Bioethics Blogs

Giving Back to the Human Community: An Interview with Carole Ehleben

By Nora Murphy, membership assistant

Welcome to another installment of our featured member interviews where we introduce you to our members—individuals who work to advance ethical research on a daily basis. During May, Member Appreciation Month at PRIM&R, we are featuring a new member interview every week! Please read on to learn more about Carole Ehleben, EdD, senior partner at Consultants for Evaluation and Applied Research (CEAR).

Nora Murphy (NM): When and why did you join the field?
Carole Ehleben (CE): By way of background, I’m the senior partner and owner of Consultants for Evaluation and Applied Research (CEAR), a private consulting company. It’s through CEAR that I’ve been a part of the IRB world. I’ve helped establish several new IRBs and worked with existing ones to review standards of function and compliance. Among other roles, I’ve served as IRB administrator for both a public and a private hospital system since the 90s. I entered the field at a time when it was developing and expanding, and initially became involved because of my background in project development and clinical research—there weren’t actual job descriptions for IRB staff then.

NM: What’s one specific challenge that you have faced during your career, and how did you overcome it? 
CE: The most difficult part of establishing an IRB when I started was getting buy-in from the physician investigators. Up until that point, with the exception of large academic institutions, clinical research was largely unregulated in community hospitals and private practices. We achieved buy-in by involving the investigators in every part of the process— helping them develop their proposals and consent forms, having them present and participate in discussions at meetings, and providing training.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.