Appointments & Credentialing

Investigator

Investigators that wish to conduct clinical research studies at the Atlanta VA, recruit VA patients or use VA data, must have a VA appointment or designate a collaborator (Co-Investigator). This collaborator must be a VA staff physician or practitioner who agrees to assume full responsibility for all aspects of the study conducted at the VA.

Physicians may obtain an appointment by being sponsored by a clinical division and privileged through the VA Medical Center Chief of Staff’s Office. Appointments are coordinated through the Medical Staff Coordinator by calling 404-321-6111 ext. 6240.

To receive VA funding, Investigators must have a paid 5/8th VA appointment.

Research Staff

Non-VA research staff wishing to engage in human subjects’ research activities at the Atlanta VA must obtain a WOC (Without Compensation) appointment through the VA research office. As part of this process, staff must complete research credentialing requirements as follows:

Personnel with DIRECT CONTACT are employees who perform procedures, interviews, telephone calls to research subjects or clinical interventions with patients during the conduct of a research project. Personnel with DIRECT CONTACT are required to complete:

  • Education verification
  • Scope of Practice
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Acknowledgment Form for Research Associates
  • Human Subjects Orientation

Personnel with INDIRECT CONTACT are employees who do not interact directly with patients, but manage and/or collect study data, have access to medical records, or handle human specimens, for research purposes. Personnel with INDIRECT CONTACT are required to complete:

  • Education Verification
  • Risk Assessment

To initiate the process for a WOC appointment, contact the WOC Coordinator at woccoordinator@va.gov, ph. (404) 321-6111 ext. 6177.

Training Requirements For Investigators and Research Staff:

VA Central Office requires that staff engaged in human subjects research complete several training courses every three years (anniversary date).  Staff must take the Human Subject Protection and Good Clinical Practices training located at www.citiprogram.org

Staff conducting research at the VA are required to complete the VA Human Subjects Protection and Good Clinical Practices training modules at least every three years. Credit is given for the Emory biomedical CITI module; then some additional sections are required. If a person has a CITI certification through another institution outside the VA system, the VA PRIDE Curriculum must be completed by following the steps below:

  • log onto the CITI website
  • select: “Affiliate with another institution”
  • select “Atlanta(Decatur)” under “Veterans Affairs”
  • Complete enrollment questions
  • Under “My Courses”complete human research course
  • Print or save your certificate electronically
  • Once completed, the Science Information Officer will receive an automatic email from CITI stating you have completed the course. You may be asked to submit your certificate if the SIO does not receive notification from CITI that you have completed the course.

Anyone involved in VA human subjects’ research must complete the VA Human Subjects Protection and Good Clinical Practices Curriculum prior to engaging in human subject research studies.

In addition, Investigators and staff involved in human studies research are required to complete Human Studies Orientation held on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Contact the Director of the Clinical Studies Center at 404-321-6111 ext. 6933 for more information.

Research & Development (R&D) Committee Protocol Submission:

Research studies conducted at the VA require both the Emory IRB and VA R&D Committee approvals. The Atlanta VA requires obtaining IRB approval prior to submitting the research protocol to the R&D Committee. Submission guidelines are available at:

http://www.atlanta.va.gov/services/research/Investigators.asp


Contact the VA SIO at (404)728-4827 for additional information

Meeting Dates:
The R&D Committee meets on the first Wednesday of each month.
The submission deadline is noon on the last Wednesday of the month.

VA Resources:

VA/IRB Liaison
The VA/IRB liaison functions include:

  • Monitor the status of VA research projects submitted to the Emory IRB
  • Verifying that the submitted research projects have the necessary components prior to review
  • Follow up on IRB requested changes
  • Keep the VA appraised of changes to IRB policies and procedures
  • Serve as a resource for the IRB submission processes
  • Liaison between the VA research staff and the IRB

The VA/IRB liaison is located at the Emory IRB and can be contacted at

(404) 712-9749

Human Studies Analyst (HSA)
The HSA provides assistance with all regulatory issues involved in conducting Human Subject Research at Atlanta VA. HSA services include assistance with: Initial and Ongoing Submission processes, Informed Consent and HIPAA Form reformatting and writing, and responding to queries from study personnel related to Emory IRB and R&D Committee issues.  For additional information contact the Human Studies Analyst at

(404) 321-6111 ext. 4750

Clinical Studies Center (CSC)

The CSC is a center designated to promote and facilitate human subject research studies at the VA. The Center is comprised of exam rooms and interview rooms for research visits, a dedicated subject waiting room and reception area, a work station for monitoring visits, and phlebotomy services for research participants. Contact the CSC at (404) 327-4934 for additional information.