About Us

Committee Charter

Responsibilities of the Committee

The Committee shall affirm and support the ongoing commitment to protect Stanford student athletes as research participants. The role of SaROC will complement but not disrupt current research procedures including Department review, where applicable, and IRB oversight.

To improve the likelihood of operational success of research programs, the duties and responsibilities of SaROC include the following:

1. Review of operational feasibility:

  • A multifaceted review of each proposed project that involves Stanford student athletes to evaluate the adequacy of the proposed operational infrastructure, the student athlete time commitment, and ensure adequate recruitment population.
  • Annual review of all ongoing research with Stanford student athletes, including tracking key research study metrics and evaluating successes and any potential barriers


2. Communication pathways:

  • Develop a communication plan between researchers, SaROC members, and the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (DAPER) leadership to engender support for potentially high profile research and population, as well as enhance collaboration between the groups.
  • Disseminate information regarding ongoing research involving Stanford student athletes to coaches and athletic staff, while promoting the role of SaROC as a platform for student athletes and their families to voice any issues with ongoing research.
  • Provide oversight of regulatory and compliance issues.
  • Strengthen DAPER research infrastructure by rolling-out a Clinical Trials Management System and provide training/education as needed. 


3. Dissemination of research results to stakeholders:

  • Establish a mechanism for timely notification to student athletes and their physicians regarding any research findings including incidental findings and results of research.


Benefits to the Researcher

  • Researchers will be able to leverage the infrastructure and relationships developed by SaROC in DAPER to better navigate the Athletics landscape.
  • SaROC can assess operational feasibility of studies for researchers prior to IRB submission and approval, thereby preventing the loss of researcher’s valuable resources on studies that will have a low chance of recruitment and operational success.
  • Access to cutting edge resources and compliance-centered support provided by the Stanford Center for Clinical Research, including the new Clinical Trials Management System.


Authority of the Committee

The SaROC is committed to avoid an onerous process. The procedural workflows will be designed with simplicity, ease of use, and efficiency in mind. SaROC review can either occur in parallel with, or prior to established institutional research requirements, based on needs of the investigator. As such, regulatory bodies such as the IRB and FDA will continue to maintain their positions of authority in allowing/disallowing the conduct of research studies. SaROC will evaluate whether or not to support access to student athletes as a research population.


PI Appeals

Investigators who wish to appeal the recommendations put forth by the committee may do so by detailing the reasons for their appeal in an email to Stanford_saroc@stanford.edu. A representative from the committee will contact them, and the investigator may be invited to the next in-person SaROC meeting to continue the appeal process. All SaROC members who are present will vote to decide whether or not to alter the initial recommendations.


Board Composition

SaROC will be composed of key stakeholders, including representatives from: Neurosurgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, DAPER, athletic teams, coaching staff, and the Stanford Center for Clinical Research.  Ad hoc representatives from various disciplines may be brought in, as needed, for their expertise.


Committee Members:

Medicine, Stanford Center for Clinical Research - Kenneth Mahaffey, MD (Co-Chair)

Medicine, Stanford Center for Clinical Research - Sumana Shashidhar

                        Medicine, Stanford Center for Clinical Research – Susan Saba (Administrative Support)

Orthopaedic Surgery/Sports Medicine – Geoffrey Abrams, MD (Co-Chair)

Orthopaedic Surgery - Bill Maloney, MD (Co-Chair)

Orthopaedic Surgery/Sports Medicine –Calvin Hwang, MD

Neurosurgery - Gerald Grant, MD

Athletic Training Director/Sports Medicine -  Anthony Pass & Sarah Lyons