News & Events

Research Compliance Changes at CUNY

March 6, 2012

On September 9, 2011, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research hosted a University-wide townhall meeting to discuss the restructuring of the, CUNY Human Research Protection Program (HRPP)that would be rolled-out in November 2011.  After opening remarks by Vice Chancellor Gillian Small, Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, CEO of HRP Consulting Group, provided an overview of the restructuring of the CUNY HRPP.  He explained why these measures are necessary to keep the University in compliance and moving toward institutional accreditation by the Association for Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs.  Following this introduction, Vice Chancellor Small and Dr. Cohen, together with Ms. Cheryl Savini, COO of HRP Consulting, engaged in an informative Q&A session with members of the CUNY IRB community.

Fall 2011 CUNY IRB Town Hall Meeting.

The new structure of the CUNY HRPP consists of the following:

• Each campus has an HRPP Office and a designated HRPP Coordinator.  The campus-based HRPP Coordinators serve as the primary point of contact for all administrative and regulatory issues related to human subjects research affecting the research community at their respective campus. In addition, the HRPP Coordinators are responsible for making administrative determinations, and determinations of exemption for research projects based at their campus.

• There are five University Integrated IRBs (UI-IRBs) with include representatives from every campus on one or more of these IRBs. The IRB members, representing their respective campus, were nominated directly by their provost to serve on the UI-IRBs. The IRB members will conduct reviews of those proposals, submitted by researchers at their home campus, that qualify for expedited review. In addition, they will serve as members of the convened IRBs that conduct review of research from across CUNY that poses more than minimal risk to human subjects.

• The new IRB Administrator, Lissy Wassaff, joined CUNY in December 2011. She will provide regulatory and administrative support to the five CUNY UI-IRBs.

The new University Director for Research Compliance, Farida Lada, joined the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research in November 2011. She assumed oversight of the University HRPP, as well as other areas of research compliance across the University. Under her direction, we plan to further enhance the CUNY HRPP program as follows:

• Update the HRPP policies and procedures to comply with current regulations and industry standards, with the goal of obtaining accreditation by the Association for Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs.

• Add an education component to the HRPP, which provides ongoing training and education to the CUNY research community, including researchers, IRB members and HRPP staff.

• Add a quality assurance and improvement program to the HRPP, which will help ensure institutional compliance with applicable regulations, identify and address educational and research support needs across CUNY, and identify and address needs for improvement in research policy.

The CUNY HRPP website provides information regarding the CUNY IRBs, as well as CUNY HRPP Policies and Procedures. Please visit the CUNY HRPP website,, regularly for the most current information. Suggestions for improving the HRPP from the CUNY community are welcome.