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Field Study In India: Preparations & Project Development
Following approval of application in Section 1
STEP 1: IDENTIFY MENTORS
Each student must identify a U.S.-based and India-based mentor. If your India-based mentor is a JHU Pune researcher, a BJGMC faculty mentor must also be identified. Your U.S.-based mentor can help you identify this person. Please be sure to reach out to each of these individuals prior to moving on to Step 2.
STEP 2: OBTAIN PERMISSION LETTER FROM BJGMC FOR FIELD STUDY
At least 6 weeks before departure
Required by BJGMC, this letter is the official request for permission for the student’s visit to Dr. Murlidhar Tambe, Dean of BJGMC. It is initiated at Hopkins, signed by supervising JHU faculty, and sent to Manisha Mhaske, BJGMC Human Resources (HR) Manager who obtains the Dean’s signature. Once signed, it’s returned to JHU, and a copy is provided to the student. The student must bring a copy of this permission letter with them to Pune.
Email a request for permission and confirmation of the following information to Ruth Harley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Dates of arrival and departure
- Title of study you will work on
- One sentence describing your broad scope of work
- Name of India- and US-based mentors.
- Place of residence in Pune, if known at this time.
STEP 3: PREPARE FOR ARRIVAL
At least 4 weeks before departure
- Complete and submit to Ruth Harley the Emergency Contact Form
- Send copy of passport photo and request a BJGMC ID badge: Manisha Mhaske, Human Resources Manager, BJGMC.
- Schedule a meet and greet with Dr. Sandesh Patil (Student Coordinator) for when you arrive. Email Dr. Patil directly and ask if you should also meet with Dr. Sameer Joshi (Vice Dean).
STEP 4: REQUEST TO BE ADDED TO STUDY IRB
At least 4 weeks before departure
IRB approval at all participating institutions is required before you begin collecting data. The approval process is often lengthy and unpredictable, so we highly recommend that students work under existing studies. If a student is planning a longer-term trip (6+ months), conducting a new project is possible. Please confirm with Alison Pack and/or your US-based mentor that your proposed scope of work is covered under an approved project.
Work with CCGHE’s Regulatory Specialist Matt Riesner (mriesne1[at]jhu.edu) regarding human subjects research requirements. Email a request with the following information to Matt so you can be added to the study IRB, and copy Alison Pack and your US-based mentor on the request.
- Your name and affiliation
- Full title of the study protocol(s) you will be working on
- Indicate role of “other staff”, with a very brief description of your participation (i.e., data analysis, literature review, manuscript prep, etc.)
- Attach PDF copies of certificates of completion of your human subjects research training
- Determine your required trainings: https://training.jhu.edu/ComplianceTraining/.
- For more information on IRB compliance training, visit: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/institutional_review_board/training_requirements/index.html
Access trainings through Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI): https://about.citiprogram.org/en/homepage
Anticipate an email from the JHM eIRB with instructions to “agree to participate”.
For non-Hopkins affiliates, contact the IRB at your institution for guidance on obtaining IRB approval.
STEP 5: ARRANGE TO BRING SUPPLIES
At least 2 weeks before departure
Many routine supplies and equipment (eg, ipads, masks, etc.) needed by Pune personnel are often difficult to get in India and are very expensive to ship. Travelers, therefore, are asked to carry what they can over. Check with Ruth Harley before departure.
STEP 6: FINALIZE SCOPE OF WORK
At least 1 week before departure
Flesh out Scope of Work: Developed a more detailed scope of work in conjunction with BJGMC and JHU staff/faculty. This 1-2 page document should outline which projects you will work on for approximately how many hours per week, as well as what will be accomplished while on site.
Establish Dissemination Plan: Identifies abstracts, posters, oral presentations, or manuscripts that will be developed through your project.
Finalize Authorship Agreement: An authorship agreement ensures that researchers are appropriately included as authors on abstracts and papers. An Authorship Agreement Form is available on the Forms page.
- The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors offers recommendations for authorship: http://www.icmje.org
- The JHSPH Responsible Conduct of Research Guide has a section on authorship criteria and responsibilities https://www.jhsph.edu/research/_docs/responsible-conduct-of-research.pdf
STEP 7: GET CONNECTED
At least one week before departure
You can expect to be copied on an introductory email to the Indo-US leadership team, key JHU Pune staff, and your mentors within 1 week of your visit. This is to ensure everyone is aware of your visit details and scope of work.
STEP 8: SCHEDULE RECURRING MEETINGS WITH ONSITE MENTOR(S)
At least 3 days before departure
This is particularly important for the beginning of your stay. So that faculty can be kept abreast of how the project develops, you should plan to meet with your site-based mentor once a week for short-term projects (< 6 weeks), and biweekly for long-term projects (>6 weeks). More collaboration may be required as the project reaches its final stages. During each meeting, be prepared to present the following information:
- Summary of any operational issues
- Summary of study progress to-date
A Checklist is available to help you keep on track with pre-trip requirements and deadlines.