Research Protocols & Definitions
Building a Global Scientific Network
“Through collaboration and coordination we are beginning to align research across populations and countries, put tools and platforms in place to connect researchers, and develop an overarching strategy for setting goals and securing funding.”
Tim Morris, CHAMPS CIO, Public Health Informatics Institute at the Task Force for Global Health
When researchers can access reliable, comparable data from colleagues around the world, it greatly broadens their scope of discovery. This is why the CHAMPS Network believes that harmonized data collection and broad knowledge sharing are critical pathways to identifying new and effective solutions for child mortality.
Harmonizing Data Collection
It is challenging to standardize data and specimen collection procedures across a Network of diverse sites. However, a certain degree of standardization is needed to allow efficient data-sharing between research sites around the world. CHAMPS harmonization efforts incorporate the following elements:
- Coordination Across Sites – Standardized protocols, consent forms, questionnaires, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), specimen collection kits, and access to a centralized database are provided to CHAMPS sites. Additionally, CHAMPS promotes cross-site collaboration by hosting conference calls and meetings where all sites are represented.
- Protocols – Specialized protocols for each data collection component of CHAMPS are used to promote consistent quality and standardization. This includes SOPs for specimen-related processes, including collection, processing, short-term storage and shipment.
- Trainings – CHAMPS-specific trainings are designed to cover all aspects of data collection and management including: eligibility and screening, adverse events reporting, clinical data abstraction and specimen collection, processing, and shipping.
- Specimen Collection – Prepared kits of collection supplies developed for each specimen type provide straight-forward, accurate data collection and protect participant privacy. Samples are processed and stored to ensure specimen stability, and are tracked from the point of collection to archival storage using a sophisticated barcode system.
- Centralized Data Management System – A customized, centralized, web-based specimen tracking system provides a single view of multiple specimen types with clinical and demographic data. It also tracks data collected at CHAMPS collection sites and maintains audit trails of all activities while supporting reporting requirements.
Because of CHAMPS' work, data and specimens are available to investigators with diverse interests, enabling groundbreaking research to understand normal and abnormal pregnancies, perinatal illnesses, and the specific pathogens that contribute to child deaths.