By Elisa A. Hurley, PhD, and Avery Avrakotos

On September 8, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for revisions to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, or “Common Rule.” If adopted, the proposals in the NPRM will result in the most substantive revisions to the core regulation governing federally funded human subjects research in the United States since 1981.

In an earlier post, we explored the rationale for the proposed changes, as well as a new category of [...] Read more


I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a member of the Blog Squad for PRIM&R’s 2015 Advancing Ethical Research Conference (AER15). Last year was my first year attending the AER conference in Baltimore and it was, beyond a doubt, the most educational experience in my limited time in research. I’m very new to the world of IRBs and research administration and the conference helped me jump in with both feet.

During my time in Baltimore last year, the question I heard almost as much as "Where are you from?" was "How did you get into research?" [...] Read more


We're two weeks away from the 2015 Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research Conference (SBER15) and the 2015 Advancing Ethical Research Conference (AER15), so we thought we'd take a look back at a compelling moment from a previous conference. Read on for this week's Time Capsule Tuesday

16037784589_8a63f74811_oConference: The Evolution of Protecting Human Subjects: From Nuremburg to the Nineties, November 1991 
[...] Read more


Greetings to Ampersand readers! I am a new member of the Blog Squad for PRIM&R’s 2015 Advancing Ethical Research (AER15) and 2015 Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research Conferences (SBER15) in Boston this November and look forward to creating interesting and helpful posts for you as the meetings unfold.

Trained as a general internist, I became an HIV disease and addiction medicine specialist during my 20 years of clinical, research, and teaching experience at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). I am currently a vice chair on one of the UCSF Committees on Human Research , but my [...] Read more


Fun fact #1: The first professional organization I joined was PRIM&R, in 2009. I had recently begun serving as a voting alternate on the IRB at the Veterans Administration center where I worked as a chaplain resident. I had been enjoying the IRB work (yes, really—and that was even in the all-paper days) and as it happened, the 2009 AER Conference was taking place in my backyard: Nashville, TN.

The conference sessions I attended were eye-opening and perspective-enlarging. More importantly, presenters and fellow attendees were patient to a fault, answering my many [...] Read more


By any chance, do you remember me? I was a new blogger for Ampersand  at last year’s AER Conference in Baltimore. I was also a new member of PRIM&R, having joined because of my recent appointment as Chair of the Institutional Review Board of Providence College.

So it’s one year later, and how do I feel? My goodness, what a difference a year makes! I now feel like a grizzled veteran, enlightened by a year’s worth of research experience.

The most important lesson I learned from last year’[...] Read more