Webinar: Soldiers as Subjects: What IRBs and DOD-Funded Investigators Need to Know about Research with Military Personnel

Thursday, December 5 | 2:30-3:45 PM ET

View the webinar recording:


Research is an important way to develop knowledge and tools to help military personnel throughout the course of their careers in areas such as training and fitness, psychological resilience, infectious disease prevention and treatment, trauma medicine, and rehabilitation. The imperative to advance the health and performance of service members must be fulfilled through ethical and compliant human subjects research. During this webinar, speakers from the Department of Defense (DOD) will introduce key regulatory requirements, specific population considerations, and best practices for including service members in research. Investigators will learn how to plan for successful research in this domain, and IRBs will gain an understanding of how to assess service member-centric protocols.


  • DOD-specific requirements for inclusion of service members in research protocols
  • Service members as subjects: considering the needs of a unique population
  • Planning for success: essential elements for protocols that include service members
  • Q&A session

Learning Objectives

After attending this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify the specific regulations that apply to service members in human subjects research
  • Recall requirements specific to DOD as well as ethical considerations for inclusion of service members in research
  • Implement some practical strategies for planning and reviewing protocols that include service members

Who should attend?

This webinar will benefit IRB staff and members as well as investigators conducting research with service members. Attendees should familiarize themselves with DOD Instruction 3216.02 prior to attending this webinar.

Continuing Education

Webinar participants holding the Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) credential may apply 1.25 continuing education credits towards CIP recertification. Learn More »

Speakers and Contributors

Amy Adler, PhD

Amy AdlerAmy Adler, PhD is a senior scientist with the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience and acting director of the Research Transition Office at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). She has led many randomized trials with Army units, published more than 100 articles, and co-edited six books. Dr. Adler is an associate editor of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and received the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Mentor Award in 2017. Her current research interests include small-team culture, behavioral health leadership, rapid intervention to reduce acute stress, and optimizing resilience training efficacy.

Carson Cancel, MA, CIP

Carson CancelCarson Cancel, MA, CIP is the lead on human subjects protection and research integration within the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neurosciences Research at WRAIR, where she serves as a liaison to researchers and the IRB both during protocol development and research execution. Ms. Cancel has worked with the Army over the past fifteen years supporting the IRBs and HRPPs both at WRAIR and the US Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC), to include research portfolios that address both behavioral health research, as well as, infectious disease.

Natalie Klein, PhD, CIP

Natalie KleinNatalie Klein, PhD, CIP is a senior human subjects protection scientist in the Office of Research Protections, USAMRDC, where she serves as a liaison to USAMRDC laboratories and research institutes for challenging issues in human research protections. She is a member of the Ethics and Policy Subgroup of the Biotechnologies for Health and Performance Council established by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. Dr. Klein has been named three times as a top player in the Army S&T Futures Exercise sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology. She received her doctorate in Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 2011 from the University of Rochester as a Beinecke Scholar and is a graduate of Pomona College.

Kimberly Odam, MS, CIP

Kimberly Odam, MS, CIP is deputy director of the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) Office of Research Protection, Human Research Protection Office (HRPO). Her office is responsible for the oversight of human subjects protection of research supported by the USAMRMC. Her office provides regulatory oversight for research conducted by numerous Army and DOD organizations as well as for extramural research conducted in 67 countries and over 1600 institutions. Ms. Odam has served the HRPO for ten years, including senior approval authority for USAMRMC-supported research since 2009 and human subjects protection regulatory liaison to the DOD’s Joint Program Manager- Medical Counter Measures Systems (JPM-MCS). Ms. Odam provides HRPO training for Army and DOD customers and provides coordination of study event reports for USAMRMC supported research. Ms. Odam previously served as research program coordinator and research compliance officer at Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, respectively. Ms. Odam received a Master of Science in Population and Family Health Sciences from the University of Maryland in 1999 and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1997. Ms. Odam completed advanced graduate coursework in Public Health and Advanced Research Methods in 2002. Ms. Odam is a Certified IRB Professional® (CIP). Ms. Odam received the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service in April 2013 for her novel review and approval process to meet program goals to implement a complex global Phase III influenza clinical trial funded by the DOD.

Susan Proctor, DSc

Susan ProctorSusan Proctor, DSc joined the Military Performance Division of the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, in Natick, MA, as research epidemiologist in 2005. In 2015, she was named division chief of the Military Performance Division and oversees the Division team of researchers in the delivery of relevant and scaleable evidence-based solutions to optimize soldier performance. She earned her Master of Science in Nutrition from the Tufts University School of Nutrition in 1985 and Doctor of Science in Environmental Health from the Boston University School of Public Health in 1992. Previously, she was a research health scientist at the VA Boston Healthcare System and Research Associate Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. She continues to hold an appointment as Research Associate at the VA Boston Healthcare System. Dr. Proctor’s research area is environmental and occupational epidemiology, specifically i) the role of military deployment, occupational tasks and traumatic stress on physical and neurological health and quality of life, ii) exposure to neurotoxicants (such as lead, pesticides, and organic solvents) and neurological health outcomes, and iii) validation of both exposure and health outcome assessment methods specifically for use in military field research. Research projects have included several prospective field studies of deployed military personnel (1991 Gulf War veterans, Army National Guard Soldiers deployed to Bosnia, and Operation Iraqi Freedom-deployed US Army Soldiers). She has published 100+ open literature publications and is currently an active member of several Federal Agency (VA, DOD) military and veteran health-related working groups or committees.

Additional Resources

A collection of relevant readings accompany each PRIM&R webinar. Groups that register for webinars receive a discussion guide containing thought-provoking questions and facilitation tips that may help in using the webinar as an educational tool for IRBs.


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