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Research Integrity

Advancing the safety, ethics and quality of research throughout Children’s Mercy 

The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) at the Children's Mercy Research Institute (CMRI) facilitates, promotes and supports research that is safe, ethical and of the highest possible quality. Led by Saskia Derritt, the ORI team fosters a unique collaborative environment that upholds the foundational ethical principles of respect, beneficence, and justice and meets the highest standards of scientific and professional integrity. 

ORI provides federally mandated oversight and administrative process support to several CMRI programs and committees that aim to ensure research conducted at the CMRI is safe and ethical. 

As a key component of the Human Research Protection Program at Children’s Mercy, the IRB ensures that all research studies meet the highest ethical standards and that the rights of study participants are protected.


Assists study teams in properly managing the complexities of collaborative research and IRB reliance agreements.  


Oversees research involving potentially hazardous biological agents as well as recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid molecules.


Ensures that all research studies involving the use of animals are necessary and conducted with sound procedures, appropriate training and the highest standards for animal welfare.  


A copy of the Annual Report on Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research conducted at Children's Mercy can be requested by email to or by mail to:

Institutional Human Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (IHSCRO)
Children's Mercy Research Institute
Children's Mercy Kansas City
2401 Gillham Road
Kansas City, MO 64108


Innovations for research participants and families

ORI is responsible for several unique, high-impact innovations to support research at the CMRI.

Working with the local chapter of the International Children’s Advisory Network (KIDS KC), ORI developed sample protocols and consent forms and trained the kids on research ethics and the role of the IRB.

Health Literacy and IRB review

In collaboration with the Children’s Mercy Health Literacy Committee, this program involves strategies for incorporating more health literacy principles and concepts into consent forms.

Translation Program

Our award-winning Translation Program supports the translation of study materials into other languages of interest with the aim of eliminating one of the barriers (cost of translations) to encourage investigators to enroll more diverse study populations.

Key information in consent forms

Driven by the requirement that consent forms begin with “key information,” ORI worked with KIDS KC and the Rare Diseases Patient Family Advisory Council on the information essential to include for families to decide whether participation in a study is right for their child.

Focus on inclusion and diversity on IRB

ORI is committed to increasing the number of community members on the IRB to ensure that membership represents diverse populations.

Innovations for investigators

ORI Fellowship program

A three-month introductory training opportunity designed to provide core research practice knowledge in human subjects protections and quality management best practices.

IRB performance analytics

An analytics platform for monitoring and evaluating key metrics ensure the CMRI meets overall performance expectations and to allow for tailored department- and individual investigator-level feedback.

Smart IRB initiative

The CMRI is a member of the Smart IRB initiative, a platform addressing the challenges that come with launching multi-institutional research studies.

Customer-oriented support services

ORI offers several innovative services to investigators and study teams, including a translation program, eConsent, high-level pre-review of submissions, job aids, and student onboarding processes.

Integrated IRB, IBC and IACUC services

With ORI supports all three regulatory committees at the CMRI, providing highly integrated services and consistency for investigators and study teams.

Research Quality Monitoring Program

ORI initiated the Research Quality Monitoring Program at the CMRI, and the program has been fully integrated into Clinical Research Operations.

Participant rights

Learn more about what clinical research is and the rights of research participants.