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Back to...Starting Up Research


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 requirements, but the procedures below offer a broad view of the research process.  You can jump to any section by clicking on the arrow corresponding to the step you wish to learn more about.


Step 1. Register with eBridge

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, visit the eBridge Support Web page 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



Step 2. Obtain Training

For an overview of training and educational offerings, visit our Training for the Researcher web site.

Human Subjects Research

  1. Research Systems Training provides information on eBridge training for Human Research.

  2. The Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) provides a summary of their educational offerings at Training and Educational Resources.

  3. Visit the HRPP web page on CITI certification.

Animal Research

  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. Visit eBridge Training - Animal Submissions for more information.


  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 Web site (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 should attend the Radiation Safety Class.

  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.  Complete the MRI Safety Training Request Form as the first step in obtaining training.

Training at Affiliate Institutions

  1. 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 EHS.

  2. MCW faculty who conduct research on the MCW campus in addition to having hospital privileges at Froedtert or other hospital affiliates, should be aware that additional training may be required by the affiliate hospital.

    Examples of affiliate institutions include: Children’s Research Institute (CRI) of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; the Blood Research Institute of the Blood Center of Wisconsin; the Clement J. Zabocki VA Medical Center.



Step 3. Find Funding Opportunities

There are several ways to search for funding opportunities:

  1. For a comprehensive overview, view the Office of Research Finding Funding web page listing current opportunities, search resources, and links to internal and external sponsors.  The links below are also available from this page.

  2. View the MCW Foundation Grants and Awards Calendar which identifies opportunities for funding from private foundations in the areas of basic biomedical research, translational research, medical education and health. (Per MCW policy all faculty and staff must work through the Office of Development before approaching or responding to private foundations for funding. Please contact the Office of Development at 414-955-4739 with questions.)

  3. Foundation Directory Online
    The FDO provides comprehensive information available on grantmakers and their grants, drawn from reliable sources, including IRS Form 990s, web sites and annual reports, and the grantmakers themselves.
    Contact MCW Libraries to request a search.

  4. FAST: Funding Alert Service Team - Linking Faculty to Grant Opportunities
    In an effort to assist you in advancing your research, funding search services are being offered by MCW Libraries and the Office of Research in partnership with the Office of Development to alert you to potential funding opportunities. Faculty may complete a Search Request Form to request MCW Libraries to conduct a search on your behalf.

  5. Pivot
    COS Pivot is an up-to-date-listing of national and international government and private funding sources and can be used to find grant opportunities related to research on a specific subject. This service is provided by MCW Libraries.

  6. Search is your source to FIND and APPLY for federal grants. This link will take you to where you can conduct your own search for current opportunities.



Step 4. Submit your Application for Funding

  1. eBridge is the mechanism investigators use for submitting and processing grant applications, human research protocols and Animal Use Applications (AUAs).  In order to enter a protocol into eBridge, investigators must be registered in eBridge.  Visit About eBridge for instructions on how to register for an eBridge account.

  2. The Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) offers grant writing assistance for new investigators.

  3. The Office of Grants and Contracts (GCO) provides information regarding budget preparation, the proposal submission process and federal policies and procedures relating to grant/contract applications.  Some helpful resources include:

  4. The Office of Research prepares Funding Reports on NIH and other research funding for the Medical College of Wisconsin. These reports are regularly updated as new & revised data becomes available. Summary statements, data tables and charts are provided for a variety of research metrics and may be useful for your application submission.



Step 5. Obtain Approvals

Human Subjects Research

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 the HRPP web site on New Studies which includes information on how to determine if your study needs IRB review.

Animal Research

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, visit our Obtaining Approvals - Working with Animals web site, or contact the IACUC Office at 414-955-8440.

Research with Hazardous Materials

Further detail on the information below can also be found on the Research Resources Obtaining Approvals tab.

  1. Recombinant DNA (rDNA) & biological materials
    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.

  2. 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 IBC and the institution’s Responsible Official.

  3. Hazardous Chemicals & 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 web site, accessible via the MCW intranet Web site, InfoScope, by searching for keyword “HazChem”

  4. Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Radioactive Materials
    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 RSO.

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

Contact the
Office of Research

Phone: 414-955-8495

Fax: 414-955-6565


Office of Research
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI  53226-0509



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