Once a research question has been set the next step is to consider the methods to answer it. At this stage, it is useful to write a brief concept protocol. This document can be helpful in introducing the idea to all the groups that are likely to be approached for approvals, such as:
- Site management team
- Hospital/district health management team
- Potential funders
- Drug/intervention manufacturer
- Experts, colleagues, other researchers in this field
A short one or two page concept proposal can be discussed with all potentially interested parties at an early stage. When working with external sponsors or developing multi-centre studies it is common practice to hold protocol development meetings to encourage contribution to setting the question and designing the protocol. Group input is helpful as it ensures that the proposal fits strategically within the sites where it is being planned and allows early input on the design and methods to make sure that the best and most robust approach is taken. It also ensures that everyone who needs to be involved is made aware and can contribute at an early stage. Again, a concept protocol provides a helpful document with which to begin discussions.
The Concept Protocol Crowd Review tool available here on the EDCTP Knowledge Hub embraces the crowdsourcing model. If you are embarking on a health research study and would like feedback on your concept protocol from the EDCTP Knowledge Hub and The Global Health Network community, please do submit it online here using the buttons below.