Office of Responsible Research Practices
The Ohio State University

Federalwide Assurance (FWA)

The Ohio State University holds Federalwide Assurance (FWA) #00006378 from the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This FWA is an agreement between DHHS and Ohio State to review and approve research involving human subjects in accordance with the ethical principles outlined in the Belmont Report and the DHHS regulations 45 CFR Part 46.

The Federal Policy (Common Rule) for the protection of human subjects at Section 103(a) requires that each institution “engaged” in Federally-supported human subject research file an “Assurance” of protection for human subjects. The Assurance formalizes the institution’s commitment to protect human subjects. The requirement to file an Assurance includes both “awardee” and collaborating “performance site” institutions.

Under the Federal Policy (Common Rule) at Section 102(f) awardees and their collaborating institutions become “engaged” in human subject research whenever their employees or agents (i) intervene or interact with living individuals for research purposes; or (ii) obtain, release, or access individually identifiable private information for research purposes.

In addition, awardee institutions are automatically considered to be “engaged” in human subject research whenever they receive a direct HHS award to support such research, even where all activities involving human subjects are carried out by a subcontractor or collaborator. In such cases, the awardee institution bears ultimate responsibility for protecting human subjects under the award. The awardee is also responsible for ensuring that all collaborating institutions engaged in the research hold an OHRP approved Assurance prior to their initiation of the research.

For more information, see the OHRP engagement guidance.