VCU Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) Blog

The VCU HRPP is dedicated to facilitating ethically and scientifically sound research through robust review of research projects and through effective education and outreach to the VCU research community.


Just before the ball dropped in 2023, the VCU Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) launched a plan to transform the submission, review, and ongoing oversight of all of its Institutional Review Boards (IRB): The HRPP Transformation Project.

This project is specifically designed to improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the HRPP and to reduce administrative burden (VCU Quest 2028: One VCU Research – Together we Transform). The result will be transformative:

  • A new executive council charged with ensuring alignment across all designated VCU IRBs, under the direction of Dr. Sanjur (Sandy) Brooks. The HRPP Executive Council will monitor program quality, workflows, and timelines, and ensure robust continuing and professional education in research ethics and factors influencing research quality and integrity, including changes in the local research environment and feedback from the local community.
  • Advarra, a new ‘partner IRB’ that will support our transition by serving as a third VCU IRB panel as well as being available to ensure that the VCU HRPP remains nimble and growth-ready.
  • Streamlined procedures, checklists, templates, and additional resources for researchers, IRB reviewers, and administrators (Huron IRB Toolkit) aligning our standards and processes with the model implemented by many R1 university and academic medical center peers.
  • A new research-protocol centered application system (Huron Solution Suite) designed to reduce the researcher application submission process by as much as 75%.
  • A lean and accelerated process for requesting reliance (ceding) to external IRBs (single and other external IRB reviews).

Please check the HRPP Transformation Project section of the blog or monthly newsletter for updates. *We anticipate full implementation by Fall 2023.

Categories Announcements and Updates, HRPP Transformation Project