Office of Global Strategy and Initiatives at with any questions or if you need assistance with other aspects of your proposed international activity.

For Undergraduates: If your project involves travel abroad, and you will be receiving Emory funds and/or credit for it, your travel must be registered with Emory's Center for International Programs Abroad (CIPA).

Helpful Links: