STARR Research Grant Procedure Tips


Your procedure does not need to include step-by-step instructions for the parts of your study where you are following someone else's protocol.  For example, let's say my study requires 20 sterile petri dishes with nutrient agar.  In Step 4, I am going to be mixing the agar myself using instructions on the agar package.  I need to communicate that I prepared the petri dishes using the instructions that came with the agar but I do not need to include the complete instructions from the bottle (to do so might infringe upon the copyright of the company which makes the agar mix).  I can explain what I have done and save space in my proposal if I reference the instructions like this:

4) Prepare the petri dishes:  Use a permanent marker to label the tops of 5 petri dishes each with these labels: treatment trial 1, treatment trial 2, control trial 1, control trial 2.  Follow the instructions on the nutrient agar package to prepare 400 ml of agar and fill each of the 20 petri dishes 1/4 inch deep with liquid agar. Store as directed until step 5.

By referencing the instructions rather than including them I keep the focus on the important elements of *my* study - there will be 2 trials, there will be 1 treatment group of 5 plates and one control group of 5 plates for each trial, I made all of the agar at the same time, etc.

When you are using a protocol you did not design as a part of your procedure be sure that you:

1. Reference the protocol so that someone wishing to repeat your study could find the instructions.
2. If you did not follow the protocol exactly as it is written then explain how you changed it.