All research projects conducted at University Medical Center (UMC) must be approved by the College of Community Health Sciences’ Associate Dean for Research and Health Policy prior to the initiation of the study. It is very helpful to consult with the associate dean of this committee prior to designing your study. As the charge of the associate dean is to encourage research at the College, the application process is in no way meant as an impediment to conducting research at UMC. Rather, the purpose of this approval is to ensure that the research conducted at UMC follows other confidentiality codes, that the research does not disrupt the flow of the day-to-day activities of UMC, and that the department chairs are informed of research being conducted in their areas.

This requirement for application includes research involving human subjects, any research using UMC medical records regardless of location, any research involving the use of the Medical Records Department, Lab or Clinical Trials. The requirement does include case studies and case series.

For questions, please contact: John C. Higginbotham, PhD, MPH, Associate Dean for Research & Health Policy,, or Barbara Wright,

Please submit the following in paper or email format to the Associate Dean:

  • Request to Conduct Research form
    Open/download the RCR form, complete the form and obtain all relevant signatures prior to submission. Note: The Brief Summary section should explain how the proposed study will impact UMC. This may be covered in your IRB proposal. However, most IRB proposals do not specifically state the information this committee needs to approve research being conducted at UMC/SHC. The summary should include how patients will be recruited, where will the study take place (what rooms will be used, what staff will be used), how medical records will be accessed and by whom, how confidentiality will be maintained, and a description of the informed consent process. The Request to Conduct Research form covers information required by UMC/CCHS personnel to determine that relevant policies have been followed and must be filled out in addition to the brief summary.
  • IRB proposal and IRB approval documentation if required by your research design.

The University of Alabama IRB will not accept IRB proposals for research to be conducted at UMC/SHC without the Request to Conduct Research form. This document confirms that the researcher has coordinated efforts with UMC/SHC faculty and staff and that a CCHS faculty member is part of the research project. Also, by completing the Request to Conduct Research form prior to completing your IRB proposal, the committee can provide feedback regarding issues related to your research at UMC/SHC that may impact the design of your research proposal.

After your research project has received IRB approval, we will need a copy of the stamped cover page of your IRB proposal prior to the implementation of your project.