Quality Assurance / Quality Improvement Program

Brown’s Quality Assurance / Quality Improvement Program (QA/QI Program) is housed within the Office of Research Integrity and reports to the Director of the Office of Research Integrity.  The goal of this program is to promote a culture of integrity and excellence at Brown related to human subjects research, and to provide exceptional support and services to our research community in the form of education and outreach.

The QA/QI Program objectives are two-fold:

  1. To support institutional regulatory compliance; and

  2. To educate and assist the Brown research community in the conduct of compliant research to promote research excellence and reduce administrative burden

Associated with these overarching objectives, the QA/QI Administrator will facilitate the conduct of research at Brown by serving as a resource to researchers and the IRB.  The QA/QI Administrator is available to conduct individual and group training sessions related to human subjects research.

The QA/QI Administrator welcomes your feedback and suggestions for additional services.

QA/QI Activities

  • Provide new faculty and research assistants/coordinators with one-on-one, in-person (or via phone / Zoom) on-boarding sessions to orient them to the HRPP’s/IRB’s website, forms, processes and policies. This resource is also available for groups, such as a new research team joining Brown.

  • Conduct random on-site reviews to assess regulatory compliance and human subject safety and to provide support to research teams in maintaining compliance.

  • Provide investigators with quality improvement recommendations to ensure that research is conducted in accordance with best practices.

  • Conduct directed (for-cause) audits at the request of the IRB or authorized Institutional Official. Directed audits focus on areas of concern that have been identified or reported. Recommend actions to the IRB based on on-site observations.

  • Investigate allegations and findings of non-compliance. Report potential serious or continuing non-compliance to the IRB and Institutional Official and propose corrective actions.

  • Provide general guidance or study-specific services at study start-up or throughout the lifetime of a project.  These services can include On-site Reviews, Study Consultations, In-services, IRB Submission Assistance, External Audit Preparation, and Study Management Tools

Voluntary Best Practices Offerings

Best Practices 

This is a one hour session which focuses on providing guidance and recommendations related to IRB file organization and maintenance. Topics covered include best practices related to the maintenance of IRB approved study procedures and protocols, and consistency with Brown University policies and procedures concerning human research participants. Investigators and any research staff involved in field work, data collection and/or study record keeping may find this session particularly helpful. Best Practices sessions may be scheduled to take place at your research lab or you may choose to attend a pre-scheduled session located at South Street Landing. Available upon request  or contact Chris Provencal at 3-5729.

Best Practices Checklist

Investigators and study staff can confirm if they are incorporating best practices into their research projects by using this checklist. This is a good way to quickly, easily and independently confirm the use of basic best practices and consistency between IRB approved research procedures and actual research activities. This checklist can also serve to remind investigators of some of the important details related to human research participant protections as well as identify issues that need attention, helping to minimize the chance of an impact on study progress.

Voluntary, Best Practices Individualized Review:

Another helpful resource for investigators is a one-on-one Best Practices review. This is an in person review of study procedures and IRB documentation related to human research participants. It offers individualized assistance and guidance from HRPP staff. The completion of this review can help with streamlining IRB submissions which may reduce the time between submission and approval. Available upon request  or contact Chris Provencal at 3-5729.