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Research Quality Assurance (RQA)

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The primary mission of the Research Quality Assurance Office is to support the planning and conduct of both clinical research and basic laboratory research being conducted at the Penn State College of Medicine.

Key components of this work include research laboratory safety, biosafety, human research trials compliance and IACUC compliance.

Information about RQA is in the process of being migrated from the Infonet to this page. Research teams should ensure they are checking this page regularly for the most up-to-date information. Archived information that has not yet been migrated can still be found on the Infonet (Penn State Health ePass login required).

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Working with Research Quality Assurance

What RQA Does Expand answer

The Research Quality Assurance mission is fulfilled by working with investigators to help them identify gaps that might negatively impact their research and assist them by making recommendations to eliminate these gaps. This support is provided to aid investigators in conducting research as required by regulatory authorities, to ensure that laboratory research follows acknowledged best practices, that research fulfills promises to study volunteers and with due respect for laboratory animals.

To complete this mission, this office works directly with investigators to promote research integrity and best practices through education and mentoring of investigators and their staff.

The Research Quality Assurance team works collaboratively to develop, establish and provide training material, programs and tools (checklists) for research investigators, coordinators and research administrative and laboratory staff related to applicable federal, state, local and institutional research regulations and guidelines.

In collaboration with others at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State University Park, the team reviews and revises current institutional and University research policies, and drafts new policies, to maintain adherence to current regulatory guidelines and best practices.

The Manager of Research Laboratory Safety develops systems to perform laboratory site visits to assist investigators in meeting their regulatory obligations and to continually improve laboratory safety.

In addition, the team includes Research Compliance Specialist positions to provide assistance to investigators and support staff in the preparation, submission and maintenance of investigational new drug and investigational devices.

RQA also works to improve human subject research through

  • personal communication and consultation;
  • departmental and institutional seminars; and
  • on-site and remote reviews; and
  • evaluations of current research practices.

In cooperation with investigators, the Office of Research Affairs and the Office of Research Protections, the Research Quality Assurance office works to establish and maintain a contemporaneous database of registrations and establish mechanisms to assist investigators in compliance with statutory requirements and publication guidelines for publicly accessible clinical trial registration.

Furthermore, this office is an independent unit that oversees and directs the monitoring, auditing and evaluation of research activities.

RQA’s intent is to be a proactive unit that helps investigators successfully contribute to the advancement of medical science.

Emergency Contact Information Expand answer
Office Location and Address Expand answer

Location: The main RQA office is on the second floor of the Support Services Building.

Fax: 717-531-0995

Mailing address:

Research Quality Assurance
Penn State College of Medicine
500 University Dr., Mail Code SB36
P.O. Box 850
Hershey, PA 17033

Meet the Team Expand answer


Penn State College of Medicine is committed to preventing exposure to bloodborne pathogens through its policies, procedures and training.

A number of resources are available as guidelines for maintaining biological safety.

See biosafety resources here

Internal Review and Monitoring

Clinical Trial Monitoring Expand answer

The Data Management team in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine offers clinical trial monitoring.

Clinical trial monitoring services provided by Data Management help the investigator ensure that:

  • All clinical trial activities follow the research protocol
  • Participants’ rights, welfare and safety are protected
  • Quality, reliability and integrity of data collected are maintained throughout the study
  • Liability risk to the institution is minimized

Learn more about Data Management’s clinical trial monitoring services

Resources and Training

Association of Clinical Research Professionals eLearning Modules Expand answer

Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) eLearning Modules are available at no cost to Penn State faculty and staff who have been provided a user account through the institutional site license.

ACPR recommends the successful completion of the two foundational training modules:

  • Good Clinical Practice: An Introduction to ICH GCP Guidelines
  • Ethics and Human Subject Protection

Research coordinators using services of the Clinical Research Center and coordinators participating in multi-site clinical trials must complete these two modules within six months of being identified as part of a research study team.

All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to request a user account to utilize these training opportunities in an effort to enhance their knowledge of clinical research.

Contact a representative from RQA to obtain a user account.

Note: ACRP members must use the username and intuitional access link to access the modules included in the institution’s license at no cost, not their individual ACRP membership user account and the general ACRP webpage accessible to the public.

Use this link to access ACRP training at no charge

RQA Lunchtime Lectures and Quarterly Workshops Expand answer

A list of past and upcoming RQA Lunchtime Lectures and Quarterly Workshops appears here.

Register for the next RQA event See all upcoming RQA and ROAR events

Watch recordings of previous presentations on Mediasite (ePass login required)

Requesting Service on Lab Equipment Expand answer