Online ASN Resource Center for Investigators Aims to Simplify Research Approval Process

Recognizing the challenges of navigating the complex maze of steps necessary to obtain approval to conduct patient-oriented research in dialysis units, the ASN Dialysis Advisory Group (DAG) created a new online resource for researchers. The “ASN Investigator Resource Center” is a clearinghouse for forms and policies regarding the research application process in national dialysis chains. Intended to be a “one-stop shopping” resource, the webpage contains all the information a researcher would need to initiate and complete the approval process. The Investigator Resource Center also provides the names and contact information of staff at each provider whom investigators with questions may contact. Although currently limited to DaVita and Fresenius Medical Care (FMC), the DAG anticipates expanding the site to include comprehensive resources for other dialysis providers—including DCI, Satellite, US Renal Care and others—in the coming months.

Besides housing forms, policies, and contact information, the website also contains an open letter from each dialysis provider to ASN members as well as provider-specific answers to a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” developed by members of the ASN DAG. “Part of what we wanted to do was demystify the approval process for ASN members, especially junior investigators,” said DAG chair Raj Mehrotra, MD, FASN. “The DAG put their heads together and came up with all the questions they’ve found themselves asking about the research application process over the years, or questions they are still asking. DaVita and FMC were quite forthcoming in their responses to our questions, and I think even seasoned investigators could learn something new by taking a look.”

“Clarifying the process for research applications is just one more thing ASN is doing to facilitate cutting-edge medical research and support the next generation of investigators,” commented DAG Council Liaison Sharon Moe, MD, FASN.

The ASN Investigator Resource Center can be accessed at http://www.asn-online.org/irc/.