Waisman Center Clinics Research

The Waisman Center promotes clinical research related to human development, developmental disabilities and neurodegenerative diseases in a variety of settings including the Waisman Center Specialty Clinics. The Clinics recognize the importance of research in providing excellent clinical care and seek to establish a culture of inquiry within its programs by embedding research protocols in clinical activity and establishing strong partnerships with IDDRC and UW-Madison investigators. 

All research activities conducted with the Waisman Center Clinics are subject to a Waisman Center Clinics Research Proposal Process prior to implementation. Examples of research activities include recruitment, observation of clinic visits, analysis of clinic data, or patient intervention and assessment. Investigators who wish to implement research activities in the Waisman Center Clinics must submit a Waisman Center Clinics Research Proposal Form to the Clinical Translational Core (CTC) research coordinator.

Who can submit a proposal?

Only Waisman Center faculty members and academic staff with PI status (collectively referred to hereinafter as “investigators”) may submit research proposals. Other Waisman Center staff, trainees, and students must collaborate with a Waisman Center investigator in proposing clinic research.  Proposals from Waisman Center affiliates or investigators who are external to the Waisman Center will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact the CTC research coordinator for more information. 

When should you submit a proposal?

Early submission is encouraged. If possible, submit your proposal during the initial steps of your project (e.g., request for letter of support, grant application, prior to IRB application). The review process is designed to be a tool to ensure that the research activities are congruent with Waisman Center mission and Clinics priorities, policies and procedures.  

Although research proposals may be submitted to the CTC research coordinator prior to UW-Madison IRB approval, implementation of research activities will not occur until IRB approval is obtained.

What activities do not require review?

Some activities are exempt from this review process:

    • Projects initiated by Waisman Center Clinics and conducted exclusively for quality improvement or program evaluation purposes (i.e., clinic needs assessment) do not constitute human subject research and should be discussed with the clinics operations manager prior to implementation. These activities are not otherwise subject to the research process. Refer to the Health Sciences IRB Guidance on Research vs. Quality Improvement and Program Evaluation to determine if your project is considered research. Clinic team members who wish to embark on a quality improvement project should discuss it with their supervisors who can then submit to the Clinics Executive Committee (CEC) for approval.
    • Requests to display recruitment materials in the clinic waiting room should be submitted directly to the CTC research coordinator. Please include a copy of the material and your IRB approval letter.
    • Requests to display recruitment fliers by the clinic elevators should be directed to the Waisman Center communications manager.
    • Requests to participate in training opportunities that are not related to research are exempt from this process.  Please refer here for more information.


Investigators whose research teams are not part of the Waisman Center Clinics and need research coordination services will utilize the CTC. Click here for rates.