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Writing a Research Proposal @ Pitt: Special Considerations

This guide is designed to assist students or those with limited experience in writing a research proposal for scientific research.

Human Subject Research

The University's Human Research Protection Office (HRPO) is responsible for reviewing and approving all research involving human subjects. Check with them if you are unsure whether a review is needed and for guidance with the process of submitting your proposal for review.

Stem Cells

The role of the University's Human Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee is to ensure that all University stem cell research complies with relevant research policies, federal and state regulations, and guidelines from the National Academies and the NIH.

Special Considerations

Research involving human subjects, animal studies, and certain types of biological materials and chemical substances requires special attention to ethical and safety considerations. Proposals must meet requirements set by the University, funding agencies, and government regulations. Check with the University's Office of Research and the appropriate review committees early to understand all the requirements and receive guidance in meeting them.

In addition, your proposal may need to address the funding agency's requirements for sharing the results of your research, for example, through providing open access to your published papers and a plan for managing the data acquired.

Animal Research

Research involving animals must meet guidelines for ethical considerations, appropriate care and use of the animals, and required training of the researchers. The University's IACUC reviews proposals involving animal research.

Recombinant DNA

The University's Insitutional Biosafety Committee reviews all research proposals involving recombinant DNA (or RNA) and monitors compliance with NIH guidelines.

Hazardous or Controlled Substances

The University has developed guidelines and procedures to assist researchers in complying with the Controlled Substances Act and other government regulations relating to hazardous materials.

Research Integrity & Plagiarism

Be aware of the University's and the funding agencies' expectations for conducting and reporting research ethically.

Data Management Plans