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Course-Specific Elements

Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (IPPCR)

Course Description:
Principles and Practice of Clinical Research 3rd Edition textbook cover

The Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (IPPCR) is a course to train participants on how to effectively conduct clinical research. The course focuses on the spectrum of clinical research and the research process by highlighting epidemiologic methods, study design, protocol preparation, patient monitoring, quality assurance, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues. Other areas covered include data management and ethical issues, including protection of human subjects, building a budget, plus many special topics.

The IPPCR course is offered annually at the NIH Building 10, Clinical Center Lipsett Amphitheater on Monday and Tuesday nights from 5:00pm to 6:30pm from October through March. The course can also be viewed live from a remote location using long distance learning tools, and if registered, individuals can also view archived content on the course website. This course will be of interest to physicians, basic scientists, medical students, nurses, and any other health professional seeking to enhance their knowledge in clinical research. There is no academic credit offered for attending and completing this course. However, a certificate of completion is awarded upon successful completion of the course, which includes scoring 75% or higher on the final exam. There is no cost for the course.

Course Objectives:
  • To become familiar with the basic statistical methods involved in clinical research;
  • To be able to discuss the principles involved in the ethics of clinical research, the legal issues involved in clinical research, and the regulations involved in human subjects research, including the role of institutional review boards (IRBs) in clinical research, and issues involving special populations.
  • To become familiar with the principles and issues involved in monitoring patient-oriented research.
  • To be able to discuss the infrastructure required in performing clinical research and have an understanding of the steps involved in developing and funding research studies.
  • To be aware of emerging technologies and tools which impact clinical research involving data collection, storage, and analysis; electronic records; quality control and others.

The 2014-2015 schedule Adobe PDF icon (67 KB) is now available. The schedule is subject to change throughout the year.

Final Examination and Certificate

The final examination, which is in a multiple choice format, is posted online on the course website the day after the last lecture and remains available for 3 weeks. Once you electronically submit your answers, your exam is instantly graded and you will receive your score. If you passed the exam with a score of 75% or higher, a link will appear for you to save and print a PDF version of your certificate of completion.

Textbook for the 2014-2015 Session

The course textbook, Principles and Practice of Clinical Research, Third Edition (ISBN: 978 0-12-382167-6) is available in the Foundation for Advance Education in the Sciences (FAES) Bookstore in Building 10, Room 1C172. To check on availability, you may call the bookstore at (301) 496-5272 or email customer service at:

The textbook can also be purchased online from several online book retailers.

Video and Handout Archive

Log-in Requirements:
Viewing of the video archives from the previous course does not require a log-in. Access the 2013-2014 video archive. [disclaimer]

In order to view the current course videos, you must be registered for that academic year. To access the current year's information, you must log in using your email address and the four-digit number that was used when you registered for the course.

System Requirements:
Viewing these videos requires that RealPlayer G2 be installed on your hard drive with 150 kbps of bandwidth. If RealPlayer G2 is not already installed, please DOWNLOAD RealPlayer. For technical assistance regarding RealPlayer downloading, installation, configuration, and troubleshooting, contact the Technical Assistance Support Center at or (301) 594-6248.

  • Please direct all administrative and technical questions about the course via email (preferred) to the course coordinator, Mr. Daniel McAnally at:, or by phone at: 301-496-9425.
  • If you experience any other technical problems with this site, contact technical support at or call (301) 797-2386 or (800)-30-MEDIA.
  • For more information about the Clinical Center, you may contact Clinical Center Communications via e-mail, phone at 301-496-2563, or mail at Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7511.

Log-in Requirements:
To view the 2014-2015 course videos and materials, you must be a registered participants for the present academic year. To access the 2014-2015 information, you must log in using your last name and the four-digit number that was used when you registered for the course.

NOTE: PDF documents require the free Adobe Reader.

This page last reviewed on 10/13/14

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