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Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs


Advisory Council on Clinical Research

Accrual Duration (Months)

The estimated length of time that the study will be open to accrual at U-M.


Association of Clinical Research Professionals


A study that is open to accrual


American Dental Association

Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR)

All harmful and unintended responses to a research use of a medicinal product (drug) related to any dose should be considered adverse drug reactions. The phrase "responses to a medicinal product" means that a causal relationship between the drug and an adverse event is at least a reasonable possibility, i.e., the relationship cannot be ruled out.

Adverse Event (AE)

Any experience or abnormal finding that has taken place during the course of a research project and was harmful to the subject participating in the research, or increased the risks of harm from the research, or had an unfavorable impact on the risk/benefit ratio. The FDA also includes in its definition abnormal preclinical or laboratory findings which may not yet have resulted in direct harm to subjects (e.g., a bacteria is identified in a culture from the same batch of cells used to produce a vaccine which has been administered, even if no cases of infection have been reported). The event may or may not be caused by an intervention (e.g., headache following spinal tap, death from the underlying disease, car collision). Adverse Events also include psychological, social, emotional, and financial harms. See also Serious Adverse Event and Adverse Drug Reaction.

Adverse Reaction

An undesirable and unintended effect, although not necessarily unexpected, result of therapy or other intervention (e.g., headache following spinal tap or intestinal bleeding associated with aspirin therapy). Onset may be sudden or develop over time. See Adverse EventSide Effects.


Adverse Event


IRB membership status designating association with the University. A member (or alternate) is considered to be affiliated if he/she or a member of his/her immediate family is a current or past: employee (full or part-time); clinical, adjunct, or visiting faculty member or instructor; healthcare provider holding credentials to practice; volunteer working at the University (unrelated to IRB service); or University consultant or advisor (paid or unpaid). An emeritus faculty or retired staff member is also considered to be affiliated if he/she has been retired or involved in paid or unpaid University activities (including research or service). Current undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students are also considered to be affiliated, as described by UM HRPP policy.


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Alternate Member

An individual appointed to the IRB to serve in the same capacity as the specific IRB member(s) for whom the alternate is named, who substitutes for the member at convened meetings when the member is not in attendance. IRB members and alternates have equal responsibilities in terms of required education, service, and participation.


American Medical Association


Amendment; amendments are completed in eResearch in order to modify an already approved project

Amendment (AME)

A change in the terms and conditions of a grant or contract mutually agreed upon by the agency and the recipient organization; may also be referred to as a modification. Amendments are completed in eResearch in order to modify an already approved project. Some examples of changes include updates to the protocol or informed consent, or changes to the study team.


Abbreviated New Drug Application


Anonymity exists when there are no identifiers on project materials which could link the data with individual subjects. Even the research investigator cannot know the identity of participants.


Anonymous means entirely without name or identifier, so the individual cannot be discerned in any way by anyone. No one can link an individual person to the responses of that person, including the investigator. For this reason, face-to-face interviews are never anonymous. If phone numbers are not stored, then telephone interviews could be considered anonymous. Questionnaires that are returned via US Mail are considered anonymous only if no tracking codes are used.

Appeal (Decision)

Request for reconsideration of an IRB determination in research involving human subjects, including (but not limited to) decisions regarding approval status, conditions for approval, and noncompliance. An appeal is reviewed by the convened IRB responsible for the determination being appealed; for a decision made by expedited review, the corresponding convened IRB may review the appeal. PIs may submit a request for reconsideration if a decision is not positive.

Appointment / Visit Deviation

A scheduling deviation is a reportable occurrence if and when a procedure or intervention did not take place in accordance with the time frame established in the protocol for safety and/or scientific purposes of testing and evaluation. Protocol descriptions of treatment(s) to be administered, dosing schedule(s), treatment period(s), and follow-up period(s) should reflect reasonable flexibility in accordance with sound experimental design. Deviations are reported in eResearch as an ORIO.

Approval Date

The first date that research could be performed (following notification from the IRB).For research reviewed by the convened IRB, the approval date is the date that the research was approved at a convened meeting, or if modifications were required (to secure approval), the date that modifications were met by the investigator. For research reviewed using expedited procedures, the approval date is the date that the research was approved by expedited review, or if modifications were required, the date that modifications were met by the investigator.

Approved (Decision)

An IRB action taken when the required determinations are made that allow research involving human subjects to proceed consistent with federal regulations, state and local laws, and University policy.

Approved Drugs

The FDA must approve a substance as a drug before it can be marketed. The approval process involves several steps including pre-clinical laboratory and animal studies, clinical trials for safety and efficacy, filing of a New Drug Application by the manufacturer of the drug, FDA review of the application, and FDA approval/rejection of application.


Assistant Regulatory Analyst


Applied Research Ethics National Association


Any of the treatment groups in a research project. Many projects have two "arms," but some have three "arms," or even more.


Agreement to participate in proposed research, given by an individual not competent to give legally valid informed consent (e.g., a child or mentally limited person). Mere failure to object may not be construed as assent.                                  

  • Assent means a child's affirmative agreement (verbal or written) to participate in a clinical investigation. Children age 10 and up are generally able to provide their assent.
  • Assent is an adult's affirmative agreement (verbal or written) to participate in a clinical investigation. Adults may be assented (instead of consent) if they have a cognitive disability rendering them unable to consent for themselves. Steps should be in place to assure that all participants are given the opportunity to consent or assent.

Associate Dean

Medical School Associate Dean for Regulatory Affairs

Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP)

The AAHRPP promotes high quality research through an accreditation process that helps organizations worldwide strengthen their human research protection programs. An independent, non-profit accrediting body, AAHRPP uses a voluntary, peer-driven, educational model to ensure that HRPPs meet rigorous standards for quality and protection. To earn accreditation, organizations must provide tangible evidence, through policies, procedures, and practices, of their commitment to scientifically and ethically sound research and to continuous improvement. 


A formal written, binding commitment that is submitted to a federal agency in which an institution promises to comply with applicable regulations governing research with human subjects and use of animals and stipulates the procedures through which compliance will be achieved.


Personal capacity to consider alternatives makes choices, and act without undue influence or interference of others.