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.

As part of the HRPP Transformation Project, the VCU HRPP Office is rolling-out protocol templates that are designed to:

  • Minimize administrative burden by reducing the number of SmartForm fields investigators need to complete in RAMS-IRB
  • Obtain all relevant information the IRB needs to complete their review
  • Provide prompts and instrtuction that will enable investigators to develop IRB protocols that are compliant with all federal regulations, state laws, and local policies governing human research

We will announce when the protocol templates are posted so investigators can begin reviewing and preparing submissions using the templates. We also plan to provide instructions on how to use the templates in tandem with RAMS-IRB to make the IRB submission process more efficient.

Please Note: Effective June 1, 2023, study protocols (i.e., study sponsor protocol with site-specific addendums, completed protocol template, or equivalent) will be required as a supplemental document to the IRB submissions for NEW SUBMISSIONS. Thus, completion and use of the SmartForm as a stand-alone, de facto protocol will no longer be accepted by the VCU HRPP. Please look out for more details regarding the date of compliance with this new requirement.

If you have any questions about the use of protocol templates or the HRPP Transformation project, please contact Tom Bechert of the Huron Team via or the HRPP Office at

Categories Announcements and Updates, HRPP Transformation Project