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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Human Research Protection Program and Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Contact Public Health Research Unit

The Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) provides research consultations and technical assistance concerning applications for review of research by the Institutional Review Board. An Institutional Review Board is a committee that reviews research to ensure it is ethical, and that participants are protected.

The Florida Department of Health is the first public health agency to receive Full Accreditation for its Human Research Protection Program from the Association for Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP).  Participants in research can trust the researcher to put participant safety and well-being above all else. AAHRPP-accredited organizations operate more efficiently, provide more comprehensive protections, and produce higher-quality data than non-accredited organizations.

The Department uses an on-line application system, with additional information for researchers and volunteer participants.

Ethical Review of Research: Protecting Participants in Research

The Department is guided by the ethical principles in theBelmont Report (respect for persons, beneficence, justice) for reviews of all research, and expects researchers to also uphold these principles in research.

  • Respect for persons is the obligation to protect the personal dignity and autonomy of individuals and special protection of those persons with diminished autonomy by ensuring an appropriate process of consent, protections for privacy and confidentiality, and additional safeguards for the rights of vulnerable populations.
  • Beneficence is the obligation to secure the well-being of participants in research by maximizing benefits and ensuring risks to participants are minimized.
  • Justice involves substantive obligations such as ensuring fairness in the distribution of research benefits and burdens, and procedural obligations such ensuring consistency in applying standards, transparency of decision-making, and ensuring a meaningful process of public engagement.