Information for Researchers and Research Staff
The Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) provides research consultations and technical assistance concerning applications for review of research by the DOH IRB. Additionally, the HRPP is responsible for differentiating between research and practice and quality improvement
Not sure if the project requires IRB review?
Request a consultation to determine if your activity involves research requiring review under regulation.
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All research conducted by the Department and involving DOH clients or non-public information requires review by the Institutional Review Board (381.86 Florida Statutes). Review by the DOH IRB is required even if research involving the Department is under review by another IRB (for example, at a university or federal agency).
- Research ethics education and training must be completed prior to research commencing; the IRB will not approve research until education has been completed by all researchers and study personnel.
- Researchers and personnel must re-certify completion of education every 2 years.
Ethical Review of Research: Protecting Participants in Research
The Department is guided by the ethical principles in the Belmont Report (respect for persons, beneficence, justice) for reviews of all research, and expects researchers to also uphold these principles in research.
- Respect for persons is the obligation to protect the personal dignity and autonomy of individuals and special protection of those persons with diminished autonomy by ensuring an appropriate process of consent, protections for privacy and confidentiality, and additional safeguards for the rights of vulnerable populations
- Beneficence is the obligation to secure the well-being of participants in research by maximizing benefits and ensuring risks to participants are minimized
- Justice involves substantive obligations such as ensuring fairness in the distribution of research benefits and burdens, and procedural obligations such ensuring consistency in applying standards, transparency of decision-making, and ensuring a meaningful process of public engagement
DOH expects that all individuals involved with the Human Research Protection Program understand and apply their obligation to protect the rights and welfare of research participants.
Did you know...
- The Department supports two Institutional Review Boards (IRB), each meeting monthly to ensure ethical conduct of research
- The Florida Department of Health is the first public health agency to receive Full Accreditation for its human research protection program from the Association for Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs
The IRB's deliberations are fair and impartial. A researcher who is concerned about a circumstance where the independence, impartiality, integrity and fairness of the DOH IRB’s review may ask questions, offer suggestions, or file a report. Reports may be made verbally or in writing to an IRB Chair, IRB Staff, Deputy Secretary, Chief of Staff, or directly to the State Surgeon General. Reports are confidential.