The Clinical Research Center
CRC Request for Assistance Instructions
The Clinical Research Center (CRC) at Boston Children's Hospital is an interdisciplinary, academic, and service research program that provides assistance and education to the clinical research community at Children's. The program directly supports one of Children's core mission areas, to be the leading source of research and discovery, and includes four primary areas of focus:
- clinical research methodology (including biostatistics, epidemiology, survey methods, and informatics);
- collaboration or consultation on the design, conduct, and analysis of clinical research studies;
- education in clinical research methods and practice; and
- clinical research infrastructure for investigators in the design, initiation, conduct and reporting of clinical research with the goal of translating scientific knowledge into new therapies for pediatric conditions. Funding for the CTSU services is from the Harvard Catalyst which is an affiliate-wide effort to facilitate laboratory-to-bedside translational research and to encourage researcher collaboration.
The CRC receives a portion of its support from the hospital as part of the institution's commitment to clinical research. A significant amount of funding also comes from departments/divisions, federal, foundation, and other awards that are obtained by either our staff or the investigators with whom we collaborate. Funding is also prvided from the Harvard Catalyst which is an affiliate-wide effort to facilitate laboratory-to-bedside translational research and to encourage researcher collaboration. As we plan our role in your research, we will estimate your requirements and a realistic budget will be developed to formalize our collaboration. All types of assistance depend on staffing and resources available in the CRC at the time of the request.
Types of Assistance
Please review the CRC Services Grid on the Investigator Request for Assistance form for services that do not require reimbursement (i.e. hospital-supported services) versus services that must be reimbursed. Please also adhere to the deadlines for assistance described under Timeframes below.
Effective March 2012, the CRC will be offering one-hour free consultations per project per Core. After an initial consultation, a work scope and budget will be created if more services are needed. To be eligible for CRC assistance, you must have an appointment at Children's Hospital or be a Children's Hospital employee. For assistance with any aspect of study implementation or with data analyses, you must have a written study protocol with IRB approval to conduct the research.
- For each type of request (consult or actual request for services), complete our CRC Intake Form by clicking the "Start Request On-Line" at the bottom of this screen. We will contact you within 3 business days.
- If you have submitted a request for Core services that require a work scope and budget, you will receive an email informing you of the assigned CRC Project Lead. Please email to this designated Project Lead all pertinent background materials (including a draft of your research aims, draft protocol or grant proposal, guidelines for submission of the grant application, draft data forms, etc.). These materials should be sent to the CRC at least one week before your meeting.
- At the initial planning meeting, CRC staff will meet with you (and your mentor, if applicable) to assess your request. At the initial planning meeting we will begin to discuss feasibility and resources. This includes an evaluation of tasks to be performed, assignment of responsibilities, and the need for budgetary support.
- At a follow-up meeting, we will develop a mutually agreed-upon written plan of action and an estimate of costs, when needed.
- Work will proceed according to an agreed-upon timeframe.
Grant proposal applications as well as study protocols vary in complexity and length. Most National Institutes of Health (NIH) applications (R01's, K23's and other funding mechanisms) as well as applications to major foundations require significant time and effort to prepare. Most studies also require 6 to 12 months of planning and development prior to the start of recruitment of subjects. Similarly, data analyses require sufficient time for data cleaning, statistical programming, interaction with the investigators, and writing and review of manuscripts. Furthermore, the CRC provides assistance to many investigators at any given time. Therefore, we ask that investigators adhere to the following timeframes when requesting assistance from the CRC.
- For grant applications, we recommend beginning to work with us at least 90 days before the submission deadline or due date and require a minimum of 60 days. We also require a complete first draft of the grant proposal or study protocol and preliminary budget a minimum of 30 days before the submission deadline or due date. If this timeframe is not met or we feel there is not adequate time to assist you, we may recommend delaying submission to the next cycle.
- For assistance with study implementation, we ask that you begin working with us at least 6 months in advance of your anticipated start of recruitment.
- For assistance with data analyses, including manuscript preparation, abstracts, and presentations, we recommend beginning to work with us 60 to 90 days before any deadline, depending on the scope and complexity of the analyses.
CRC Contact Information
The CRC Offices are located at 21 Autumn Street and Pavilion 6. We can be reached by phone at 857-218-4720 or by e-mail at Clinical Research Center