Twitter users searching for #HRAtips can get advice on submitting studies for HRA Approval as part of a new campaign to help applicants avoid common mistakes in their research proposals.
We already offer a wealth of guidance and advice to help make the approval process as straight forward as possible, but wanted to help applicants eschew the easy-to-make errors and omissions that mean nearly 30 per cent of applications to us are missing key information.
Dr Janet Messer, Director of Research Systems, Standards and HRA Approval, said: “We take feedback seriously and we’re well aware how frustrating it must be for applicants to be told their applications are missing simple but essential pieces of information.
“This is why we’re running the #HRAtips campaign, as we believe a few quick checks will help allow us to get far more applications through the system first time – and get studies up and running quicker.”
One of our key tips is pre-application preparation – whether through completing our e-learning module for those new to the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS), reading our step-by-step IRAS guide, or simply by speaking to sites early on – making it much more likely that you will be able to provide clear, accurate and relevant information about your study.
Once you are in IRAS, make sure you check the filter questions, especially if you’re duplicating a previous application, as this can lead to you unwittingly providing us with inaccurate information and therefore delaying our ability to issue approval. If you are a frequent applicant, check anything you have copied and pasted for errors and inconsistencies in your current study.
We’d also strongly recommend a ‘pre-flight check’ – have you attached all of your template agreements? Have you got your electronic authorisations in place before you contact our booking service? Have you included your IRAS ID in participant-facing material?
Finally, protecting and promoting the interests of patients and the public in research is at the heart of everything we do – help us to achieve this by preparing participant information sheets that are clear and accurate, and ensure you take a proportionate approach to seeking consent.
Dr Messer added: “We appreciate that preparing your study documents can take time, but ultimately we all want the same thing – research that is safe, ethical and legal.
“We never stop working to streamline our processes and trying to make life easier for our applicants, so if you have any suggestions about an area of our work we could provide further tips on, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.”