• Overview
  • International Fellows Program

Meet international challenges with confidence

Local regulations, requirements, and cultural sensitivities play an enormous part in international research. With our International Fellows Program, strategic partnerships, and global expertise, WIRB can be your knowledgeable guide almost anywhere in the world. We have more international services, more global contacts, and we have participated in more studies and regulatory consultations worldwide than any other independent IRB.

Research ethics board for clinical research studies in Canada

Our Canadian Board in Vancouver, BC, is composed of Canadian nationals, which acts as your local Canadian research ethics board. Initial and ongoing reviews are conducted in accordance with Health Canada's Division 5, the Tri Council Policy Statement, ICH GCP E6, and U.S. CFR Title 21 Parts 50 and 56 and CFR Title 45 Part 46.

For more information about the WIRB Canadian Board, please contact us.

Global IRB reviews

With experience in more than 70 countries, we can help you meet all the logistical, cultural, and regulatory challenges of international research. We reference local laws, customs, and attitudes to ensure that research is culturally and legally acceptable.

We are able to act as the sole IRB in countries where regulations allow, or work with a local IRB or other review committee where it is required. Find out more about international IRB regulations.

Other global services

In addition to IRB reviews, WIRB can also provide international services for institutional biosafety committees, data and safety monitoring, and education and consulting.

Learn more about Institutional Biosafety Committee Services

Promoting cooperation and protecting human research participants worldwide

One of our goals is to help educate the world to reach the highest standards for medical research and regulations. Our International Fellows Program carries out our mission to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects by training representatives from around the world to review and oversee research in an ethical and responsible manner.

WIRB’s International Fellows Program is designed for global healthcare professionals who intend to establish or improve institutional review boards (IRBs) in their home countries. Our intensive six-month program- and its abbreviated two-month version- help participants to develop the knowledge necessary to create, manage, and/or administer IRBs that will operate in compliance with all relevant regulations and ethical standards intended to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects.

WIRB’s International Fellows Program now includes training in human research ethics at New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center. The fellows will supplement their NYU coursework with practical training, mentorship and observation of actual IRB meetings at WIRB in Washington State.

The program was originally founded in 2002, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the University of Washington. To date, 138 international fellows have graduated from the program, and many have made significant contributions to the field of clinical research in their home countries.

  • To view the WIRB Fellows Program flyer: CLICK HERE
  • To view the Program Overview: CLICK HERE
  • To view the WIRB  Fellows Program Frequently Asked Questions flyer: CLICK HERE
  • To view the Fellows Program Handbook: CLICK HERE
Eligible Candidates
  • Operational knowledge of research procedures and methods
  • Fluency  in spoken and written English
  • Bioethical responsibilities within the candidate’s Institution
  • A decision/change-making role within the candidate’s institution

How to apply

To apply to WIRB’s International Fellows Program, please complete the application form HERE and send it, along with a cover letter, current CV and copies of degrees to: fellowsprogram@wirb.com. 

The letter of interest should include a summary about the candidate’s experience in research ethics, and a brief description of how the training program will enhance human subject protection in the candidate’s home country.
Please complete this supplemental form if you will need WIRB J1 visa documentation to attend the 6-month program and your family  members will join you for the duration of program.
Training and educational materials for the WIRB International Fellows Program are provided at no cost to our international students. However, participants are responsible for their own round-trip airfare, housing expenses, and daily living expenses.

To learn more about our International Fellows Program, contact us at


How do I apply for the International Fellows Program?
Does WIRB provide IRB services for research in Canada?
How does WIRB ensure sensitivity to local laws and cultures?
Does WIRB work with local ethics committees?