How did the Love Research Army get started?
Dr. Susan Love, like many members of the breast cancer community, was frustrated by the slow advancements in learning what causes breast cancer and how to prevent it. In order to learn more about the causes, prevention, and treatment of cancer, researchers need to work with volunteers to explore possible solutions. Scientists, however, told Dr. Love that they did not know how to find the women who would be interested in taking part in the studies that were needed to end this disease. Without people to participate in studies, new and innovative research solutions are impossible.
Dr. Love realized that women and men want to help find breast cancer solutions and are willing to participate in studies -- they just didn't know that they were needed! From this, the idea was born of an Love Research Army, ready to serve science.
Is this the same program as the Army of Women?
Yes! In 2020, after recognizing over 10 years as the Army of Women, we changed our name to Love Research Army to better reflect the Dr. Susan Love Foundation's longstanding commitment to fostering inclusive research. You may see references to the Army of Women, or AOW, in previous study reports, webinars, and publications.
Why did the Avon Foundation for Women provide seed funding for this initiative?
The Avon Foundation for Women is one of the largest private funders of breast cancer research. As a result, they understood how difficult it can be for researchers to find volunteers for research studies. They recognized the need for the Love Research Army and provided a grant to the Dr. Susan Love Foundation to make it happen.
Why is it called the Love Research Army?
Is the Love Research Army a tissue bank?
How does the Love Research Army work and how do I apply to utilize it for recruitment?
Interested women and men register on the Love Research Army website. Signup is easy: members are asked to provide basic information such as name, age, ethnicity, and city of residence.
All researchers interested in using the Love Research Army as a recruitment resource must register with the Love Research Army and submit a project proposal. We accept applications for letters of support and recruitment requests for funded studies.
The Foundation research team reviews letter of support requests and, if approved, provides a letter and cost sheet for your funding application.
The Foundation research team and members of our external Scientific Advisory Committee -- comprised of researchers, clinicians, and advocates -- review each recruitment request, ensuring the project is feasible for the Love Research Army and is ethical and safe in its design. Researchers whose studies are approved work with the Foundation research team to create content for our Love Research Army study eblasts and website. Before we open recruitment for your study, we require documentation of your IRB's approval of all materials.
When we open recruitment for your study, volunteers can self-select to participate through our eblast or directly on our Love Research Army website. We want to ensure that investigators are connected with good candidates for their study. To facilitate this goal, we have all interested participants go through an initial online screening process. Participants who self-select and are deemed appropriate are then connected with the research team. We will work with you to determine the best format for connecting you with eligible volunteers.
Love Research Army volunteers who RSVP for a study will agree to have their contact information shared with the researcher for the sole purpose of screening and scheduling. Researchers agree not to share volunteer contact information or biologic samples with third parties or use the samples for purposes other than those outlined in the protocol for which the Love Research Army volunteer consented and the Dr. Susan Love Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee approved.
Can for-profit companies have access to the Love Research Army?
What is the IRB approval policy?
The Love Research Army requires researchers to agree to follow the provisions of the "Common Rule" (45CFR46) federal human subjects regulations and obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval before receiving biological samples or access to the Love Research Army for their research. While these regulations currently do not apply to institutions that do not receive federal support, the Love Research Army policy requires all researchers utilizing the Love Research Army to follow the Common Rule.
Researchers will be required to obtain the appropriate IRB approval from their institution's IRB prior to recruitment.
If the researcher does not have an established IRB at his or her institution/organization, the researcher should use a central IRB. Alternatively, a researcher may use the services of the AAHRPP. For an accredited list of IRBs see AAHRPP's accredited organizations.
All researchers should be aware of how the federal human subjects' regulations apply to the use of human biological samples. If you are unfamiliar with the IRB approval process and would like guidance on how to proceed, please contact the Love Research Army staff.