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CAN Pre-Conference Track Returns May 16 in Baltimore

Our Collaborative AAHRPP Network (CAN) pre-conference track returns May 16 as a full-day precursor to the AAHRPP Annual Conference: Challenge and Change in Charm City. All CAN track sessions are eligible for CIP credits.

Exclusively for AAHRPP-accredited organizations, the CAN pre-conference track provides opportunities to help shape the response to some of the most pressing issues facing the research community. The participant-driven format—featuring large-group discussions and working breakout sessions—is designed to foster engagement, collaboration, and innovation.

 “The format is an excellent fit for the CAN, which was established in tandem with accredited organizations and seeks to tap the potential of a very creative, collegial community,” said Nichelle Cobb, PhD, AAHRPP Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives. “This is a group of ‘doers,’ who welcome the challenge of extending their impact beyond their own HRPPs for the benefit of the broader research enterprise.”

CAN pre-conference topics include:

  • AAHRPP metrics—In the first of two large-group presentations and discussions, a CAN working group will report and solicit feedback on the metrics that AAHRPP gathers and publishes each year. A primary objective is to get attendees’ perspective on how AAHRPP can enhance the metrics data and reduce the reporting burden for accredited organizations.


  • Emergency preparedness—This morning breakout session will focus on AAHRPP element I.1.H. on emergency preparedness, which was introduced in 2021 to help protect the rights and welfare of research participants during an emergency. Attendees will discuss their approach to meeting this requirement with an eye toward developing and sharing best practices.


  • Participant perspectives on research protections—Regulations and policies intended to protect research participants typically are developed with little or no input from the participants themselves. This morning breakout session will consider ways to increase research subjects’ involvement in designing protections that reflect what matters most to those whose participation helps make research possible.


  • Single IRB review—Accredited organizations continue to struggle with AAHRPP Standard I-9, which aligns with Common Rule requirements for single IRB review of cooperative research. Participants in this afternoon breakout session will share their I-9-related efforts and how AAHRPP can improve its tip sheet and other resources. The discussion is especially timely given the Food and Drug Administration’s pending rule on single IRB oversight.


  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility (DEIA)—AAHRPP and accredited organizations are committed to DEIA and are determined to become better allies. But what does that look like for human research protection programs (HRPPs)? And what is AAHRPP’s role in advancing DEIA efforts among accredited organizations? Attendees will address these and other questions during this afternoon breakout session.


  • Quality, effectiveness, and efficiency (QEE)—AAHRPP Standard I-5 requires organizations to measure and improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of their HRPP. The speakers will examine how to define and assess quality. Their presentation will be followed by a group discussion of what AAHRPP should offer to assist organizations (e.g., definition of QEE) or require from accredited organizations related to QEE. Presenters will include Holly Fernandez Lynch, JD, MBE, and Holly A. Taylor, PhD, MPH, Co-chairs of the Consortium to Advance Effective Research Ethics Oversight (AEREO) and authors of the recent AJOB Empirical Bioethics article, “How Do Accredited Organizations Evaluate the Quality and Effectiveness of Their Human Research Protection Programs?

Pre-conference topics were selected based, in part, on the results of AAHRPP site visits and recommendations from accredited organizations.

 “These are complex issues that are best tackled together, and no one is better equipped to do that than members of our accredited organizations,” says Michelle Feige, MSW, LCSW-C, AAHRPP Executive Vice President. “We are confident that they will be energized by these discussions and enthusiastic about continuing their collaboration as part of newly formed CAN working groups.”