The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is responsible for ensuring that human subject research supported by the Department of Navy (DoN) complies with federal regulations, Department of Defense directives and SECNAVINST 3900.39D, the DoN Human Research Protection Program (HRPP). This includes all research involving human subjects conducted at the systems and training commands, in the operational forces, and at extramural institutions sponsored by the Navy.
Human Subject Research: Critical for the Warfighter
Human subject research is critical to support the warfighter, Navy and Marine Corps training and operational capability and the competency of the Navy medical department. This research includes the development of:
- Personal protective equipment such as body armor, hearing protection and helmets
- Treatments for decompression sickness
- Methods for reducing spatial disorientation in aviators
- Tools to maximize human performance and endurance, among many others
Human subject research also includes human factors engineering for combat stations/systems.
Research with human subjects supports improvements in infectious disease prevention and treatment, reduction of non-battle injury and enhanced combat casualty care and management. Human subject research underpins many other types of clinical biomedical and training-oriented research. This research is critical to the credentialing of health care professionals and maintaining the accreditation of the graduate education programs (e.g., medical, dental, nurse anesthetists) at the DoN's medical facilities.
The Research Protections division of ONR's Warfighter Performance Department is a major element of the DoN HRPP. The Secretary of the Navy has designated the Navy's Surgeon General as the single point of contact directly responsible for the protection of human subjects in Navy-supported research and as the sole authority for managing the DoN HRPP. The chief of naval research provides support and expertise for oversight and monitoring of HRPP compliance by the Navy and Marine Corps Systems Commands, operational and training commands, and extramural research performers, including universities, contractors and private research organizations.
For more information, on ONR Research Protections, contact 703-588-0612 or ONR_343_contact@navy.mil.