The Human Research Protection Office (HRPO) is centered on the belief that providing resources to the research community helps to ensure the conduct of ethical research. This in turn leads to the protection of individuals who choose to participate in the wide array of projects available across campus. Our professional staff, many of whom have backgrounds in research, are available to assist research teams in navigating the complexities of the regulatory landscape. Over the last year there have been a number of exciting changes including the rollout of our new electronic submission system (PittPRO), the implementation of the Revised Common Rule, building the infrastructure necessary to support the use of a single IRB, and developing our capacity to serve as the single IRB for Pitt researchers conducting multi-site studies.
We will work one-on-one with new (and not so new) investigators, and can arrange meetings in our offices, or at the investigator’s research space – both to help navigate PittPRO, and to facilitate the preparation of research applications. At the request of an investigator, we can develop training programs for their faculty, fellows, residents, staff, and students who are conducting, or learning to conduct, human subjects research. There are regularly scheduled HRPO Seminars that focus on new initiatives as well as on topics that may be of interest to the research community at large. To address questions in an efficient manner, we have implemented a web-based process whereby specific questions can be forwarded to the office for a response. Questions about PittPRO, CITI, training requirements, or IT support can be addressed to email@example.com, whereas general IRB or regulatory questions and requests for consultations can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We understand that the changing landscape in regulatory oversight often requires investigators to obtain input from the IRB prior to submitting a grant application or a journal article. We hope you will have an opportunity to get to know us, our professional staff, and the more than 180 faculty and community members who volunteer their time to protect human subjects and facilitate research.