Filter By:
2 A B C D E F G H I K M N O P R S T U X

Clinical Trial

A research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.

See Common Rule definition of research at 45 CFR 46.102(d)

See Common Rule definition of human subject at 45 CFR 46.102(f)

The term "prospectively assigned" refers to a pre-defined process (e.g., randomization) specified in an approved protocol that stipulates the assignment of research subjects (individually or in clusters) to one or more arms (e.g., intervention, placebo or other control) of the clinical trial.

An intervention is defined as a manipulation of the subject or subject's environment for the purpose of modifying one or more health-related processes and/or endpoints. Examples include, but are not limited, to: drugs/small molecules/compounds, biologics, devices; procedures (e.g., surgical techniques); delivery systems (e.g., telemedicine, face-to-face); strategies to change health-related behavior (e.g., diet, cognitive therapy, exercise, development of new habits); and, treatment, prevention, and diagnostic strategies.

A health-related biomedical or behavioral outcome is defined as the pre-specified effect of an intervention on the study subjects. Examples include positive or negative changes to physiological or biological parameters (e.g., improvement of lung capacity, gene expression); psychological or neurodevelopmental parameters (e.g., mood management intervention for smokers; reading comprehension and/or information retention); disease processes; health-related behavior; and, well-being or quality of life

Biomedical clinical trials of an experimental drug, treatment, device, or behavioral intervention may proceed through four phases:

Phase I. Tests a new biomedical intervention in a small group of people (e.g. 20-80) for the first time to determine efficacy and evaluate safety (e.g., determine a safe dosage range and identify side effects).

Phase II. Study the biomedical or behavioral intervention in a larger group of people (several hundred) to determine efficacy and further evaluate safety.

Phase III. Study to determine efficacy of the biomedical or behavioral intervention in large groups of people (from several hundred to several thousand) by comparing the intervention to other standard or experimental interventions as well as to monitor adverse effects, and to collect information that will allow the interventions to be used safely.

Phase IV. Studies conducted after the intervention has been marketed. These studies are designed to monitor the effectiveness of the approved intervention in the general population and to collect information about any adverse effects associated with widespread use.

C

Clinical Research

Research with human subjects that is:

1) Patient-oriented research. Research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens, and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual. It includes: (a) mechanisms of human disease, (b), therapeutic interventions, (c) clinical trials, or (d) development of new technologies.

2) Epidemiological and behavioral studies.

3) Outcomes research and health services research

Studies falling under 45 CFR 46.101(b) (4) (Exemption 4) are not considered clinical research by this definition.

Clinical Trial

A research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.

See Common Rule definition of research at 45 CFR 46.102(d)

See Common Rule definition of human subject at 45 CFR 46.102(f)

The term "prospectively assigned" refers to a pre-defined process (e.g., randomization) specified in an approved protocol that stipulates the assignment of research subjects (individually or in clusters) to one or more arms (e.g., intervention, placebo or other control) of the clinical trial.

An intervention is defined as a manipulation of the subject or subject's environment for the purpose of modifying one or more health-related processes and/or endpoints. Examples include, but are not limited, to: drugs/small molecules/compounds, biologics, devices; procedures (e.g., surgical techniques); delivery systems (e.g., telemedicine, face-to-face); strategies to change health-related behavior (e.g., diet, cognitive therapy, exercise, development of new habits); and, treatment, prevention, and diagnostic strategies.

A health-related biomedical or behavioral outcome is defined as the pre-specified effect of an intervention on the study subjects. Examples include positive or negative changes to physiological or biological parameters (e.g., improvement of lung capacity, gene expression); psychological or neurodevelopmental parameters (e.g., mood management intervention for smokers; reading comprehension and/or information retention); disease processes; health-related behavior; and, well-being or quality of life

Biomedical clinical trials of an experimental drug, treatment, device, or behavioral intervention may proceed through four phases:

Phase I. Tests a new biomedical intervention in a small group of people (e.g. 20-80) for the first time to determine efficacy and evaluate safety (e.g., determine a safe dosage range and identify side effects).

Phase II. Study the biomedical or behavioral intervention in a larger group of people (several hundred) to determine efficacy and further evaluate safety.

Phase III. Study to determine efficacy of the biomedical or behavioral intervention in large groups of people (from several hundred to several thousand) by comparing the intervention to other standard or experimental interventions as well as to monitor adverse effects, and to collect information that will allow the interventions to be used safely.

Phase IV. Studies conducted after the intervention has been marketed. These studies are designed to monitor the effectiveness of the approved intervention in the general population and to collect information about any adverse effects associated with widespread use.

D

Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB)

A formal, independent board of experts including investigators and biostatisticians that advise study investigators regarding the safety progression of a study. In general, NIH requires the establishment of DSMBs for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risk to the participants and for all Phase III clinical trials. As necessary, a DSMB may be appropriate for Phase I and Phase II or other clinical trials if the studies are blinded (masked), employ high-risk interventions, or involve vulnerable populations.

