HRPO developed the program nearly two years ago to meet the needs of Washington University researchers involved in research collaborations or affiliations with community-based organizations and to ensure regulatory compliance for both parties, says Martha F. Jones, executive director of HRPO. As part of the program, the university can serve as the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the community partners that do not have their own IRB.
“Community partners can get overwhelmed by having to bring the work under the regulatory review process,” Jones says. “So we set up a program that guides them through the process very specifically.”
A website for Washington University researchers and their community partners streamlines the IRB process by giving an overview of the process as well as step-by-step instructions with checklists and a manual.
Sarah B. Fowler-Dixon, PhD, education specialist, serves as the HRPO point person for both parties. “As more community-engaged research is done at Washington University, we plan to expand our resources to facilitate that research,” says Fowler-Dixon.
The Health Improvement Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality and productivity of America’s health care.