Mississippi State University became the first and only university in the state of Mississippi to receive an accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs.
On Sept. 17, this self-regulating body that consists of educators all over the country from a number of universities, approved full accreditation to MSU for the next three years.
David Shaw, vice president for research and development at MSU said the application is tedious and extensive. He said a great deal of documentation is required to demonstrate that MSU sets high standards.
“Above and beyond that, once the application was in, a site visit team actually came and spent two days on our campus going over samples of records that we have, going over procedures and policies that we have, interviewing faculty and staff to be sure that what we had put in the application was actual in truth what was in practice,” Shaw said.
AAHRPP’s mission statement is to promote excellent, ethically- sound research through partnerships with research organizations, researchers, sponsors and the public. AAHRPP’s mission statement also says the organization encourages effective, efficient and innovative systems of protection for human research participants.
Jodi Roberts, MSU Institutional Review Board officer who was responsible for coordination of MSU’s application, said MSU had to do a self-evaluation to put together the application, which took about seven to eight months.
“There were two steps, after the first application went through, AAHRPP came back with some suggestions on how we could improve few of our policies and procedures and they worked with us to include the necessary language. We then submitted a second application in March, which resulted in a site visit in June, so it’s been more than a year that the application process started,” Roberts said.
Vice President Shaw said this accreditation will not directly lead to an increase in funding for the students but will certainly build a reputation for the university.
“Through continuing to enhance the reputation of the research programs at the university, there certainly is every opportunity to impact funding agencies, and so this office and the entire university is working very hard to be able to pursue additional funding opportunities, and this is just one more tool that will help us to do that,” Shaw said.
Karin Lee, manage of international institute and scholars at the international institute, said she does not feel accreditation plays as much role as does the research of the major professor.
According to the Carnegie Foundation, MSU is among the nation’s leading major research universities. Earlier this year, among other universities in Mississippi, MSU received an endorsement from the Wall Street Journal, which said graduates get top return on investment.