STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State is the first university in the state to attain a highly-sought endorsement from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs.
On Tuesday [Sept. 17], the nonprofit organization announced that MSU has earned full accreditation for three years.
"This accreditation is very important to our research enterprise because it ensures funding agencies and sponsors of our commitment to the protection of human subjects and building public trust," said David Shaw, MSU's vice president for research and economic development.
AAHRPP provides accreditation for U.S. and international organizations that conduct biomedical, behavioral or social sciences research involving human participants and can demonstrate that their protections exceed the safeguards required by the U.S. government.
"AAHRPP accreditation is widely regarded as the mark of a quality human research protection program worldwide," said Marjorie A. Speers, AAHRPP president and CEO.
According to an MSU official, the multi-year process to achieve accreditation required extensive planning and preparation by faculty and staff that culminated in a site visit over the summer.
"We were able to earn accreditation by working together as a team," said MSU Institutional Review Board Officer Jodi Roberts, who coordinated the university's application.
"We would like to thank all of the researchers who assisted in this effort," she said.
An Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects, commonly shortened to IRB, is the method by which institutions facilitate human subjects research and ensure that the rights and welfare of the subjects are protected. It is a major component of an overall human research protection program.
"AAHRPP accreditation illustrates our focus on the safety of human subjects, regulatory compliance and high ethical standards," said Kacey Strickland, the director of the land-grant institution's Office of Research Compliance.
"Ongoing quality improvement and performance assessments are priorities for our HRPP," she said.
Mississippi State is classified as a "Very High Research Activity" university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This designation represents the highest level of research activity for doctorate-granting universities in the U.S. Mississippi State is the only school in the state with the distinction, and one of only 108 nationwide. For more, visit www.research.msstate.edu.
Mississippi State is online at www.msstate.edu.