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Expressing Concerns or Complaints about Research

December 2005

It is the policy of the institution that the IRBs have the responsibility to receive and respond to complaints or other communication from research participants, investigators or research staff, or members of the community as part of the human subject research oversight process. 

(see Organization Policy on Complaints from Research Participants, Investigators and Research Staff, the Community, etc.).

How may a person express concerns or complaints about the conduct of a research study?

Study team members, staff, and others at JHM may express concerns or complaints about the conduct of a human subject research study.  If possible, those concerns or complaints should be discussed first with the PI of the study.  If that is not possible, the individual with the concern or complaint may contact either the Office of Human Subject Research (OHSR) or the Johns Hopkins Compliance Line.  The OHSR staff will work with individual with the concern or complaint to try to resolve the problem.  Concerns or complaints may be communicated to the OHSR staff (Research Subjects Specialists, IRB Chairs, Regulatory Specialists) or through the JHM IRB email address: The anonymous JH Compliance Line is available to anyone in the Organization, 24 hours a day, and is an independently administered, toll-free hot line at 1-877-WE COMPLY (1-877-932-6675).  (See: