GIM Faculty Development Program

Who can use the Academic Research Coach (ARC)? Faculty and instructors in the Division of General Internal Medicine.

See the Academic Research Coach – Services and Consultations flier (PDF) for more details about what is covered. We briefly discuss the services offered below.

What Services Does the ARC Provide?

  • Study Design: Study design and project development, developing a testable research hypothesis, determining inclusion criteria and sampling strategies, and designing quality improvement and patient safety studies.
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB): Discerning if IRB review is needed, identification of the right forms, and review of applications and modifications.
  • Study Infrastructure & Support: Input into developing study protocols and assistance in getting volunteers to help with study activities.
  • Data Collection: Input on surveys and data collection tools and REDCap database support. (REDCap is a tool that facilitates data entry of data collected from study participants such as in-person surveys.)
  • Statistical Analysis: Assist with statistical analysis plan, conduct basic power calculations, guide biostatistics consultations, guide data cleaning for statistical analysis, conduct statistical analyses.
  • Products (Abstracts, Posters, Presentations, Manuscripts): Provide review and input with a special emphasis on methods and results sections.
  • Resources and More: The ARC can assist with identifying training opportunities and field requests for small research resources. For example, software needed for data analysis or procurement of data from Amalga. Additional services not covered here but within the realm of the ARC’s expertise are openly considered and ideas are encouraged.

Initial Project Consults

The ARC welcomes consultations to brainstorm, plan, design, and discuss research ideas at any stage of development. There is no limit on the number of coaching sessions for initial consults. At minimum, a short summary of the idea (1/2 page) with key questions should be sent to the ARC 1–2 business days before the meeting occurs. If available, grants, draft papers, or project outlines should be submitted in lieu of the half-page summary. Materials about the project help make the meeting more productive. Some simple questions may be addressed via email rather than a meeting.

Ongoing Consults

The ARC encourages and supports ongoing consults for different phases of projects from project development, grant writing, IRB, data collection forms, data entry, statistical analyses, identifying volunteers, etc. Phases that require more than several hours of work on the part of ARC may be considered in-depth support (see below). Most services provided are expected to fall into the ongoing consults category. A description of the project (if not previously provided) and of the current issues provided to the ARC 1–2 business days before the meeting will make the consult more productive.

In-Depth Support

The ARC will provide in-depth support with approval from GIM leadership based on availability and project specifics. For in-depth assistance, a scope of work, timeline, and expected contributions from the PI and ARC will be outlined. Examples of in-depth support include conducting extensive data cleaning and in-depth statistical analyses, study management that involves monitoring recruitment activities, or creating materials rather than providing input (e.g., IRB applications, data collection forms).


The goal of the ARC program is to support your scholarly work. Concerns about authorship should not deter faculty from seeking assistance from the ARC. Sometimes it is appropriate to include the ARC as an author on your project (i.e., abstracts, posters, oral presentations, manuscripts, and other products). It can sometimes be difficult to know when a “coaching” role has become an “authorship” role. There are four generally accepted criteria that determine if the ARC should be included as an author (based on the ICMJE guidelines):

  1. The ARC has made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; and
  2. Drafting the work or revising it is critically for important intellectual content; and
  3. Final approval of the version to be published; and
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Initial consults do not require adding the ARC as a co-author to a project. In addition, the ARC providing a focused review of an abstract, poster, or manuscript or facilitating IRB approval would not typically merit including the ARC as a co-author. The best strategy is to discuss authorship and the threshold for ARC authorship at the beginning of any stage in the project. When the contributions of the ARC meet commonly accepted standards for authorship it is important to include the ARC as a co-author just as you would any other collaborator. Order of authorship is at the discretion of the PI since the PI is in the best position to know the contributions of all the collaborators and to make this determination. If there are any questions or concerns about authorship, feel free to bring these up to the ARC or the ARC’s supervisor, Tom Gallagher.