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Research Protections (DHA Office of Research Protections)

The Department of Defense and the Defense Health Agency support and encourage human subjects research. To be granted approval, the activities must be compliant with all federal and local laws, regulations, and policies regarding the protection of human subjects.

The regulation governing the protection of human subjects is referred to as the Common Rule.  Most federal departments and agencies supporting human subjects research have adopted this regulatory framework.  The DOD implements the Common Rule through DOD Instruction (DoDI) 3216.02.  The DHA Office of Research Protections is the oversight office for DHA conducted and supported human subjects research and develops policies and guidance to implement both the Common Rule and DoDI 3216.02.

Research involving human subjects requires review from an authorized official or body before starting. Many DOD military hospitals and clinics have a local human research protections program. The HRPP can often be found in the institution’s Clinical Investigation Department. The HRPP can perform research and human subjects determinations and Human Research Protection Official reviews and prereviews for studies that must be submitted to the Institutional Review Board. Each HRPP is assigned to one of the five DHA IRBs where they can submit their non-exempt human subjects research protocols.

Visit the Submit for Review page for more information on what constitutes human subjects research and how to obtain a review for proposed activities.   

DHA HRPP or IRB personnel seeking guidance and tools should become a member of the Office Of Research Protections, DHA milSuite page. Users are required to have an active account in order to submit a member request. Reach out to the milSuite help desk should you need assistance.      

All other questions can be sent to

Last Updated: August 25, 2023
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