Office of Research & Development

VA Central Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Important Notice About Upcoming Changes in VA Central IRB Policies and Procedures

As many of you may know, the Common Rule for the protection of human subjects has been revised and contains significant changes in how IRBs will review and oversee research. These changes will go into effect on January 21, 2019, and all studies approved after that date must conform to the revised Rule. Studies approved prior to that date will be grandfathered under the old Rule unless transitioned to the new Rule.

These changes have required substantial revisions to VA Central IRB SOPS and forms. We are now beginning to upload the revised versions of the forms and will soon begin loading the revised SOPs. Meanwhile, we have begun to accept new studies again with the caveat that they will be reviewed under the revised Common Rule provisions and not approved until after the implementation date. Meanwhile, we have taken down all the outdated SOPs and will be replacing the forms as they are finalized. Look at the "WHAT's NEW" section of the website to see the latest additions.

As always, before preparing an application for submission to the VA Central IRB, please contact the VA Central IRB Administrator at or at 202-443-5649 to discuss the submission first as all multisite studies cannot be accepted for review.

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

Annette Anderson
VA Central IRB Administrator
Mary Eckart
VA Central IRB Manager
Hector Ramirez
VA Central IRB Manager
Soundia A. Duche, MA, MS
Program Analyst
Christie O'Brien
VA Central IRB Manager
Erica Doruska
ACCESS Manager/SharePoint Coordinator
Lindsey Martin
SharePoint and MOU Coordinator
Kendra Clarke
VA Central IRB Manager
Pauline Cilladi-Rehrer
Administrative Officer, PRIDE
  Michele McGee
VA Central IRB Manager
Rishima Weston
VA Central IRB Admin Support

VA Central IRB Toll Free Number: 1-877-254-3130
VA Central IRB E-mail Address:

Important Links

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