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Office of Research Oversight


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The Office of Research Oversight (ORO) within VA was mandated under legislation signed by the President on December 6, 2003, as Public Law 108-170.

Section 401 of this statute stipulates ORO's functions.  ORO published directives and handbooks to provide information to VA's research community on how to comply and monitor its research programs.

FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICE on VA Research Data Access Plan

The Department of Veterans Affairs announces an opportunity for public review and comment on its Policy and Implementation Plan for Public Access to Scientific Publications and Digital Data from Research Funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Federal Register Link:
Link to VA Plan:
Dates: Comments must be received by VA on or before November 6, 2015. [Comments Close: 11/06/2015]
Document Citation: 80 FR 60751, Page: 60751-60752 (2 pages)
Document Number: 2015-25448

VA's plan for increased public access to the results of its research was developed in response to White House initiatives on federally funded scientific research. In its February 22, 2013, memorandum, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) directed each federal agency with over $100 million in annual expenditures for the conduct of research and development to develop a plan to support increased public access to the results of research funded by the federal government, including digital data sets and results published in peer-reviewed scholarly publications arising directly from federally-funded research (OSTP, Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research, February 22, 2013).

Written comments may be submitted through; by mail or hand delivery to the Director, Regulations Management (02REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to “Policy and Implementation Plan for Public Access to Scientific Publications and Digital Data from Research Funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs.” Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1063B, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 (this is not a toll-free number) for an appointment. In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System at

Our Mission

ORO serves as the primary VHA office in advising the Under Secretary for Health and exercising oversight concerning all matters of research compliance and assurance, including human subject protections, laboratory animal welfare, research safety, research laboratory security, research information security, research misconduct, debarment for research impropriety, and other matters that the Under Secretary for Health may assign.  ORO is also responsible for developing and conducting research compliance officer education programs as directed by the Under Secretary for Health.

Carrying Out Our Mission

The ORO Central Office accomplishes its mission by developing, implementing, and evaluating operational policies and procedures related to assessing facilities' compliance with laws, regulations, and policies related to research, identifying issues arising from research compliance and assurance activities related to the responsible conduct of research, and by providing direction, guidance, and oversight to its Regional Office that support the office's mission, roles, and functions within VA facilities throughout the country.  Regional Office staff serve as subject matter experts in assigned areas of program emphasis who can assist in the identification of problem areas and emergent research compliance issues, propose initiatives, and refer appropriate issues to Central Office.  Staff members also conduct frequent routine and for cause reviews of VHA research programs to assess compliance with policies and procedures, providing oversight to ensure VA facilities initiate written appropriate "action plans" to correct any deficiencies identified by VA and other federal oversight bodies.

How to File a Complaint About VA Research

Complaints related to VA research can often be resolved by contacting the VA Medical Center conducting the research.

When direct contact with the Medical Center is not desired, complaints related to the protection of human research subjects may be directed to ORO by contacting the appropriate Regional Office.  Complaints related to  research information security, research safety and security, or laboratory animal welfare should be directed to ORO Central Office by telephone (202-632-7620) or by emailing the group responsible for oversight in those areas (click here).

Specific allegations related to fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism (“research misconduct”) should be presented to the Research Integrity Officer (RIO) at the VA Medical Center conducting the research. When direct contact with the Medical Center is not desired, research misconduct complaints may be directed to ORO Central Office at 202-632-7688.  Click here for more information on research misconduct.

ORO does its best to honor the confidentiality of persons who file complaints about VA research.

Persons who do not wish to identify themselves and would rather remain ANONYMOUS may call ORO’s toll-free COMPLAINT LINE at 1-877-343-6562.

Please provide as much information as possible when calling the Complaint Line.  ORO may not be able to follow-up effectively without sufficient information.


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