Rutgers Earns Prestigious Accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, has earned prestigious accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) for the first time. Through this coveted certification, Rutgers Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) and Institutional Review Board (IRB) join the elite ranks of University Human Research Protection programs.

“This gold standard accreditation offers assurances—to research participants, researchers, sponsors, government regulators, and the public—that the Rutgers Human Research Protection Program and Institutional Review Board are focused on excellence, research integrity, and protecting its human participants in research,” said Rutgers Office for Research senior vice president for Research, Michael E. Zwick, PhD. “This significant milestone for the HRPP and the Office for Research complements the Rutgers University Animal Care accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International—the gold seal accreditation for Animal Care programs.”

A nonprofit organization, AAHRPP provides accreditation for organizations that conduct or review human research and can demonstrate that their protections exceed the safeguards required by the international guidelines and laws governing research involving humans in the United States and other countries.

“As organizations once again broaden their focus beyond COVID-19 activities, AAHRPP accreditation and the resulting protections for research participants are high on the list of priorities,” AAHRPP President and CEO Elyse I. Summers said when AAHRPP announced Rutgers as part of the most recent accredited research organizations.

“The Rutgers accreditation process involved significant realignments and improvements to the university Institutional Review Board (IRB) administration processes and efficiencies including training, simplifying the electronic IRB (eIRB) system, committee development, and enhancing protocol review time,” explained José M. Román, JD, DMin, vice president for Rutgers Research Administration. 

“Over the last three years, we’ve transformed numerous aspects of the IRB. HRPP organization. We added highly qualified human research protection professionals; created a pre-review process that is highly regarded by faculty; added a training function and consolidated three offices into one; which included consolidating three standard operating procedures. We also reviewed all policies and procedures to ensure accreditation, and we have developed metrics and data to measure performance,” said Román. He also emphasized there are plans to continue improving the faculty experience with the IRB and research administration. 

 “Receiving AAHRPP accreditation demonstrates our commitment to ethical research practices and the protection of human subjects or participants. It also shows that our research programs meet the highest standards in the industry and are well-respected by our peers,” said Hila Feldman Berger, MPH, CHC, CIP, assistant vice president of Research Regulatory Affairs.

“This is a major achievement for Rutgers University and a testament to the hard work and dedication of our HRPP team, IRB leadership, IRB Members, researchers, and the entire Office for Research,” added Feldman Berger, who also explained that in 2023 Office for Research plan to continue to improve protocol review time and launch significant enhancements to the eIRB system, among other projects.

AAHRPP has accredited more than 600 research entities across the U.S., Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Date: January 6, 2023

Media Contact: Marisol Seda,