Protecting Human Research Participants (PHRP) Online Tutorial No Longer Available as of September 26, 2018

We recently released a policy notice announcing that as of September 26, 2018, the NIH will no longer be offering the Protecting Human Research Participants (PHRP) course. It is important to note that investigators are still required to comply with all aspects of the NIH policy Required Education in the Protection of Human Research Participants, and can do so through a different training program or course.
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OHRP Exploratory Workshop: “Meeting New Challenges in Informed Consent in Clinical Research”

Informed consent is a critical component of clinical research, but there are often challenges to making the process meaningful and effective. Explore these challenges with experts from diverse perspectives and learn innovative ways to address them at the “Meeting New Challenges in Informed Consent” installment of HHS Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) Exploratory Workshop, a new initiative to provide a forum for the research community to exchange ideas on important issues related to human subjects protections.The workshop will include discussion on how to lay the groundwork for meaningful informed consent, effectively present information for high-quality decision making, and more!  Continue reading

A Look at the Human Subjects System

The Human Subjects System (HSS) system was launched in June 2018 and replaced the Inclusion Management System (IMS). Learn about HSS at a glance by viewing the new graphic on the HSS page. The graphic orients users at different stages of the grants process to how and when they can use HSS to update study information on human subjects and clinical trials to NIH. Continue reading

Certificates of Confidentiality for NIH Grants

Earlier this year I wrote a post about the 21st Century Cures Act and its changes that directly affect the NIH. One part of this new legislation contains provisions to improve clinical research and privacy through certificates of confidentiality.

Currently, certificates of confidentiality (or “CoCs”) are provided upon request to researchers collecting sensitive information about research participants. Soon, CoCs will be automatically provided for NIH-supported research, as set forth in the 21st Century Cures Act. …. Continue reading

Status of Our Initiatives to Strengthen Clinical Trials

In September Dr. Carrie Wolinetz and I blogged about our policy reforms to build a more robust clinical trials enterprise through greater stewardship and transparency at each phase of the clinical trial journey from conception to sharing of results. We discussed how these efforts promise to improve the quality and efficiency of clinical trials, translating into more innovative and robust clinical trial design, and accelerated discoveries that will advance human health.

Over the past months we have continued to partner with the community to work through the implementation of these new policies, developing responses to frequently asked questions and even reconsidering the timing of our single IRB policy to give our grantees time to work through how to operationalize the change. …. Continue reading

Accelerating Clinical Research by Streamlining Multi-site Review of Human Subjects Research

Research involving human participants is key to improving public health and advancing medicine. Oversight of such research by institutional review boards (IRBs) both protects research participants and promotes ethical science. IRB review and approval is a critical step in initiating the start of a research project and for multi-site studies, NIH is taking an important step to help streamline the process. Today, NIH is issuing the NIH Policy on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Multi-Site Research (sIRB Policy) …. Continue reading

Proposed Changes to Human Subjects Regulations Are Open for Comment

As many in the research community know, the “Common Rule” refers to current regulations to protect individuals who participate in research as human subjects. The regulations, which have been in place since 1991, are followed by 18 federal agencies that support research – hence the name. Today I’d like to give you some background on how these regulations – and the conversation around these regulations – have evolved since 1991, and let you know about an opportunity to provide feedback on the modernization of these important rules. …. Continue reading

Enhancing Reproducibility in NIH-supported Research through Rigor and Transparency

Nothing could be more important to our enterprise than research rigor, assuring that the results of our work are reproducible. Our conversation with you on this topic began early last year with a commentary in Nature by Francis Collins and today’s guest blogger, Larry Tabak, on the importance of reproducibility and how NIH plans to enhance it. As described in a follow-up Rock Talk post, the topic of reproducibility is not new. Evidence has shown that too many biomedical-research publications are irreproducible. Thus this topic demanded our community’s immediate attention and we have had continued dialog with and participation by you over the course of the last 18 months to describe the issue, request information, launch pilots, and craft a way forward to enhance reproducibility. Continue reading

Streamlining IRB Review of Multi-Site Clinical Research Studies

For many decades now the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and consequently NIH, has required institutional review board (IRB) review of research involving human subjects. …. as the clinical research landscape evolves, so should our policies to assure that NIH-funded research can more quickly generate research results without compromising protections for those who volunteer to participate in clinical studies. …. Today, NIH released a draft policy proposing that all NIH-funded multi-site clinical studies carried out in the US should use a single IRB’s review, rather than working through the IRB approval process of each participating institution. …. Continue reading