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The Clinical Research Unit (CRU) is committed to providing investigators and their teams a research environment and broad range of services guided by good clinical practice. This contributes to the conduct of excellence in clinical and translational research. The unit equips investigators with essential tools and critical resources, while providing a highly efficient and flexible infrastructure that is sustainable through a comprehensive cost-recovery system.

Nursing Services

Our experienced team of clinical research nurses are specially trained to assist you in the conduct of your studies. The nursing staff has a breadth of clinical and research experience that encompasses clinical care on a continuum of healthy volunteers to intense disease processes. Our nursing practice is guided by scientific knowledge, standards of care and a code of ethics.

We facilitate new studies by working closely with the research nurse coordinators to meet the specific needs of each protocol. We also facilitate staff education by coordinating in-services and ensuring staff have the knowledge needed to effectively carry out a research protocol.

Services

  • Nursing assessment
  • Patient education
  • Treatment monitoring
  • Medication administration
  • Point-of-care testing
  • Intravenous therapy
  • Pharmacokinetic sampling
  • Cardiac & pulse oximetry monitoring
  • Phlebotomy services
  • Questionnaire administration

Fees

Access a list of CRU Nursing fees here (Blazer ID required).
For more information on charges, please contact CCTSClinical@uab.edu.

Register

The first step in accessing CRU services is registering. The following information is required:

  • A completed Registration Form  
  • Human Subjects Protocol (approval may be pending — send stamped approval form when available)
  • Consent Form(s) (approval may be pending — send stamped consent form(s) when available)
  • Protocol (Grant application, sponsor protocol, study group protocol)

The registration form and accompanying documentation should be sent electronically to CCTSClinical@uab.edu.

Study Initiation

After registering, you will receive an official letter from us that details the services to be used and any requirements to initialize the study. This letter must be signed by the PI and returned to us before the study can begin (Step 2).

Study Implementation

The third step is to hold an inservice for CRU nurses. An inservice should be scheduled at least two weeks prior to the first scheduled participant appointment. Contact CCTS @ cctsclinical@uab.edu call 205-975-2762 to schedule your inservice. To better understand the goals of an inservice, you may wish to review these Inservice Guidelines.

Scheduling Participants

After the inservice is completed, you can begin scheduling participants to receive CRU services. Call 205-934-7817 or email CRU Nurse Manager Jolene Lewis to schedule appointments for participants. A series of visits may be scheduled at one time to ensure availability of resources.

Outpatient: 15th floor of Jefferson Tower (625 19th Street S.).
Inpatient: 8th floor Medical Education Building (1813 6th Ave. S.).

Coordinator Tools

We offer several helpful tools for study coordinators. Available on request.

  • Coordinator Checklist
  • IV Infusion Sheet
  • Oral Drug Flow Sheet
  • OGTT Flow Sheet

FAQs

1. Who is eligible to use the CRU resources?
CRU resources are available to University of Alabama at Birmingham faculty and students for human subject studies that have current IRB approval.

2. What CRU resources are available?
Free or low-cost services are available for researchers, including inpatient beds on a limited basis, nursing, bionutrition services, and sample processing.

3. What kind of research can be done on the CRU?
The CRU supports human-based translational research. Studies may involve either healthy volunteers or participants with specific diagnoses. Research is facilitated in a broad area of medical disciplines, including general internal medicine, internal medicine subspecialties, radiology, nutrition, surgery, epidemiology, obstetrics, psychiatry, pediatrics and nursing.

4. Are non-MDs allowed to conduct studies in the CRU?
Yes. However, all non-MD investigators such as PharmDs and PhDs must have an MD or nurse practitioner collaborator who will assume medical responsibility for the research participants.

5. What if there are revisions to the original approved protocol or consent?
All protocol modifications and renewals must be submitted to the IRB and copied to the CRU for review. If a protocol undergoes a major modification that includes changes to the CRU resource utilization, a second presentation to the CRU Protocol Review Committee may be required.

6. Who obtains informed consent of the research participant?
It is the responsibility of the principal investigator or appropriate designee to obtain informed consent from the research participant prior to the commencement of a study.

7. How is medical care provided on the CRU?
The physician investigator, or physician for the study, is responsible for the medical care of research participants. Arrangements for emergency care must be formalized before study implementation.

8. Does the CRU have funds for ancillary testing?
No. The CRU does not have funds to cover ancillary testing performed in departments such as clinical laboratory testing or radiology.

9. Can I conduct an industry-supported study on the CRU?
Yes. Industry pays for the use of the CRU facilities and staff. Investigators who need skilled nursing, bionutrition, or other support are encouraged to contact CCTSClinical@uab.edu for information on charges.