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Office of Research Oversight


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Are you interested in volunteering for a research study? Here are some things you should know.

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Do you have questions about VA research oversight? Please send us an email.

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Our Mission

The Office of Research Oversight (ORO) is dedicated to promoting the responsible conduct of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) research for the protection of Veterans and others who volunteer in VA research, and for the benefit of all Veterans whose health and well-being are improved by the discoveries made through a sound and ethically grounded VA research program.  ORO monitors, reviews, and investigates matters of research compliance that involve VA research.  Specifically, ORO provides oversight of compliance with VA and other Federal requirements for the protection of human research subjects, laboratory animal welfare, research safety, research laboratory security, research information security, and research misconduct.  ORO also provides training to facility Research Compliance Officers (RCO) and oversight of RCO auditing programs.

The creation of an "Office of Research Oversight" within the Veterans Health Administration was mandated under legislation signed by the President on December 6, 2003, as Public Law 108-170.  Per the statute, ORO reports directly to the Under Secretary for Health and serves as the primary VHA office for advising the Under Secretary on matters of research compliance.  The statute further provides that ORO shall function independently of entities within the Veterans Health Administration with responsibility for the conduct of medical research programs.

VA Research Concerns

Concerns 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, concerns related to the protection of human research subjects may be directed to ORO by contacting the Human Research Protection Program at Concerns related to research information security, research safety and security, or laboratory animal welfare should be directed to the group responsible for oversight in those areas by emailing the relevant group (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 allegations may be directed to ORO Central Office.  Click here for more information on research misconduct.

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

Persons who do not wish to identify themselves and would rather remain anonymous may call ORO’s toll-free RESEARCH concern line at 1-833-986-1323.  Please provide as much information as possible when calling the RESEARCH concern line.  ORO may not be able to follow-up effectively without sufficient information.

For VA HEALTHCARE questions or concerns, please call 1-800-MyVA411 (1-800-698-2411).

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