PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania has received full accreditation for its human research protection program from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc., a nonprofit that works with organizations that conduct research to raise the level of protection for participants.
Penn is one of six Pennsylvania research centers to receive full accreditation. To achieve this status, the University demonstrated a program of participant safeguards that surpasses state and federal requirements. The accreditation program utilizes a voluntary, peer-driven, educational model.
"As a world leader in research that directly impacts the health and well being of a global population, Penn considers the safety and protection of human research participants to be of paramount importance," Steve Fluharty, vice provost for research, said. "Trust in the way we conduct human research is a cornerstone of achieving lasting and beneficial results."
The University of Pennsylvania research portfolio includes 5,000 research studies involving human-research participants.
"The University of Pennsylvania is internationally recognized for its extensive research programs," Marjorie A. Speers, AAHRPP executive director, said. "Penn represents the full continuum of research conducted with research participants from biomedical to behavioral and social science, to humanities, architecture and business. The University has a strong commitment to human research protection."
Organizations seeking AAHRPP accreditation must demonstrate that extensive safeguards are built into every level of research operations. Standards exceed federal regulation in two ways. The protections for research participants that the federal government requires only for federally sponsored or regulated research are extended to all research. Second, AAHRPP requires additional protections, such as conflict-of-interest rules and community education. Accreditation is valid for three years.
Accredited organizations are comprised of organizations in the biomedical and behavioral and social sciences research fields, including community hospitals, teaching hospitals, independent review boards, research institutes and universities.