When research is sponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD), additional regulations apply [DoD Instruction Number 3216.02]. The purpose of this guidance is to assist researchers in meeting these requirements.

Research is considered sponsored by the DoD if any of the following conditions are met.

  1. The research is funded by a component of the DoD (Navy, Army, Air Force, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and United States Joint Forces Command);
  2. The research involves cooperation, collaboration, or other type of agreement with a component of the DoD;
  3. The research uses property, facilities, or assets of a component of the DoD; or
  4. The subject population will intentionally include personnel (military or civilian) from a component of the DoD.

In order to conduct DoD sponsored studies, researchers must:

  1. Obtain a scientific review of the protocol and provide a letter confirming the scientific merit of the project;
  2. Provide verification of ethics training completion. The DoD component will compare this to their requirement; and
  3. Identify a research monitor if the research is greater than minimal risk.

DoD Funded

If the study is funded by the DoD, a Human Research Protection Official Review is required and should be conducted by the unit funding the project. This review confirms that the research is covered by a federal-wide assurance, that the risk is reasonable, and the proposal validates the federal requirements. This process should be initiated by the researcher with the assistance of the DoD program manager.

Enrolling DoD Personnel

If the study is not funded by the DoD, but will enroll DoD personnel (civilian or military), then the study requires review from the local command that oversees the personnel. It is the researcher’s responsibility to contact the local command. If a study enrolling DoD personnel is greater than minimal risk, there may be additional review requirements.

If enrolling Army personnel: Army Human Research Protections Office (AHRPO); usarmy.ncr.hqda-otsg.mbx.usarmy-ncr-hqda-otsg-mailbox-otsg--ahrp@mail.mil; 703-681-6565

If enrolling Air Force personnel: Air Force Research Laboratory; 711HPW.IR.dl.all@wpafb.af.mil; 937-904-8100

If enrolling Navy or Marines personnel: Office of Naval Research; sevgi.bullock@navy.mil; 703-696-2864

The researcher should contact the corresponding office to determine whether their review is required.

DoD Equipment

If the study involves using borrowed DoD equipment and there is a transfer agreement in place, review is required by the unit who is responsible for the contract or agreement. The researcher should contact the individual responsible for the contract. Under most circumstances, if the equipment was purchased rather than borrowed from the DoD, review is not required. It is the researcher’s responsibility to determine whether the equipment is borrowed and to identify the person responsible for reviewing the study.  

DoD Collaborations

If the study is a collaboration with DoD personnel, OSU has the option to rely on the DoD IRB review. In this circumstance, OSU would not need to review the study and we would enter into an agreement with the DoD IRB. The researchers should obtain approval from the DoD IRB first, then contact the OSU IRB. It is the responsibility of the DoD Collaborator to obtain DoD IRB approval. The OSU IRB will need the DoD documents and approval notice, and the OSU-specific supplement.

In order to issue approval documents, documentation confirming that the above steps have been taken must be submitted by the PI.

Additional Tips and Exceptions

  • If DoD sponsored research will be conducted outside of the U.S., the study must be approved by a local IRB.
  • For additional assistance with meeting the requirements, contact the program officer or manager, or the Department of the Navy, Army Human Research Protections Office, or the Air Force Research Laboratory directly.
  • If Army Soldiers will be surveyed, contact the Army Research Institute (ARI) for their survey request form.

Current Contact Information