In June 2008, in anticipation of our 35th anniversary, PRIM&R’s Board of Directors approved a strategic plan that carries the organization forward through 2011. This plan incorporates several key elements, including a revised mission, a set of core values, and a vision statement.
The strategic plan also features a number of organizational objectives, including efforts to:
Continue Human and Animal Subjects-Related Work.
The core of PRIM&R’s programs focus on furthering our shared understanding of, and commitment to, ethical research practices. This includes research with people and animals, and is best exemplified through PRIM&R’s educational programming. Activity in this area has been a focus since our founding in 1974, and the strategic plan reaffirms these efforts as organizational priorities. Upcoming activities include our May Regional Programs in Chicago, and the 2010 Advancing Ethical Research (AER) Conference, which will be held in December in San Diego.
Another way we work toward this objective is by supporting the development of our certification initiatives. The Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) and Certified Professional IACUC Administrator (CPIA) programs continue to grow, and we are thrilled to report that, as of April 1, 2010, 1,136 people earned the CIP® designation and 164 people earned their CPIA.
We’ve also been strengthening our organizational collaborations to further our commitment to ethical research practices. Some recent developments include:
- PRIM&R is working with the University of Pittsburgh on a research grant designed to overcome barriers to participation by African Americans, Hispanics, and other minority populations in public health and medical research.
- Joan Rachlin, PRIM&R’s executive director, serves on the advisory board of The Center for Integration of Research on Genetics and Ethics at Stanford University.
- We are collaborating with the Society of Research Administrators (SRA) International by offering our QA/QI 101: Fundamentals of Quality Assurance and Improvement in Human Subjects Research program on June 6 in conjunction with their Western and Southern Section Meeting in Tucson, AZ.
- With help from board member Barbara Stanley, we are developing a research ethics-focused panel at the 2010 annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) in December.
Reach Broader Audiences.
One important way to reach new audiences within the organization’s core interest areas of human subjects and animal care and use is by leveraging technology to strengthen PRIM&R's services and expand the reach of our programming. Therefore, we are increasing the number of webinars we offer, from five in 2008 to 10 this year. Additionally, our online course for IRB members is nearing completion and is scheduled for launch this spring We have also expanded our social networking presence on Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and have found these sites to be especially helpful in reaching younger members and those who are new to the research ethics field.
Expand Work in the International Human and Animal Subjects Areas.
As we look to expand our efforts outside of the United States, we believed that we will be most successful when working in partnerships with other organizations. To that end, in February, Joan Rachlin and board member Joseph Byrne represented PRIM&R in Berlin at the IALS-Life Sciences University Network Workshop. This participation was the beginning of a dialogue with IALS about possible future collaboration.
In September, PRIM&R will co-sponsor a meeting on research ethics with the National Healthcare Group of Singapore. Board member Alex Capron will serve as the keynote speaker. PRIM&R’s IRB 101sm will be held in conjunction with this meeting, and will be led by board member David Borasky and former board member Helen McGough. PRIM&R will also be offering IRB 201 at this event.
Other activities include an International Scholarship Program (limited to those from resource-scarce settings) at the 2010 AER Conference, as well as an international membership dues option.
This strategic planning process is an important way to advance our mission, and to encourage thoughtful and deliberate organizational growth. Your feedback on our efforts is most welcome; please don’t hesitate to share your suggestions. Thanks for helping us grow, and thanks for being part of our community.