Strategic Plan

PRIM&R intends for the Strategic Plan to serve as a guide for its future work.

PRIM&R's Strategic Plan

PRIM&R's Strategic Plan

In February 2016, PRIM&R began implementing a five-year strategic plan. PRIM&R intends for the Strategic Plan to serve as a guide for its future work, and be a living, dynamic document. PRIM&R will regularly review and evaluate the impact it is having through the implementation of this strategic plan, and learn from that evaluation ways to strengthen programming and the organization.

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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Vision 2026

PRIM&R’s Mission

PRIM&R advances the highest ethical standards in the conduct of biomedical, social science, and behavioral research. We accomplish this mission through education, membership services, professional certification, public policy initiatives, and community building.

PRIM&R’s Vision 2026

PRIM&R envisions a world in which all stakeholders in the research enterprise share an understanding of and commitment to the centrality of ethics to advancing science and medicine, as exemplified through research policies and practices that align with the highest ethical standards in research.

This ten-year vision is ambitious and will be accomplished in collaboration with strong and willing partners. Tangible outcomes of achieving this vision include:

  • Ethics, human rights, and animal welfare are at the forefront of the collective conversation about excellence in scientific research;
  • Governmental policies and regulations are aligned and simplified
  • Critical thinking about research ethics is preeminent over concerns about regulatory compliance
  • A better informed public has led to a larger and more diverse group of people engaged in the research enterprise as participants and partners;
  • Scientific advances occur with few incidents of ethical breaches; and
  • Institutional cultures have evolved such that ethics oversight committees are embraced as helpful collaborators in the research endeavor.

The Path to 2026

PRIM&R plans to expand the range of activities we undertake and the constituencies we serve, and increase our visibility to a range of audiences, including regulators, the lay public, and principal investigators.

We will continue to create and execute high-quality education focusing on both research oversight administration and broader ethical themes, using the most advanced and effective innovations in knowledge transfer. In addition, PRIM&R will explore conducting its own research and demonstration projects where we see knowledge gaps, and will disseminate the results widely.

PRIM&R will use its global reputation to convene a variety of stakeholders and whose interests align with PRIM&R’s around promoting excellence in research. Together, we will influence policy, legislation, and best practices around research. Finally, as a result of our thought-leadership and strategic use of traditional and social media, PRIM&R will foster the public’s understanding of and trust in the research enterprise.

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.


  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.


  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. 


  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.


  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.

Cross-cutting Themes

Cross-cutting themes are important considerations that may impact operations and outcomes of an organization and, therefore, influence goal-setting across priority areas, as appropriate. Based on PRIM&R’s expressed vision and priorities, the following cross-cutting themes are highlighted as key considerations when establishing specific goals, activities, and measurable objectives.

  • Diversity: Diversity feeds innovation. PRIM&R has engaged in an active Diversity Initiative to address multiple levels of diversity gaps. We will broaden efforts to achieve diversity in people, pedagogy, culture, and ideas across all internal and external organizational programs and activities.
  • Leadership Development: There is a constant need to consider the leadership development pipeline. Across all priorities, we will seek mindful opportunities to expand leadership skills and leadership roles.
  • Organizational Visibility: In order to have broad influence among the public, investigators, and legislators at the national and local level, we will focus on increasing our visibility across all of our priorities, goals, and objectives.
  • Global Relevance: Through international conference scholarships, global memberships, programming, and our track record of establishing in-country collaborations, PRIM&R has been a resource to research enterprises worldwide. Continued consideration for how we can serve as a model educator and convener, make available our human and intellectual resources, and increase our visibility globally, will weave across all priorities.
  • Strategic Partnerships: PRIM&R’s vision is ambitious and will not be achieved alone, but rather in collaboration with strong and willing partners. Where appropriate across priorities, PRIM&R will seek to establish formal partnerships with organizations that share our goals and complement our strengths, thereby increasing our reach and impact.

Cross-cutting themes may not always apply, but they will be consistently considered.