The University of Central Florida has been recognized for excellence in its research once again, this time by the national accrediting board that oversees the protection of human research subjects. The accreditation, by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) is not a requirement, but it is considered the “gold standard” for human research. “This distinction, recognizable by funding agencies as well as the nation’s leading universities, will allow us to compete more readily for funding in the biomedical area and beyond,” said MJ Soileau, vice president for research and commercialization. UCF’s research funding has grown steadily over the past 11 years and now attracts more than $130 million in each year. The accreditation set UCF apart. Only the University of South Florida has the same accreditation in the state. The accreditation positions UCF well especially as its College of Medicine pursues partnerships including the Veteran’s Administration Hospital under construction in Lake Nona. While many people think of human subjects in terms of clinical trials, the majority of UCF’s participants have been part of studies in the social sciences and education. Trials have focused on everything from new teaching practices in elementary education to taking surveys or testing new software. The accreditation process included a systemic evaluation of all of UCF’s human research protocols, on-campus interviews with deans, researchers and faculty and adjudication by the national board. The accreditation underscores the commitment UCF places on quality in research, said Joseph Bielitzki, the director of UCF’s Institutional Review Board, which is composed of university, hospital and community representatives. “The University of Central Florida is deeply committed to the highest standards in our research endeavors and the accreditation from AAHRPP is absolutely consistent with that quality,” Bielitzki said.