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Resident presenting original research at the annual STFM conference.

Interested in applying to do research at the Family Medicine Center?

 The Department of Family Medicine values the importance of research. As both a primary care clinic and a research and teaching institution, we understand the vital role studies can play in generating and furthering our knowledge of health and health practices. That said, this pursuit of knowledge must be balanced with considerations for our patients, our staff, and the clinic itself. The Department is obliged to follow University, state, and federal rules and laws in conducting research. For these reasons, the Department requires all investigators proposing to undertake studies in The UNC Family Medicine Center at Chapel Hill to follow the review process outlined below. Some studies may  not require review– efforts that are solely exercises in quality assurance or utilization review do not require review, unless findings may be published or otherwise presented as “research.”  However, if your study involves patients, records, staff, or the facilities of Family Medicine, review is required.

General Requirements

  1. All studies proposing active recruitment of FMC patients must involve a member of the Department’s faculty as a co-investigator.  This individual will help assure the study’s applicability to family medicine and smooth execution within the practice. We have learned through years of experience that studies lacking a Family Medicine co-investigator are rarely successful in meeting recruitment goals. A list of Department research faculty members can be found here.
  2. Generally, full monetary compensation is expected by the Department for the staff and clinician time and other costs required in study participation.  Studies that are small and unobtrusive and those initiated by students or residents may not require compensation.
  3.  Before the study may begin, a letter of approval or exemption must be provided from the IRB and the Office of Human Research Ethics.
  4.   Whenever possible, Department physicians should be informed when their patients are approached for inclusion in a study.  Physicians should be provided with information on the nature of the study and terms of participation.  Physicians also should be apprised of their patients’ progress in the study and informed of study-derived information which might be relevant to ongoing care.
  5.   Studies approved for the FMC may acknowledge to participants and others that it has been reviewed and approved by the UNC Department of Family Medicine, but it may not make claims of endorsement by the department.

Review Process

Studies proposed for the FMC will be evaluated in terms of their perceived importance, likelihood of answering their research questions, ethical soundness, compliance with the policies of the Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, UNC, state and federal laws, and the anticipated impact and costs for the FMC, its patients and staff.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee that includes the Director of FMC Studies, the Director of the FMC, the Department’s Director of Operations, and the Department’s Financial Administrator. Review typically takes about four weeks, but may take longer.  Appeals of unfavorable decisions may be made to the Director of FMC Studies. Further appeals may be made to the Chair of the Department.


Application to do Research at the Family Medicine Center

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Max. file size: 98 MB.
    Please upload your IRB letter before submitting application.
  • Max. file size: 98 MB.
    If you would like to upload your answers as a word document, please do so now.