Skip Navigation. Scientific Partners Advancing Research Kickoff (SPARK) - Center for Clinical & Translational Sciences - UTHealth

Scientific Partners Advancing Research Kickoff - SPARK

SPARK mentoring and consultations on designing and conducting clinical and translational studies

Contact person:  Ruby Benjamin-Garner, PhD (Ruby.A.Benjamin-Garner@uth.tmc.edu) 713-500-7918

The mission of SPARK is to mentor junior investigators and assist experienced investigators by providing multidisciplinary assistance on the design, implementation and conduct of clinical and translational research studies.  

SPARK services include:

  • Guidance on the formulation of research projects and programs
  • 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
  • Research career advice

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). 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 (Ruby.A.Benjamin-Garner@uth.tmc.edu) 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.