About NAVREF, the National Association of Veterans’ Research and Education Foundations

About NAVREF, the National Association of Veterans’ Research and Education Foundations



Formed in 1992, the National Association of Veterans’ Research and Education Foundations (NAVREF) is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization of research and education foundations affiliated with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. These nonprofits, also known as the VA-affiliated nonprofit research and education corporations (NPCs), are authorized by Congress under 38 USC §§7361-7366 to provide flexible funding mechanisms for the conduct of research and education at VA facilities nationwide. Currently, NAVREF has 80 members.  NAVREF staff consists of a Chief Executive Officer, Association Assistant, and Conference Planner.

Vision, Mission and Values

Vision: NAVREF envisions a nation in which veterans receive the finest care based on innovative research and education.

Mission: NAVREF’s mission is to advance the success of the VA-affiliated research and education corporations.

Values: The membership, board, and staff of NAVREF value:

  • Transformative research
  • Partnership in vibrant VA research and education programs
  • Respectful, collegial and transparent relations and communications with stakeholders
  • Integrity in governance and management
  • Proactive leadership and high quality management
  • Advocacy for research that advances care for veterans

New Direction

To advance care for veterans, NAVREF strives to facilitate the conduct of clinical research trials in VA medical centers by serving as an “information clearing house” between industry (sponsors and contract research organizations) and VAMCs/NPCs.  The VA offers more than 9 million patients, a nationwide electronic medical record, a centralized IRB, master cooperative agreements that do not require local review, a proven clinical trial infrastructure, a revised approach to intellectual property that is industry-friendly, and a diverse and selfless patient population willing to serve for the greater good.  Historically, industry has had difficulty finding the right entry points at individual VA hospitals, navigating the extensive VA bureaucracy, and negotiating on a site-by-site basis—all obstacles that NAVREF can help reduce.

NAVREF will close the information gap by (a) serving as a central repository of information and contacts (one-stop shop), (b) directing industry to the right personnel in the right facilities to expedite identification of clinical trial sites, and (c) alerting VAMCs/NPCs to industry needs and practices and specific clinical trial opportunities that align with each facility’s capabilities.