Starting Up Research

How to obtain the accounts and accesses you need, how to acquire necessary training, who to contact if you have questions, and how to find out details about the particular type of research you wish to conduct.

For information on what preparations can be made in advance of your arrival at MCW, visit:

What to do before arriving at MCW


What to do after arriving at MCW

The general steps to initiating research at the Medical College of Wisconsin are summarized here.  Note that the particular sequence of the steps may vary according to individual needs, and some may be concurrent.

Register with eBridge

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  What is eBridge?

eBridge is a web-based software application used by the research community of the Medical College of Wisconsin/Froedtert Hospital and several of its research affiliate institutions in the review and processing of human research protocols, animal use applications (AUAs), Institutional Biosafety Committee protocols, and applications for grants and contracts.

eBridge electronically routes research projects and funding submissions for institutional approvals, and tracks the status of each research application. It integrates research functions in one central place and is publicly accessible through login authentication and with a supported browser.

For further information, read About eBridge.

  How do I get an eBridge account?

Once an employee identification number has been received from Human Resources, new investigators must register with eBridge.  To obtain an account, go to the eBridge Home Page and select the Registration link located at the top of the right navigation bar. Following registration, it takes up to 24 hours for your account to be activated. The eBridge Help Desk will email you your User ID, and information on how to log in from both the MCW network and from outside the MCW network.

Please contact the eBridge Help Desk if you have questions regarding registering, navigating, or entering information into eBridge: phone 414-955-8476 or email

Obtain Training

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  Is there a general overview of all training offered for researchers?

Yes.  Please visit Training for the Researcher.

  What training is available for research with human subjects?
  1. Research Systems Training offers the course eBridge Training for Human Research Projects which shows you how to submit your human research protocol in eBridge.

  2. OnCore Support offers information on training and how to register for OnCore, MCW's Clinical Trial Management Software.

  3. Training and Educational Resources summarizes the courses and programs offered by the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP).

  4. CITI certification is required for all individuals involved in the design, conduct or review of human subjects research.

  What training is available for research with animals?
  1. Core Certification requirements have been established based on Federal Regulations and our Assurance agreement with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare in order to ensure that all personnel using or caring for animals at this institution are qualified to do so.

  2. The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) Office presents a series of optional interactive sessions entitled IACUC Essentials that focus on one or more features of animal research at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

  3. The Biomedical Resource Center provides hands-on training for a variety of technical skills.

  4. Research Systems Training offers introductory training sessions for Investigators and Research Staff involved in animal research. The 1½ hour session focuses on how to navigate eBridge and use its basic features.

  What safety training is available?
  1. Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Training for Researchers
    EHS provides information on required safety training for researchers on the MCW intranet site: once you have access to InfoScope, search for keywords “safety training” and select the first link among search results: EHS Training. Contact the EHS office at if you have any questions.

  2. OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Training
    All employees who are considered to be exposed to potentially infectious material are required to take web-based Bloodborne Pathogens training on an annual basis. Human or primate source material, human (unfixed) tissue, cell lines or cell explants are considered “potentially infectious material.” Anyone occupationally exposed to these materials must complete BBP training on an annual basis. To find out more about this training, visit the Occupational Health website (accessible only through the MCW intranet site InfoScope) or call 414-805-6699.

  3. Radiation Safety Training
    The Office of Radiation Safety offers training in the basics of working with radioisotopes in research laboratories. Any new personnel working directly with radioactive material will need training in radiation safety.

  4. Research Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Safety Training
    MRI Safety Training is required for Principal Investigators, study team personnel and other staff working with MCW MRI scanners.  Visit Research MRI Safety Training for general information and complete the MRI Safety Training Application Form as the first step in obtaining training.

  Will I need training if I conduct research at affiliate institutions?

MCW faculty who conduct research only at affiliate institutions and who do not have research lab space within the MCW campus, must enroll in the affiliate’s safety training programs.  You will not be required to take redundant training offered by MCW Environmental Health & Safety (EHS).

