Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Office of Research & Development

print icon sign up for VA Research updates

Search Policy and Guidance FAQs

Search :


Data last updated: 04/01/21

Still can't find an answer to your question? Email your question to the appropriate ORD mailbox.

You can also ask for help from peers in the VA research community on a listserv. Check out the listservs available within ORD and who to contact to sign up here.

Tips for Successful Searches

  1. Use the key word dictionary to help you identify key words used to tag common topics. 
  2. Watch ORPP&E’s webinar New Year, New Platform: Focus on Resources Available to the Field, which includes an in-depth presentation of the searchable FAQ database, including a demo of how to search effectively using targeted key words .
  3. Understand how the search methodology works:
  • Multiple key words and phrases are used to tag each entry.
  • A “hit” occurs when the word entered into the search box matches all of or a part of a key word or phrase included in the database.
  • If the word entered into the search box does not match one of the key words used to tag the FAQ, you will not get a hit.  For example:
    • If the search term is misspelled, you will not get a hit;
    • If the plural form of the word is used as a search term when the singular form has been used to tag an FAQ, you will not get a hit;
    • If none of the FAQs have been tagged with the search term used, you will not get a hit.
  1. Review the Example of Searches provided below.

Example of searches:

I am looking for information about…

Input one of the following keywords/phrases into the first search box

Input one of the following keywords/phrases into the second search box

Requirements for uploading financial conflicts of interest forms into IRBNet

FCOI; COI; Conflict of interest; Financial Conflict of Interest; Financial Conflict of Interest Statements; COI Disclosure Forms


R&D Committee designated review process

R&DC; RDC; R&D Committee; Research and Development Committee

Designated review; DR

Requirements for ORD funded research during the COVID-19 pandemic

ORD funded research; ORD sponsored research; ORD-funded research; ORD-sponsored research

COVID-19; COVID 19; Coronavirus

Publication requirements for studies on COVID-19

Publications; PubTracker; Journal Articles

COVID-19; COVID 19; Coronavirus

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)

Material Transfer Agreement; MTAs; Biospecimens

Requirements for using a combined informed consent form and HIPAA authorization for studies that involve banking data and/or specimens

Privacy; Informed Consent Form; Informed Consent Document; Combined Informed Consent Form and HIPAA Authorization; Combined ICF/HIPAA; Combined ICF HIPAA; HIPAA Authorization Form

Tissue Banking; Biospecimen Banking; Data Banking; Repository

ORD Mailboxes

Name of ORD Mailbox

Mailbox Address


Biosafety Mailbox

Mailbox for VA research office staff, researchers, and study team members to send questions about VA laboratory biosafety and biosecurity activities (BS&S), to include laboratory research topics related to BS&S risk assessment, handling and management of infectious microorganisms, biohazard and chemical waste management, personal protective equipment (PPE), and general biosafety and biosecurity best practices.

IRB Reliance and Single IRB Exception Request Mailbox


Mailbox for VA Facility’s to submit requests for (1) changes in IRB arrangements (e.g. Commercial or non-Commercial IRB reliance); and (2) questions pertaining to the aforementioned, or about Single IRB Exceptions.


Regulatory Mailbox


Mailbox for VA research office staff, researchers, and study team members to send regulatory questions regarding ORD policy (primarily pertaining to human subjects research).


VA Central IRB Mailbox

Mailbox for asking questions about the procedures or policies related to the VA Central IRBs.

VAIRRS Mailbox


Mailbox for VA research office staff, IRBNet administrators, researchers, and study team members to send questions related to the VAIRRS Program.


VA Central Research Privacy Board (CRPB) Mailbox

Mailbox for 1) VA Facility’s to submit requests for reliance on the CRPB and 2) VA research office staff, researchers, and study team members to send questions regarding the policy and use of the VA CRPB.


ORD Listservs

The purpose of listservs within the VA Office of Research and Development is to facilitate discussion and disseminate information to and between eligible members of our research community.  The following listservs are available to ORD Researchers and Research Administrators/Study staff based on role and interest.  If you would like to be a member of any of the following listservs, please email with your request, including your job title and the listserv(s) you are interested in joining.  Once you have been added, you will begin receiving emails from the group.

  • IRB Administrator
  • IRB Chair
  • VAIRRS User Group
  • VHA ORD ORPPE R&D Committees
  • VHACO ORD Training


Questions about the R&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.