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Executive Director - Human Research Protection Program


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Penn State’s Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) in the Office for Research Protections (ORP) seeks a qualified, highly motivated candidate with a demonstrated commitment to leadership, strategic thinking, and collaboration to serve as the Executive Director.

The HRPP provides oversight for all human subjects research conducted by Penn State faculty across the university, including the commonwealth campuses and any Penn State Health location where research is conducted by Penn State faculty.

This position will report to the Assistant Vice President for Research in the ORP and will supervise the IRB Director, HRPP Assistant Director for Reliance and Regulatory Support, and the HRPP Administrative Assistant.


+ Provide management and oversight of the entire HRPP, including supervision of staff

+ Ensure the highest standards of compliance for 9,000+ submissions per year while maintaining a service minded approach

+ Work closely with the IRB Director, Assistant Directors, IRB Chairs and Vice Chairs, and IRB Committees to develop and administer policies related to the human research protection program (HRPP); interpret and maintain compliance with federal, state and institutional regulations, guidance and policies, including responsibility for the review of reportable new information and any applicable external reporting requirements

+ Monitor the HRPP’s internal QA processes and use data to inform the needs of the HRPP

+ Maintain current knowledge of human research protection guidance and regulations as they evolve. Stay current on emerging issues. Monitor federal regulatory websites and other research-related resources so as to stay current with regulatory changes in human research protections guidelines and policies. Communicate pertinent information to staff in a timely manner.

+ Collaborate and work proactively with key constituents and leadership across Penn State University, Penn State Health, the Office for Research Protections, and other compliance and administrative offices as appropriate for the purposes of ensuring compliance with regulations and policy.

+ Serve as the subject matter expert on the regulation of human subjects research for the institution in conjunction with the IRB Director

+ Serve as a subject matter expert for Penn State’s Huron IRB System (CATS IRB) in conjunction with the IRB Director

+ Evaluate effectiveness of the HRPP and use of resources; and ensure appropriate training of University researchers and collaborators.

+ Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and transparency.

+ Administration of the HRPP budget

+ Collaborate with colleagues nationally regarding best practices and to maintain benchmarking standards for the HRPP, particularly with partner institutions in the Big Ten Academic Alliance.

+ Attend and present at regional and national conferences, to pursue ongoing professional education, and to stay current on federal regulation, guidance and accreditation standards.

+ Oversee all external reporting to federal and accrediting agencies and the maintenance of AAHRPP accreditation.

Education and Experience:

+ Master’s degree or higher and 10+ years of experience with human subject research, human subject research-related activities, or an equivalent combination of education and experience, including 5+ years of supervisory experience.

+ CIP (Certified IRB Professional) credential is required

+ In depth understanding of laws, rules, and regulations governing human subject research

Skills and Abilities:

+ Excellent written and verbal communication with a commitment to transparency

+ Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail

+ Ability to manage a large team while facilitating communication and consistency across a remote office

+ Ability to work effectively with researchers and prioritize flexibility and problem solving in a dynamic environment

+ Ability to multi-task, analyze complex situations, and develop actionable solutions

+ Ability to exercise sound, independent judgment and discretion and maintain confidentiality

+ Proven effectiveness as a networker, communicator, problem-solver, and negotiator, with a strong customer-service orientation

+ Proficiency with Microsoft Office

Preferred Qualifications:

+ Knowledge of and experience with electronic data management systems.

+ Knowledge of and experience with AAHRPP standards and accreditation requirements.

+ Knowledge of HIPAA regulations and state laws governing privacy and security of protected health information.

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusive excellence that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusive excellence as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

Penn State offers competitive benefits to full-time employees, including medical, dental, vision, and retirement plans, in addition to tuition discounts (75% discount for spouse and children), and paid holidays. Please visit for more detailed information.

The salary range for this position, including all possible grades is:

$109,300.00 - $164,000.00

Salary Structure ( - additional information on Penn State's job and salary structure.


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Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.


Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

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University Park, PA

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