The VA Central IRB mainly reviews selected multisite projects funded by the VA Office of Research and Development (ORD). Exceptions for studies funded by other sources are made on a case by case basis.
Purpose: The purpose of the VA Central IRB is two-fold. First and foremost its purpose is to enhance the quality of human research protection in multi-site human research projects by performing appropriate ethical and scientific review while ensuring local issues are addressed. The second is to enhance the efficiency of these reviews across participating sites.
VA Facilities: Each VA facility that plans to use the VA Central IRB must add the VA Central IRB to its Federalwide Assurance (FWA) and sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the VHA Central Office (VHACO) Human Research Protection Program (HRPP). The MOU clearly delineates the respective roles and responsibilities of each entity. The local VA has ultimate responsibility for its HRPP. Instructions for adding the VA Central IRB as an IRB of Record are also included on this website, as are the VA Central IRB SOPs and forms. Guidance for local facilities in updating their own SOPs to incorporate use of the VA Central IRB is also available.
In addition, any affiliated Nonprofit Research and Education Corporation (NPC) for a VA site that has entered into an MOU with the VHACO HRPP, should also sign the MOU and update its FWA to add the VA Central IRB as an IRB of Record.
VA Investigators: Investigators whose studies are being funded by VA ORD should consult the applicable ORD funding service to determine whether their study should be submitted to the VA Central IRB or to each site's local IRB.
Investigators whose studies will be reviewed by the VA Central IRB should contact the VA Central IRB Administrator, whose contact information is available below, as far in advance of the planned submission as possible to obtain the most current information about submission procedures. Application forms and other information concerning the operations of the VA Central IRB can also be found on this website under the Important Links box on the right-hand side of this page.
VA Central IRB Administrative Staff