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Search Policy and Guidance FAQs

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Data last updated: 04/01/21

Still can't find an answer to your question? Email your question to the appropriate ORPP&E mailbox.

You can also ask for help from peers in the VA research community on a listserv. Check out the listservs available within ORD and who to contact to sign up here.

Tips for Successful Searches

  1. Use the key word dictionary to help you identify key words used to tag common topics. 
  2. Watch ORPP&E’s webinar New Year, New Platform: Focus on Resources Available to the Field, which includes an in-depth presentation of the searchable FAQ database, including a demo of how to search effectively using targeted key words .
  3. Understand how the search methodology works:
  • Multiple key words and phrases are used to tag each entry.
  • A “hit” occurs when the word entered into the search box matches all of or a part of a key word or phrase included in the database.
  • If the word entered into the search box does not match one of the key words used to tag the FAQ, you will not get a hit.  For example:
    • If the search term is misspelled, you will not get a hit;
    • If the plural form of the word is used as a search term when the singular form has been used to tag an FAQ, you will not get a hit;
    • If none of the FAQs have been tagged with the search term used, you will not get a hit.
  1. Review the Example of Searches provided below.

Example of searches:

I am looking for information about…

Input one of the following keywords/phrases into the first search box

Input one of the following keywords/phrases into the second search box

Requirements for uploading financial conflicts of interest forms into IRBNet

FCOI; COI; Conflict of interest; Financial Conflict of Interest; Financial Conflict of Interest Statements; COI Disclosure Forms


R&D Committee designated review process

R&DC; RDC; R&D Committee; Research and Development Committee

Designated review; DR

Requirements for ORD funded research during the COVID-19 pandemic

ORD funded research; ORD sponsored research; ORD-funded research; ORD-sponsored research

COVID-19; COVID 19; Coronavirus

Publication requirements for studies on COVID-19

Publications; PubTracker; Journal Articles

COVID-19; COVID 19; Coronavirus

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)

Material Transfer Agreement; MTAs; Biospecimens

Requirements for using a combined informed consent form and HIPAA authorization for studies that involve banking data and/or specimens

Privacy; Informed Consent Form; Informed Consent Document; Combined Informed Consent Form and HIPAA Authorization; Combined ICF/HIPAA; Combined ICF HIPAA; HIPAA Authorization Form

Tissue Banking; Biospecimen Banking; Data Banking; Repository

ORPP&E Mailboxes

Name of ORPP&E Mailbox

Mailbox Address


Biosafety Mailbox

Mailbox for VA research office staff, researchers, and study team members to send questions about VA laboratory biosafety and biosecurity activities (BS&S), to include laboratory research topics related to BS&S risk assessment, handling and management of infectious microorganisms, biohazard and chemical waste management, personal protective equipment (PPE), and general biosafety and biosecurity best practices.

IRB Reliance and Single IRB Exception Request Mailbox


Mailbox for VA Facility’s to submit requests for (1) changes in IRB arrangements (e.g. Commercial or non-Commercial IRB reliance); and (2) questions pertaining to the aforementioned, or about Single IRB Exceptions.


Regulatory Mailbox


Mailbox for VA research office staff, researchers, and study team members to send regulatory questions regarding ORD policy (primarily pertaining to human subjects research).


VA Central IRB Mailbox

Mailbox for asking questions about the procedures or policies related to the VA Central IRBs.

VAIRRS Mailbox


Mailbox for VA research office staff, IRBNet administrators, researchers, and study team members to send questions related to the VAIRRS Program.


VA Central Research Privacy Board (CRPB) Mailbox

Mailbox for 1) VA Facility’s to submit requests for reliance on the CRPB and 2) VA research office staff, researchers, and study team members to send questions regarding the policy and use of the VA CRPB.


ORD Listservs

Anyone can register for the ORD Training emails, however verification of a requester’s role will be required for the IRB Chair, IRB Administrator, and R&D Committee listservs.  After your request has been made, your name with be crossed referenced with ORPP&E's research personnel list for verification.  If your name is not on our personnel list, ORPP&E will issue an email to the human research site liaison of your VAMC for the list to be updated as needed.  After that is completed, your request will be approved by ORPP&E.

ORPP&E is only able to add you to the following groups:

Since we are administrators only for the above-mentioned listservs, we are not able to help with any of the other listservs offered by VHA, including any other list servs managed by ORD.

Click here for instructions on how to self-register.


Questions about the R&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.