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.   (Note:  See below, Forms and Instructions Not in CATS IRB, for information on Emergency Use, Review Prepatory to Research, or Research with Decedent Information.) 

Templates and guidance for making IRB submissions include:

  • IRB Study Submission Guide (online) - step-by-step instructions for all types of submissions in CATS IRB 
  • CATS IRB Library (online)  -   contains IRB templates for submission and the Investigator Manual
  • CATS Help link (online) -  includes a CATS Introduction, Submitting a Study, Help for Specific Pages and more   
  • Training and Help Hours -  See Educational Resources for a list of CATS IRB workshops and drop-in help hours
  • Converting an Existing Study from PRAMS to CATS IRB
    At the next modification or continuation review for a study converted from PRAMS, complete the conversion steps in the CATS IRB system following these instructions: 
        - Study Submission Guide - see the conversion section, Completing the Conversion Process in CATS IRB  
        - Study Team Qualifications - use the CATS IRB Library template to create a team qualifications document
        - Protocol Site Addendum - for sponsored studies create a Protocol Site Addendum using the CATS template
        - Update older consent forms - see Updating Consent Forms and Converting Parental Permission Forms