MCW faculty who conduct research on the MCW campus in addition to having hospital privileges at Froedtert or other affiliates, should be aware that additional training may be required by the affiliate hospital.  Please check with each affiliate institution to determine what additional training may be required:

Search for Funding Opportunities

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  Where can I look for funding opportunities?
  • Funding Opportunities
    View our web page that includes current RFAs, links to internal and external sponsors, upcoming sponsor deadlines, and resources available to the MCW researcher to assist with acquiring funding.  The links below are also included on this page.
  • Pivot
    Pivot is a database of funding opportunities from federal, state and private sources which can be searched by various information items and advanced searching features.  MCW Libraries offers the class Searching for Grant Dollar$ which shows you how to use Pivot.
  • MCW Libraries FAST
    MCW Libraries’ Funding Alert Service Team is here to help...we are offering individual faculty and departments a service to locate federal, state and private funding opportunities to support your research endeavors.
  • MCW Libraries Grant Resources
    This web page outlines several helpful resources for those seeking grant funding.
  • Search is your source to find grants from 26 federal agencies.
  • Subscribe to NIH Funding Opportunities RSS Feed

Apply for Funding

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  Are there services to help me write my grant application?
  • Grant Writing Assistance
    The Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) offers guidance for new investigators for every step of the application process.
  • Grant Boilerplate
    The GCO offers boilerplate, templates, and sample language for topics such as: responsible conduct of research, biosketches, facilities and resources, and institutional data. Boilerplate language is also available for NIH Career, Fellowship, Research and Training Grants.
  • Funding Reports
    The Office of Research prepares reports on NIH and other research funding for the Medical College of Wisconsin.  Charts, rankings and data tables may be downloaded as enhancements to grant applications.
  • NIH All About Grants Podcast
    The Office of Extramural Research (OER) presents conversations with NIH staff members on topics such Preparing a Successful Grant Application and Understand How Your Grant is Reviewed. Podcasts are in mp3 format and updated monthly; transcripts are available.
  Is there support to help me submit my grant application in eBridge?
  • eBridge Training - Funding Proposals
    Most grant applications must be submitted via eBridge, a web-based software application. Research Systems Training offers hands-on training on how to use eBridge to submit your Funding Proposal.
  • eBridge Procedure Guides
    The Office of Grants & Contracts (GCO) provides the guides in PDF format which offer specific instructions on submitting grant applications.

Obtain Approvals

What approvals do I need to conduct research with...?

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  Human subjects

The Human Research Protection Program’s (HRPP) primary mission is to protect the rights, welfare and privacy of all individuals participating in research sponsored by the Medical College of Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital. The HRPP oversees and supports the MCW/FH Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) which review all research studies involving human subjects for safety, compliance with regulations, scientific quality, and ethical standards. The HRPP provides guidance and resources for the MCW/FH IRBs, investigators, and study team members. Ongoing training for researchers and quality improvement activities are directed toward compliance with regulations and scientific integrity.

Please visit Investigators and Study Staff  and review the section on New Studies which includes information on how to determine if your study needs IRB review.


Animal research cannot begin until approval has been obtained from the MCW Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).  For information on starting up animal research, read about Obtaining Approvals - Working with Animals, or contact the IACUC Office at 414-955-8440.

  Recombinant DNA (rDNA) and biologicals

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) has the responsibility to assure the safe use of recombinant DNA (rDNA) as outlined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to assure the safety of MCW personnel and others working with rDNA and/or biological materials, and to limit the environmental impact of rDNA and biological agents, including pathogens, utilized by investigators at the MCW.

  Select agents

“Select agents” is a term used by the government to indicate specifically regulated pathogens and toxins. Approval to work with select agents must be obtained from the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and the institution’s Responsible Official.

  Hazardous chemicals or carcinogens

The Hazardous Chemical Safety Committee must approve research involving the use of known or suspected carcinogens, mutagens or teratogens, highly toxic or reactive chemicals and/or chemicals for which toxicity is unknown.  Refer to the Hazardous Chemical Safety website, accessible via the MCW intranet site InfoScope, by searching for keyword “HazChem”


The mission of the MRI Safety Committee (MRISC) is to foster an environment for the safe use of MRI in research at MCW. This mission is accomplished by conducting timely reviews of human participant and animal studies using MRI, providing the necessary safety training for researchers and staff, ensuring only trained and safety screened individuals have access to the magnetic environment, evaluating the safe use of accessory equipment in or around the magnetic environment, and serving as an available resource for investigators and others.

  Highly infectious pathogens

The Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) Committee must approve research involving highly infectious pathogens. Use of the BSL3 or Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL3) facilities requires specialized training and medical monitoring. Investigators must check the box on eBridge forms indicating BSL3/Pathogens/recombinant DNA for appropriate approvals.

  Radioactive material

Approval must be obtained from the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC). The responsibilities of the RSC regarding the use of radioactive material and radiation-producing machines are to establish policies and procedures for facilities approved under the license, approve or deny applications for the use of radioactive material and review the Radiation Safety Program with the assistance of the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO).

For guidelines on radiation safety and application forms and procedures, visit Office of Radiation Safety.

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Page Updated 06/07/2016