E

Early Stage Investigator (ESI)

A Program Director / Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award. A list of NIH grants that a PD/PI can hold and still be considered an ESI can be found at https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-investigators/list-smaller-grants.htm.

Early Stage Investigator ESI

An Early Stage Investigator is a Program Director / Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award.  See our list of NIH grants that a PD/PI can hold and still be considered an ESI. For more information, please click here.

I

Independent Clinical Trial

An independent clinical trial is one for which the researcher proposing the study has primary or lead responsibility for conducting and executing the trial. NIH policy permits individual career development awardees and individuals appointed to institutional career development awards to be involved in a range of clinical trial activities, including leading independent clinical trials. For NRSA trainees or fellows, however, NIH policy precludes leading an independent clinical trial as part of their training experience. Instead, NRSA trainees and fellows interested in clinical trials may gain clinical trial research experience by working on a trial led by their mentor or another investigator.

Institute or Center (IC)

The NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC" or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award.

Acronym Full Name Organizational Code
CC Clinical Center CC
CSR Center for Scientific Review RG
CIT Center for Information Technology CIT
FIC John E. Fogarty International Center TW
NCATS National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) TR
NCCIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health AT
NCI National Cancer Institute CA
NCRR National Center for Research Resources (dissolved 12/2011) RR
NEI National Eye Institute EY
NHGRI National Human Genome Research Institute HG
NHLBI National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute HL
NIA National Institute on Aging AG
NIAAA National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism AA
NIAID National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases AI
NIAMS National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases AR
NIBIB National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering EB
NICHD Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development HD
NIDA National Institute on Drug Abuse DA
NIDCD National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders DC
NIDCR National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research DE
NIDDK National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases DK
NIEHS National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences ES
NIGMS National Institute of General Medical Sciences GM
NIMH National Institute of Mental Health MH
NIMHD National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities MD
NINDS National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NS
NINR National Institute of Nursing Research NR
NLM National Library of Medicine LM
OD Office of the Director OD

Investigational New Drug Application

Under regulation 21 CFR 312, application filed by a drug sponsor with FDA on Form FDA 1571 to conduct clinical trials, including detailed descriptions of all phases, protocols, IRB members, and investigators.

M

MSTP

Medical Scientist Training Program - MTSP supports the integrated medical (or equivalent professional clinical) degree and graduate research training required for the investigation of human diseases

N

NIH-Defined Phase III Clinical Trial

An NIH-defined Phase III clinical trial is a broadly based prospective Phase III clinical investigation, usually involving several hundred or more human subjects, for the purpose of evaluating an experimental intervention in comparison with a standard or controlled intervention or comparing two or more existing treatments. Often the aim of such investigation is to provide evidence leading to a scientific basis for consideration of a change in health policy or standard of care. The definition includes pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic, and behavioral interventions given for disease prevention, prophylaxis, diagnosis, or therapy. Community trials and other population-based intervention trials are also included.

P

Planned Enrollment Report

The Planned Enrollment Report is used when you are planning to conduct a study that meets the NIH definition for clinical research. It provides a breakdown of the planned sample by sex/gender, race, and ethnicity.

S

Significant Differences

For purposes of NIH policy, a "significant difference" is a difference that is of clinical or public health importance, based on substantial scientific data. This definition differs from the commonly used "statistically significant difference," which refers to the event that, for a given set of data, the statistical test for a difference between the effects in two groups achieves statistical significance. Statistical significance depends upon the amount of information in the data set. With a very large amount of information, one could find a statistically significant, but clinically small difference that is of very little clinical importance. Conversely, with less information one could find a large difference of potential importance that is not statistically significant.

Specific Aims

A component of an application's Research Plan which describes concisely the goals of the proposed research and summarizes the expected outcome(s), including the impact that the results of the proposed research will exert on the research field(s) involved.. Includes the specific objectives of the research proposed (e.g., to test a stated hypothesis, create a novel design, solve a specific problem, challenge an existing paradigm or clinical practice, address a critical barrier to progress in the field, or develop new technology).

T

Translational Research

Translational research includes two areas of translation. One is the process of applying discoveries generated during research in the laboratory, and in preclinical studies, to the development of trials and studies in humans. The second area of translation concerns research aimed at enhancing the adoption of best practices in the community. Cost-effectiveness of prevention and treatment strategies is also an important part of translational science.

U

Underrepresented Group

Group underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences, such as people with disabilities, people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups such as blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

Used as an eligibility requirement for diversity supplements, fellowships (F31), and other NIH programs.
Was this page helpful?
Form Approved OMB# 0925-0648 Exp. Date 06/2024