What's New

Human Subjects in Energy Technology & Policy Research Symposium

Please join us for the inaugural Human Subjects in Energy Technology & Policy Symposium, to be held virtually on October 17 and 19, 2023. The symposium will gather professionals supporting and conducting research to develop and deploy energy technologies and policies, with the goals of increasing awareness of what constitutes HSR in this field of research, promoting best practices from the proposal stage through study completion, and fostering a culture of collaboration.

What Will Be Covered? The virtual two half-days event will feature invited speakers discussing topics that demonstrate the critical nature of human factors for advancing energy and security goals. Planned topics include:
  • Modification of the Human Environment
  • Better Research Through Collaboration: A Partnership Among Sponsors, IRBs, and Researchers
  • Social Science Best Practices for HSR in these Fields
  • Building a Human Subjects Protocol and Understanding the Regulations
  • Creating a Culture of Collaboration within Your HSPP

Who Should Attend?

  • Sponsors/DOE Program Managers
  • Researchers from Academia and DOE/NNSA sites
  • IRB Professionals from Academia and DOE/NNSA sites

More information can be found on the registration website.

DOE Memorandum on Recognizing and Addressing Bias in Human Subjects Research

The intent of the memorandum is to provide context and serve as a reminder of how explicit and implicit bias can negatively impact our collective goal of protecting the rights and welfare of human subjects who participate in DOE-funded and conducted research.  We hope too, that this memorandum will help researchers and IRB members recognize and whenever possible, avoid and/or address these biases in the design, conduct, and review of research.

Reaccreditation of the DOE Human Subjects Protection Program

The DOE/NNSA Human Subjects Protection Program (HSPP) has just received full re-accreditation, by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP), through December 2027.  The program was initially accredited in December 2019.  The re-accreditation process has included a comprehensive review of the HSPP and the 2 central DOE institutional review boards (IRBs), to ensure the program continues to meet regulatory requirements as well as the more rigorous accreditation requirements of AAHRPP.   The primary purpose of accreditation is to strengthen protections for research participants, and to build public trust and confidence in research.

Initial Accreditation of the ORISE and ORNL HSP Programs

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) HSPPs received initial accreditation by AAHRPP in December 2022.  The Oak Ridge Site-wide IRB is managed by ORISE and serves as the IRB of record for all the DOE/NNSA sites in the Oak Ridge area, though the primary ones conducting human subjects research (HSR) and the focus of this accreditation effort were the ORISE and ORNL programs.