Strategic Priorities

To achieve our vision PRIM&R has established three strategic priorities for impact and one strategic operational priority. The four strategic priorities are framed in terms of outcomes or end states that PRIM&R hopes to achieve over the next five years. Each priority includes a set of goals that PRIM&R will pursue to reach each of these outcomes.

 The goals established take into consideration a set of cross-cutting themes. An implementation workplan specifies the activities, timelines, and measures of success that PRIM&R will undertake to reach those goals and hence achieve these outcomes.

Jump to the strategic priorities:

I. Leading provider of high quality, relevant, and innovative education
II. Developer of knowledge, resources, and services that fill gaps and address barriers
III. Thought leader and influential change agent
IV. Strong, nimble, and sustainable organization

I.    PRIM&R is a leading provider of high quality, relevant, and innovative education in the research ethics/oversight field.


  1. Augment our high-quality educational programming to continue to addresses both broad ethics themes and best administrative practices in research oversight. When appropriate, consider expanding targeted audiences.
  2. Explore and expand the use of innovative teaching technologies and techniques to deliver educational programming that is accessible and appropriate to adult learners with a variety of learning styles. Evaluate how such innovations help PRIM&R deliver programming that is more timely, relevant, and responsive to educational needs.
  3. Invest in faculty development to enhance effectiveness of PRIM&R’s educational programs.

Rationale: Education has always been at the very core of what PRIM&R does, an endeavor for which we have long been recognized for excellence. As we envision a future in which there is ongoing improvement in the caliber of research, and where those involved in research have a greater understanding of the ethical issues involved, increased flexibility in identifying and adapting to changes in research methods and societal expectations, and enhanced capacity to apply best practices in their daily work, PRIM&R’s role in disseminating knowledge will be of even higher importance. To meet the evolving needs of the field, we intend to build from our strengths and provide to our constituents timely, responsive educational programming that incorporates best practices around adult learning and utilizes cutting edge technologies.

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II.    PRIM&R is a developer of knowledge, resources, and services that fill gaps and address barriers to advancing ethical research.


  1. Develop a method to conduct routine 'environmental' scans in order to identify existing barriers, new barriers, and potential gaps, and ascertain where PRIM&R can intervene.
  2. Increase PRIM&R’s impact and authority by proactively creating original content, products, and resources to address identified knowledge barriers and gaps.
  3. Strengthen the capacity and the community of research oversight professionals.

Rationale: PRIM&R recognizes that research and ethical oversight continues to evolve. Barriers, such as a complex and slow-to-change regulatory structure, an emphasis on compliance at the expense of ethical principles, and a lack of time and resources dedicated to incorporating best practices, stand in the way of advancing good, ethical research.  Moreover, we understand that stakeholders in the research enterprise benefit from sharing knowledge, learning about best practices, and engaging with the challenging ethical issues that arise in our field. PRIM&R intends to identify these barriers and knowledge gaps, and, collaborating with relevant partners to address these barriers, develop projects and produce products (e.g., white papers, toolkits) that help to create new knowledge and thereby support the field’s needs. 

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III.    PRIM&R is a thought leader and influential change agent across the research enterprise, from researchers and oversight committees to regulators, legislators, policymakers, and the public.


  1. Strengthen internal capacity to nimbly respond to time-sensitive ethical debates or events, and rapidly engage other core constituencies to amplify our viewpoints.
  2. In the interest of informing the broad public, PRIM&R will identify and address emergent and major ethical concerns/questions, focusing on an expanded constituency, including the media, advocates, and citizen action groups, as well as our customary stakeholders and policymakers.
  3. Explore and establish best practices for PRIM&R to effectively engage with regulators and policymakers, including state and federal legislators.

Rationale: With our depth of knowledge and expertise in educating oversight committees and others in the research field, the research oversight community already looks to PRIM&R for guidance about public policy issues involving research with human subjects and animals. We recognize that, given our reputation and expertise, we are well positioned to broaden our thought leadership role.  To help transform the field and advance better laws, policies, and practices, over the next five years PRIM&R intends to raise our prominence and influence among a variety of stakeholders in the research enterprise, including industry and the public, and use that influence to align common interests in promoting excellent and ethical research.
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IV.    PRIM&R is a strong, nimble, and sustainable organization with the infrastructure and capacities needed to reach our vision and implement innovative programming. (Strategic Operational Priority)


  1. Attract, develop, and retain quality and diverse staff with appropriate expertise to develop and execute innovative programming.
  2. Ensure an active, engaged, and productive Board of Directors that offers strategic leadership in order to guide PRIM&R to be strong, nimble, and sustainable.  
  3. Strengthen PRIM&R financially, with diverse revenue streams and an ongoing commitment to socially responsible investing.
  4. Ensure PRIM&R has the organizational infrastructure (including information technology, marketing, and equipment) to implement the three aforementioned Strategic Priorities for Impact.

Rationale: PRIM&R has been recognized for the strength and capacities of our staff, board, members, and volunteers. To reach our ambitious vision for the future, we understand the need to invest in our own organizational development. Therefore, this priority area is intended to underscore what we need to do as an organization in order to achieve our other priorities.  Over the next five years, we intend to promote best practices for human and financial resource development, governance, brand recognition, and adaptive capacity in order to be in the best position possible to sustain current activities and to implement strategic growth.

We welcome your questions or comments on our plan, and invite you to share how PRIM&R programming has enabled you to make an impact in your professional life and at your institution.

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