Scientific Partners Advancing Research Kickoff - SPARK

SPARK consultations on designing and conducting CRU clinical studies

Contact person:  Ruby Benjamin-Garner, PhD 713-500-7918

The mission of SPARK is to provide multidisciplinary assistance to shorten the time from study design and approval to subject enrollment, for investigators planning to use the UTHSC-H CRU at Memorial Hermann— Texas Medical Center.  

SPARK services include:

  • Advice on protocol design
  • Assistance with IRB/CCTS applications
  • Support with preparing budgets for Memorial Hermann Hospital and the CCTS
  • Suggestions on finding outside funding

SPARK team members have expertise in:

  • Study design and methodology
  • IRB review
  • Clinical trial coordination
  • Clinical research practice
  • Funding strategies
  • Grants management
  • Protocol budgets
  • Ethical issues
  • CCTS core laboratories
  • Informed consent
  • Database design and data collection
  • Research administration
  • Specific CRU services
  • Other CCTS services

Interested investigators can ask either for specific services or for a meeting with the SPARK team.  The team recommends that new investigators have a SPARK meeting before submitting a protocol for IRB/CCTS approval, as the team can help identify issues that might hinder approval.   It is not necessary to have a complete protocol written; investigators in the planning stages can meet with the SPARK team for preliminary advice on the design of the protocol.  For a meeting, the SPARK team requires a short written summary of the proposed study (see instructions below).  SPARK meetings are held 9:30 to 10:30 AM on the first and third Thursday of each month. For more information, to make an appointment for a meeting, or to talk to specific members of the SPARK team, please contact Ruby Benjamin-Garner, PhD 713-500-7918. 

 

SPARK Summary Abstract

 

Describe the proposed project in a 1-page abstract with the following subheadings: 

Background:  Briefly describe the field of study, the gap in knowledge the proposed study will fill, and why filling that gap is important and how it will benefit patients. 

Hypothesis and specific aims:  State the hypothesis and specific aims of the study. 

Subjects and methods:  State how the subjects will be accrued, the sample size, what tests will be performed, and how the data will be analyzed.

Results:  State the expected results. 

Conclusions:  Describe the anticipated conclusions.