Research Review

Southcentral Foundation practices Tribal ownership of research. So, what does that mean?  It means the Alaska Native Community is in charge of research that involves the customer-owner population. SCF Research facilitates the Research Review process, which SCF put in place to review all research requests.

In addition to SCF’s Research Review process, research occurring on the Alaska Native Health Campus may need approval by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) and the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board (AAIRB).

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Tribal Review

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium reviews health related abstracts, manuscripts and proposals. Submissions are reviewed by Abstracts, Manuscript and Proposal Review Committee (AMP-RC), Health Research Review Committee (HRRC), and the Board of Directors. Questions regarding ANTHC review can be mailed electronically to

Alaska Ar­­­ea Institutional Review Board

The Alaska Area Institutional Review Board (AAIRB) is sponsored by the Indian Health Service Director’s Office who serves the tribal health organizations and tribes of Alaska. The role of the AAIRB is to help ensure that all human participant research observes three principles from the Belmont Report:

1.       Respect for persons
2.       Beneficence
3.       Justice

In addition to the Belmont principles, the Alaska Area IRB follows federal regulations 45 CFR 46 and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations when reviewing research with Alaska Native people in the Alaska Tribal Health System.

For more information, please email: To submit a project to the Alaska Area IRB please proceed to

Contact Us

Research and Data Services
Nuka Learning and Wellness Center
4085 Tudor Centre Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99508

(907) 729-8623


The SCF Research Review involves the following groups:

  • SCF Research Department
  • SCF Executive Committee and/or SCF Board of Directors

Acknowledging the History
Historically, people unfamiliar with the Native Community and culture conducted research on Alaska Native people. Researchers came to our home communities, stayed long enough to gather information and left without sharing  results with us. In some cases, Alaska Native people did not even know they were part of a research study.

Research Today
Research today is different.  The United States has different laws for research and informed consent requirements. Now, Tribal health organizations like Southcentral Foundation oversee research. Southcentral Foundation is even involved in prioritizing which topics  to study. More Alaska Native people are doing the research. Because of research, we create new programs to meet the needs of the Native Community.

SCF Research Review approval is a multi-step process that starts at the conception of the research project and continues through dissemination of project finding. Each step in the review process can take 2-4 months. These steps are listed in the SCF Research Review Tracker. Keep in mind these steps are sequential, rather than concurrent. In other words, approval at Step 1: Concept Proposal is required prior to initiating Step 2: Alaska Area IRB. At each step, you will receive and update via letter or email, notifying you of the project’s approval status and indicating the next step.

Each group in SCF Research Review ensures research meets the following criteria:
• Project is research, as defined in the Definition of Research Questions.
• Research is aligned with SCF Vision, Mission, Key Points, Corporate Goals and Corporate Initiatives.
• Research provides respectful depiction and involvement of the Native Community.
• Research topics are handled appropriately. For example, sensitive topics like alcohol use require extra care.
• Quality of research design is according to SCF standards.

Unsure if your project is research?

  • Consider the Office for Human Research Protections guidance (
  • Review the Definition of Research Questions.
  • Submit Definition of Research Questions and the Concept Proposal Summary Form to
  • Definition of Research
    “A systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.” – Department of Health and Human Services
    “Any experiment that involves a test article and one or more human subjects.” – Food and Drug Administration

To submit for SCF Research Review please email Please contact SCF Research for submission due dates.

Step 1. Concept Proposal Approval – Submit the completed SCF Concept Approval Form and the associated Requirements of Researchers Form to

Step 2. AAIRB Approval – Once your concept proposal is approved by SCF you will need to obtain approval from the I.H.S. Alaska Area Institutional Review Board (AAIRB). Include a copy of your concept proposal approval letter from SCF when submitting your application.

For more information on the AAIRB submission process please contact the AAIRB office at:
Phone:  (907) 729-3924

Step 3. Privacy Consultation – If AAIRB requires you to complete a Privacy Consult, please contact SCF at (907) 729-4200.

Step 4. Proposal Approval – Once you have completed the previous steps, you may then submit your research proposal to SCF. Please email the SCF Proposal Summary Form and the associated Requirements of Researchers Form to

Step 5. SCF Research Agreement

Step 6. Conduct Research – Once all previous steps have been successfully completed, you may begin your research.

Step 7. Provide Annual Study Update  – Each year your project is open we ask that you please complete an annual update. Please submit the AAIRB Status Report and Renewal Application form to

Step 8. Obtain approval for dissemination of findings – At the end of your project before any results are shared, please submit for approval of Abstracts, Manuscripts, and Final Reports. Please submit the SCF Abstracts, Manuscript, Final Report Summary Form and associated Requirements of Researchers Form to

SCF promotes objectivity in research by establishing standards that provide a reasonable expectation that the design, conduct, and reporting of research performed under a federally sponsored grant or cooperative agreement will be free from bias resulting from investigator Financial Conflict of Interest. SCF’s Research Financial Conflict of Interest Procedure provides SCF’s written, enforced policy on conflict of interest and informs each Investigator of the Investigator’s reporting requirements.