HHSA has an established process for the authorization of requests to conduct research involving HHSA resources and to monitor ongoing research activities. All persons, organizations, and institutions planning to conduct research involving County of San Diego HHSA resources shall obtain written authorization from the Director of the associated HHSA Department/Office, HHSA Compliance representative, and the Director of the Office of Strategy and Innovation (OSI) prior to the start of the research and when there are amendments to research practices, policy, data, or timelines.
This site is intended to provide detailed instructions on how to navigate the HHSA research request process for both the interested researcher and the involved internal Department/Office(s). Please refer to the below sections most applicable to you for further information.
On this page:
All persons, organizations, and institutions planning to conduct research involving County of San Diego HHSA resources must submit all applicable documents specified in the policy/procedure to the impacted Departments/Office(s). The HHSA Department/Office(s) shall be the primary point of contact for all interested parties and will conduct the initial application review based on their internal process. Each respective Department/Office may develop additional internal policies and/or procedures that are more specific as necessary to guide the research review and oversight in their organizations. Research applications will additionally be reviewed by HHSA OSI and HHSA Compliance, similarly based on their internal policies and/or procedures. The final application decision will be communicated to the interested party by the appropriate Department/Office.
Overview of Steps
Step 1: Review Guidelines for Authorizing Research
Using HHSA Resources, Identify Department/Office(s) of interest to
conduct research with, and contact appropriate Department/Office(s)
about research idea (see Contact List below).
Step 2: Download and complete documents needed for research application (Appendix A), with the Adobe Acrobat desktop application. Refer to Department/Office(s) contact for assistance.
*If there are issues with opening the above Appendix A document, please refer to the FAQs section of this website for additional assistance.
Step 3: Submit application documents to the appropriate Department/Office(s) contact for review and approval.
Please view the Process Map for Researchers for more information.
Parties who are interested in conducting research using HHSA resources shall be directed to submit all applicable documents to the impacted Department/Office(s). Each Department/Office(s) shall utilize their internal policies and/or procedures to complete an initial application review. For approved applications, an HHSA Research Request Form (link) must be completed by the Department/Office to inform HHSA OSI of a new research request. HHSA OSI will conduct an application review, based on their own policies and/or procedures and forward to HHSA Compliance for review, once approved. All communication regarding HHSA research applications will be between HHSA OSI, Compliance, and the impacted Department/Office(s) and the final application decision will be communicated to the interested party by the appropriate Department/Office. For approved applications, researchers will continue to work with the Department/Office(s) to commence HHSA Agreements, if applicable, and provide the ongoing requirements for the duration of study.
Overview of Steps
Step 1: Serve as the point of contact for Researcher and provide assistance on application documents as needed.
Step 2: Review and determine research request application and all associated documentation required.
Step 3: Complete HHSA Research Submission Form to submit research request application, all associated documentation from the Researcher, and the HHSA Data Fields Request.
Detailed instructions can be found in Appendix B linked below.
HHSA Data Fields Request | Source system(s) used and data fields to be provided to researcher
Please view the Process Map for Department/Office(s) for more information.
Please refer to the HHSA Research Application Decision Tree to determine whether a research application is needed.
Below are downloadable and printable documents for authorizing research using HHSA Resources.
- Guidelines for Authorizing Research Using HHSA Resources
- Applications Documents
- Appendix A | Application/Instructions for Researchers
- Appendix B | Instructions for Department/Office(s)
- Appendix C | Amendment Form for Research
- HHSA Data Fields Request | Source system(s) used & data fields to be provided to researcher
Below are the contacts of the HHSA Department/Office(s) for inquiries about research.
Department/Office: Aging & Independence Services
Contact: Kristen Smith
Contact: Balambal Bharti
and Community Development Services
Contact: Julio Villarreal
Contact: Jamie Beam
Contact: Alejandra Gutierrez
Department/Office: Behavioral Health Services
Contact: BHS Research Team
Department/Office: First 5
Contact: Hunter Watson
Department/Office: Homeless Solutions and Equitable Communities
Contact: Chim Lau
Department/Office: Public Health Services
Contact: Ankita Kadakia
HHSA Research FAQs
How do I know if this is considered Research?
Please refer to the HHSA Research Application Decision Tree.
How do I start a research project?
Review Instructions for Researcher and Overview of Steps.
Who do I contact to start a research project?
Review the Department/Office(s) Contacts list to determine what Department/Office(s) you would like to conduct research with.
Where can I submit my application?
Contact the liason(s) in the Department/Office(s) you are applying with to conduct research to submit your application with them.
Is the research process different for a County employee or Contractor?
The research process is the same for everyone, whether it be an internal or external request.
What is the expected timeframe for a research application?
The research application processing time varies depending on the review requirements of each Department/Office as well as OSI, HHSA Compliance, and any applicable agreements that need to be put in place. OSI reserves 30 days for initial review after receiving a complete and approved application from a Department/Office.
- Why is my project approval experiencing delays?
How do I get my project extended?
Contact the liason(s) in the Department/Office(s) you are applying with to conduct research to discuss an extension.
Does HHSA grant or work with educational institutions for IRB approval?
The researcher must pursue IRB approval on their own. HHSA does not grant IRB approval or work with any institutions to do so.
Does HHSA review applications without an IRB approval?
All research applications must include an IRB review and approval. If the IRB review results in an IRB exemption then the IRB review package in which the exemption was obtained must be submitted in lieu of an IRB approval.
Why am I receiving an error message when attempting to open Appendix A |
Application/Instructions for Researcher?
Appendix A is an PDF form that utilizes dynamic features. Due to this, this document is required to be downloaded and opened with the Adobe Acrobat desktop application. Download the file by navigating to the document. Right click to save link as or alternatively open the file and download to your local computer. Open the file with the Adobe desktop application, not through your browser.