University of Minnesota releases independent review of human research protections

An independent review of human subjects research at the University of Minnesota has been completed. The report examines protections within research of human subjects with diminished functional abilities during the years 2011-2014.  

The report details findings and makes 63 recommendations for enhancing the University’s human subjects research protections.    

“This is an opportunity for the University of Minnesota to move toward a human research protection program that is beyond reproach,” said President Eric W. Kaler. “We will immediately begin to review and implement the recommendations. We strive to be a university whose human research protection program becomes the model for the world to respect and follow.”

The review was commissioned by the University at the request of the Faculty Senate. It will be formally presented at a special meeting of the Senate on Friday, March 6.  Two of the six expert panelists who conducted the review will attend the meeting to present their findings and recommendations, and take questions from the faculty.

 “The University of Minnesota is committed to meeting, upholding and exceeding the highest ethical standards in research practices involving human subjects,” said Dr. Brian Herman, vice president for research at the University.  “We will hold ourselves accountable and commit to communicating transparently along the way to ensure public trust in the program.”

President Kaler plans to charge Herman and Dean of the Medical School and Vice President for Health Sciences Brooks Jackson with leading a team that will use the review as a roadmap for achieving excellence within the human subjects protection program, and work with faculty to help shape priorities and processes. 

The University is taking action on several panel recommendations such as increased staffing and resources for training and monitoring, adding members with relevant expertise to its Institutional Review Board, and creating a Research Compliance Advisory Committee that will provide high-level consultation regarding strategic risk management in research.

The project was logistically managed by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP), the industry’s foremost accreditation body, which assembled a panel of independent subject matter experts to conduct the review. 

Ongoing communication about these and other initiatives can be found at

A full statement from President Kaler is available here





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