UMN: Research review will be truly independent

Potential conflicts of interest will be managed properly A Gude via Flickr

Yesterday I ran post on a letter by some University of Minnesota faculty members concerned with the upcoming review of the U’s clinical research practices. University officials have sent me this emailed response by Brian Herman, vice president for research:

From the start, our goal has been to ensure a vigorous process that fulfills the Faculty Senate’s resolution to conduct a thorough, professional, independent and transparent review of our human subjects research practices.

AAHRPP submitted the strongest proposal to administratively manage this process; it is not conducting any portion of the review. The review will be undertaken by a group of independent, internationally-recognized experts in the field of human subjects research protection. As part of this process, potential conflicts of interest will be managed appropriately.

They also forwarded this statement from mechanical engineering professor Will Durfee, past chairman of the Faculty Consultative Committee — and one of the liaisons for the review:

The review team charge is quoted from the Senate resolution, and the review team has read the entire Senate resolution. … Many University stakeholders are keenly interested in the results of the review, and several have thoughts on how the review should be conducted.

Our faculty and university community have been given the specific contact information to reach out to the panel.  The information shared with the panel is confidential; it is not shared with the VP for Research or with university officials.  How the review team chooses to fulfill its charge is entirely up to the review team.

Regarding the review’s timeline, he wrote:

The review has been underway since the contract was signed in July, 2014.  My understanding is that the review team is likely to deliver their report and present their results in December.

The U has provided a link to several related documents, including the Faculty Senate resolution and the proposal for the review.