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Health Sciences Library

Medicine

Writing Research Proposals and Protocols

Writing a research proposal or protocol usually involves a good search of the literature to identify a gap in knowledge and create a new testable hypothesis. It also involves understanding appropriate research methodologies and justifying the need for the research. These pages are meant to help you locate information and resources that:

  • Can help you write a good hypothesis
  • Help when searching biomedical databases to justify your proposed research
  • Describe specific, common research methodologies in clinical and basic science research
  • Link to IACUC protocols: animal alternatives, reducing pain, reducing numbers of animals in a study

Recalling the Scientific Method

Writing a hypothesis is part of the scientific method. Generally, the steps of the scientific method are:

IACUC Resources

An Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is a local working group that research facilities must appoint to be in accordance with law.  Some of their primary functions are to:

  • Review and approve proposed activities that will involve animals
  • Inspect animal facilities and study areas every six months
  • Monitor the institutions' program for human care and use of animals
  • Investigate concerns or complaints
  • Suspend an activity involving animals if the activity is not in accordance with the law

To learn more about using animals in research, check out the NABR website below.


Research involving animal models requires that you demonstrate you have sought alternatives to using animals, and have worked to reduce the number of animals included in the study, and have refined techniques used in the study to reduce pain and suffering. There are a number of excellent resources on the web that can assist you with this process.