iStar (IRB Submission Tracking and Review) System

Request an iStar Account

iStar (IRB Submission, Tracking, and Review) is the online IRB application system used at USC to review all Human Subjects Research and Not Human Subjects Research (NHSR) studies.

The iStar application is used for the following functions, among others:

  • Create and edit an electronic application for submission to the IRB
  • Upload study documents
  • Track the progress of an application as it is routed for review (by a division, department, or faculty reviewer) before being received by the IRB
  • Correspond with the IRB regarding changes to an application
  • Submit annual/ semi-annual applications for continuing review (as required)
  • Receive and download the approval letter and approved consent forms
  • Report protocol deviations, subject complaints, or other unanticipated events

For technical assistance with the system contact:

iStar Help Desk

(323) 276-2238

iStar Application Resources

CITI Training

Instructions for CITI and ISTAR
Depending on the intended study activities you may need to complete some certifications, such as Human Subjects Protections, Good Clinical Practice (GCP), or Conflict of Interest (described here).
To obtain your certifications you will need to register for an account on and complete a short online course.  iStar usernames and passwords will not work in CITI, users must create a unique username and password to login to CITI.

During the CITI registration process, users will be asked to input their institution “University of Southern California” in Step 1: “Select Your Organization Affiliation” so that the CITI training certificate can be uploaded into iStar once the course is completed.

Accessing the Practice Site (“iStar Sandbox”)

The iStar sandbox provides the opportunity for individuals to complete a mock IRB application. These applications mimic real applications except they are NOT REVIEWED BY THE IRB. The sandbox allows you operate in different roles: including PI, co-investigator, faculty advisor, and others. It is a useful tool that provides hands-on experience without submitting an actual application.