Conducting Research

All research at Essentia goes through the Essentia Institute of Rural Health (EIRH). If you are interested in conducting research at Essentia Health, please contact the EIRH Sponsored Programs Administration at 218-786-2698 or email Nancy Dold.

Preliminary Study Proposal

Research and human subjects research projects requesting EIRH resources or support must complete a preliminary study proposal form to get approval to move forward with project development.

Follow the directions on the Preliminary Study Proposal form [Word] to submit. The EIRH executive director approves study and project proposals. When you receive preliminary study approval, you can move forward with completion of training requirements, study development and IRB approval.

Determination of Research

All Essentia projects determined to be “research” or “human subjects research” must be reviewed and approved by an IRB. For more information about this process, please contact the Human Research Protection Program at 218-576-0489 or email.

Study Development

Work with Essentia research support departments and resource templates to develop your study. Follow these preparation activities:

  • Review Resources & Staff

    Review your proposed study resources to ensure you have the necessary safeguards for human subjects involved in research. The review includes areas such as staff, study costs, and other resources such as equipment, storage, and more. Sponsored Programs Administration can provide more information and assistance with your study review.

  • Documentation

    For assistance with documentation or iRIS, please email the Compliance Department.

  • Evaluate Scientific Merit

    Essentia requires Scientific Review Committee review and approval before project submission for IRB review. The Essentia Scientific Review Committee reviews Essentia Health and Miller-Dwan Foundation proposals and Essentia department-funded projects.

    Industry-sponsored clinical trials, federally sponsored research, and external foundations are reviewed externally for scientific merit.

  • Obtain Research Funding

    Essentia requires funding for all projects. There are several types of research funding sources, including federal, state, and Essentia Health Foundation. The PI is responsible for obtaining full research funding. Sponsored Programs Administration assists with and processes all applications for external funding. Please notify the Grants Manager as soon as a project is being developed to allow sufficient time for all necessary steps.

    Nominal start-up support may be available with the approval of the EIRH executive director.

    A Medicare coverage analysis is required for all clinical research studies for third-party billing of costs associated with items and services related to patient care.

  • Research Agreement

    All research agreements are processed through Sponsored Programs Administration with assistance from Essentia’s Legal Department. Examples include but are not limited to:

    • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
    • Data Use Agreement
    • Grant Agreement or Contract
    • Subaward or Subcontract
    • Vendor Agreement
    • Consultant Agreement
    • Business Associate Agreement (BAA)
    • Letter of Support

    Sponsored Programs Administration should be contacted to help determine what agreements are necessary and to lead the negotiation process.

Research Review

For information about the Institutional Review Board and the research review, please visit the IRB.

Student Projects

Students can participate in research only if an Essentia-approved PI is functioning as the Lead PI for the research project. Learn more about student research projects at Essentia.


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