Compliance, Integrity & Safety

Research Insights

Understanding IRB Primary Contact vs. PI

The Human Subjects Office and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) would like to clarify information on IRB submissions regarding “Primary Contact.”

It seems that there is some confusion about who should be listed as the Primary Contact on the protocol. The “Primary Contact” is the person that will receive all key correspondence related to the submission.  This does not necessarily have to be the “Principal Investigator.”  Note that in cases where the protocol is being submitted for a student thesis or dissertation, the student should be listed as the “Primary Contact.”  The Principal Investigator will always receive all correspondence, whether or not he/she is listed as the Primary Contact.

If you have any questions related to this issue or other issues in the submission of a Human Subject Research Protocol, please contact the Human Subjects Office at or 706-542-3199.