Study Idea Research, Design and Planning


Establish your environment

Funding Opportunities

  • Seeking funding opportunities (eg PIVOT) and grant writing support.


Research Question and Objectives

  • Clearly define the research question and objectives.

  • Design your work using appropriate animal models, computer model systems or in vitro systems that select systems that closely mimic the human condition or disease being studied.

  • Consider factors such as genetic similarity, physiology, and disease pathology.

  • Consider integrating alternatives (eg, cells, organ on a chip, organoids, machine learning and AI) and attention to the 3Rs.

Statistical Methods

  • Use appropriate statistical methods to determine sample size and statistical power analysis, randomization and blinding to minimize bias to ensure robust results.

Accounting for sex in experimental design

Design Experiments

  • Design experiments in a way that allows for reproducibility and independent validation of the results.

  • Consider using NC3Rs EDA or XDA design software .

Follow Guidelines

  • Follow guidelines such as the PREPARE (Planning Research and Experimental Procedures on Animals: Recommendations for Excellence) guidelines to cover all stages of quality assurance, from the management of an animal facility or population to the individual procedures which form part of a study.

Preregister your study

  • Learn more about preregistering here

Develop a Data Management Plan

  • The Canadian Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy, released early in 2021, introduced new requirements for researchers applying for grants from CIHR, SSHRC, and NSERC. Resources to support the development of appropriate DMPs are here.