Translating Research Into Health Benefits: Returning Research Results & Incidental Findings

Award Amount
Project Dates
08/01/2012 to 07/31/2014
Principal Investigator
Susan M. Wolf, JD (Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences)


This 2-year project generated multiple articles on the question of how to handle incidental findings (IFs) and individual research results (IRRs). The question of whether researchers should return IFs and IRRs of clinical significance challenges the traditional line drawn between research and clinical care, a line fundamental to the structure of research practice, health law, and bioethics. At stake is how we conduct human subjects research, its relationship to clinical care, and whether we can harvest the potential health benefits to individuals flowing from research without unduly burdening that research effort. 


Project outcomes

  • Journal articles on the public health, public policy, legal, and ethical implications
  • Presentations in a range of high-profile venues to shape policy and practice.