FAQ

Q1) How do  I get IRB training?

A1) All UIC Investigators and key research personnel are required to meet the initial training requirements in human subjects protections before their involvement in the research. You can complete your initial Human Subjects Research Basic courses online. Don't forget - if your research involves protected health information (PHI), you will need HIPAA HSPP training as well (also online).

Q2) How do I get started on a literature search?

A2) It's more than a quick Google or Pubmed search. Check out the UIC Library resources. There is a great Powerpoint from a Literature Review Workshop and Excel Workbook.

Q3) Are there any electronic apps for entering and storing data at UIC?

Q3) Yes. REDCap is a secure, web-based application for building and managing online surveys and databases.

Q4) I am starting a project by myself. Isn't that wonderful?

A4) Not exactly. Mentorship is important. In today's complex and often highly competitive world of academic medicine, having a mentor or a team of mentors can mean the difference between success and failure. Please read more about the importance of mentorship and some suggested tools.

Q5) Where can I find information on faculty grants and publications?

A5) In an effort to synergize inter-disciplinary clinical and translational research, the UIC CCTS has partnered with Elsevier and created the UICollaboratory Research Profiles.

Q6) I am interested in secondary data analyses. Where can I find data?

A6) There are a number of advantages (e.g., availability, documentation, large sample size) and disadvantages (e.g., does not have population or variable of interest, obsolete data) to secondary data. Some example resources include ICPSR, CDC/NCHS, CMS, and data.gov. Also would check out the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Research Dataset Compendium.

Q7) What is the best way to manage references?

A7) Manage your references using RefWorks, Endnote, or Zotero. The UIC Library has a good description of citation management methods available at UIC. They can be helpful in collecting, organizing, citing, and sharing research sources.

Q8) I am reporting results for a study. What guidelines are there available for different types of studies?

A8) There are guidelines available for the most commonly used study designs in health-related research: randomized controlled trials, observational studies, qualitative studies, diagnostic accuracy studies, quality improvement studies, and systematic reviews. These guidelines specify the minimum information that should be included in a research report to allow readers to assess the study and use its findings.

Q9) How do I store protected health information (PHI)?

A9) PHI should be stored only on university-owned encrypted computers. Have your IT support person check machines to determine whether they are encrypted or not. For clinicians working at UI Health workstations, the default option typically is to store the data in the hospital-approved drive. Personal laptops or desktops should not be used for storing PHI. For research, your approach to storing PHI should be described in the research protocol and IRB application.

Q10) How do I share PHI with my colleagues?

A10) Use “send secure” on the hospital exchange email to share files. No other medium of sharing is currently permissible. Do not use Dropbox, gmail, or any other non-university systems to store or share PHI. If you are considering Box storage for PHI, you need to use a Box Health Data Folder. For research, your approach to sharing PHI should be described in the research protocol and IRB application.

Q11) How do I get data out of the electronic medical record (EMR)?

A11) The Clinical Research Data Warehouse (CRDW) is a research data repository that provides a single, secure, managed release point for human subjects’ data for use in research. The CRDW contains data from various sources such as the electronic medical record (EMR), medical billing systems, and legacy systems. The CCTS Biomedical Informatics Core offers services to help investigators obtain clinical data for research purposes. Customized data extracts are available upon request with IRB approval for patients cared for within the UI Health system. QUICKSet provides UIC researchers with access to obtain aggregate patient counts (mandatory training module required).

Q12) Can students, residents, and fellows receive free CCTS services?

A12) The CCTS is available to students and trainees as a resource to answer questions. However, CCTS consultations are not intended to replace the role of an advisor or classroom instruction. If you have a question on your research project, you can request a one-hour free consultation by registering as a CCTS user and submitting a service request through their online workflow system. If you require assistance beyond the first hour, certain fees may apply.