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CTSI releases online resource designed to save investigators’ time when completing the NIH Study Record

A new online resource, developed by experts in CTSI and the Department of Pediatrics, is now available to University of Minnesota clinical researchers, grant coordinators and others to help them save time when completing the National Institutes of Health Study Record, which is used to collect information on proposed human subjects research, clinical research, and clinical trials.

The “Successfully Navigating the NIH Study Record” course is a curated collection of NIH instructions that take applicants step-by-step through the completion of the NIH Study Record. In addition, the resource offers answers to frequently asked questions, tips, and expert opinion about how to complete the Study Record. 

“It brings together information that is otherwise found in multiple websites, blogs, and email communications from NIH and will be a timesaver for investigators,” said Stacy Valenzuela, Research Support Services, Department of Pediatrics, and co-developer of the resource. “NIH’s instructions were used nearly verbatim in the vast majority of cases so as not to lead applicants astray form NIH’s intent with the instructions.”

Central repository

The online resource is a central repository for NIH Study Record and related information and is organized by each section of the Study Record Form.

“With all the key information in one location, it not only saves investigators time but also allows NIH updates to be more easily conveyed to applicants,” Valenzuela said.

In fact, the module was designed to allow for easy updates with each new revision of the instructions, or when additional helpful tips or user examples should be included.

Leverage expertise

Valenzuela, a research professional whose University work includes supporting investigators and finding answers to their questions as they completed these forms, and Janet Shanedling, PhD, an instructional designer, partnered to build this first-of-its kind resource.

“This was the brainchild of Stacy’s who recognized the value of consolidating the many useful NIH resources into one location. Her expertise and familiarity with the application process and details of the NIH Study Form are reflected in the step-by-step guidance and advice provided in the resource,” Shanedling said.

While Valenzuela praises Shanedling’s course design and editing expertise.

“Both Shanedling and Valenzuela’s expertise helped bring about this exceptional effort and resource for investigators, grant coordinators and those who assist applicants with their Study Record submissions to use for years to come,” said Timothy Schacker, MD, Vice Dean for Research, Medical School, and Director of CTSI’s Clinical Translational Services group.

Broad application

While a portion of the information in the resource pertains only to the University of Minnesota, overall the content applies for a broad, national audience and could be used by other institutions across the country.

The resource is now available in the University of Minnesota’s Training Hub.