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Research Tools

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children's National (CTSI-CN) is proud to support Children's National Hospital and George Washington University research faculty and staff by providing a variety of supportive informatics-based resources and tools. 

The Informatics Core, in partnership with the various CTSI-CN modules provide access to and support for the following research tools:


FABRIC, short for Flexible Architecture for Building Research Informatics Collaborations, is an environment that offers a service-oriented research toolbox which investigators, clinicians, and patient advocates can use to easily access a wide array of data repositories integrated with customizable query tools. The scalability of the environment allows the replication of its key elements (e.g., Galaxy, REDCap, R, HealthFacts, Office 365) making them available simultaneously to multiple users with varying requirements for data, or its manipulation, analysis, and reporting. FABRIC is a secure research cloud platform that readily interconnects clinicians, researchers, and the patient community across the national CTR network without disruptive alterations to research workflows or patient information finding.

To learn more about FABRIC, please visit: FABRIC

Health Sciences Library

Information about books, databases, and journals for clinical and translational science researchers, information about evaluation and bibliometrics, community engagement, team science, study design, grants and funding, writing and publishing, help with literature searches for systematic reviews, data management planning, compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy, and archiving your publications. 

To learn more about the Health Sciences Library please visit: Health Sciences Library

i2b2 / ACT Network (SHRINE)

i2b2, or Informatics for Integrating Biology & the Bedside, is an NIH-funded scalable informatics framework that links data warehouses across partner institutions. Locally, i2b2 facilitates exploration and query of the clinical data within PowerChart that has been de-identified and aggregated. In doing so, i2b2 helps with study feasibility and cohort discovery by allowing a researcher to query various inclusion/exclusion criteria, as well as ascertain the potential for recruitment.

The ACT Network (SHRINE), is integrated into the i2b2 platform and supports multi-site research by enabling study feasibility and cohort discovery at over 30 partner institutions.

At Children’s National Hospital, both i2b2 and the ACT Network are support by CTSI-CN's INformatic System for Integrating Genomics, Health and Translational Sciences (INSIGHTS) program.

Please Note: As both tools currently only allow access to de-identified, aggregate data no IRB approval is required.

To learn more about i2b2/ACT Network please visit: i2b2/ACT Network (SHRINE)


The Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA) is a rich and highly specific standardized medical terminology developed under the auspices of the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH).

To learn more about MedDRA please visit: MedDRA


(Photo Credit: NIH-NCATS)

The National Institutes of Health launched the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) Data Enclave, and researchers studying COVID-19 can apply to access this innovative new analytics platform containing clinical data from the electronic health records of people who were tested for the novel coronavirus or who had related symptoms. This data resource will help scientists further understand the disease, including potential risk factors, protective factors and long-term health consequences. The N3C is funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Learn more


(Photo Credit: NIH-All of Us Research Program)

The NIH All of Us Research Hub matches a broad research community with a diverse set of research participants. Its goal is to advance precision medicine research and fuel new insights into human health. The Research Hub houses one of the largest, most diverse, and most broadly accessible datasets ever assembled. It also provides an interactive Data Browser where anyone can learn about the type and quantity of data that All of Us collects. Users can explore aggregate data, including survey responses, physical measurements, electronic health record information, and wearables data.

Registered users can use the Researcher Workbench to dive deeper into the data; conduct rapid, hypothesis-driven research; and build new methods for the future, using a variety of tools. The diverse data may help facilitate new studies that could help lead to new insights, treatments, and strategies for disease prevention that are tailored to individuals.

To learn more about NIH All of Us Research Hub please visit: NIH All of Us Research Hub 



ORCID is a service that provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows (e.g., manuscript and grant submissions), supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities.

Think of it as a unique code that provides a persistent identity for researchers, allowing consistent tracking of scientific and other academic works and contributions, ensuring that your work is recognized appropriately.

NOTE: Use of all CTSI-CN resources and services will first require registering for an ORCID. CTSI-CN will only access information that you have designated as Public in ORCID.

To learn more about ORCID please visit: ORCID

PowerTrials Prescreening

PowerTrials Prescreening is a Cerner-developed, HIPAA compliant prescreening application that enables a Researcher to search the electronic health record (EHR) for potential research participants using pre-established inclusion and/or exclusion criteria. This tool allows for the discovery of potentially eligible patients both at the point of care, and those admitted within a recent timeframe. 

To learn more about PowerTrials Prescreening please visit: PowerTrials Prescreening

Protocol Builder

Protocol Builder is a secure, cloud-based application utilized to simplify the process of writing investigator-initiated protocols.

Accessible online via a desktop or tablet, this tool facilitates the development of protocols that meet institutional research regulations (e.g., IRB, Research Administration, etc.), as well as Federal regulatory standards. Via the user-friendly interface, Protocol Builder helps writers navigate the complexities of protocol development and fosters institutional collaboration. Additionally, this tool also serves to facilitate the standardization of protocol format, mitigating the time and effort required for SRC, IRB, etc. review.

To learn more about Protocol Builder please visit: Protocol Builder


Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) is a mature, secure, HIPAA compliant, web-based application for building and managing online surveys and databases. It is the database platform of choice in all CTSA awarded institutions and for other institutions across the globe. REDCap is HIPAA compliant but you are still required to inform the IRB about using REDCap for your project. It is 21 CFR Part 11 compliant ready.

To learn more about REDCap please visit: REDCap

Research Toolkits

Children's National hospital has designed an Invesitgator and Study Team toolkit to guide Children's National research teams through various administrative and regulatory policies and procedures related to the submission, review, and approval of clinical trial research. The goal of this toolkit is to assist with navigating the review and approval process as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Additionally, the CTSI-CN has also developed an addendum toolit that includes additoanl regulatory resources.

To learn more about Research Toolkits please visit: Research Toolkits

ResearchMatch (for Researchers)

ResearchMatch is a NIH-funded, national registry that brings together researchers and 135,000+ volunteers who are interested in learning more about research studies. Used nationally by over 6,600 researchers this novel platform has been helpful in recruiting research participants across many research areas, and has been particularly useful for research involving rare disease, surveys, and healthy volunteers.

To learn more about ResearchMatch (for Researchers) please visit: ResearchMatch (for Researchers)

Trial Innovation Network

As an awardee of the prestigious Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) grant, from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), Children's National and The George Washington University have access to the Trial Innovation Network. This collaborative national network focuses on operational innovation, excellence and collaboration and serves to leverage the expertise and resources of the entire CTSA Program.

The Trial Innovation Network website hosts a number of resources including:

  • Resources For Trial Innovation Network Liaison Teams

  • Engagement, Recruitment, & Retention tools

  • A Clinical Trials Toolkit

  • Network events

To learn more about the Trial Innovation Network please visit: CTSA Trial Innovation Network


TriNetX is a dynamic, data driven platform that leverages the i2b2 data warehouse and Cerner PowerChart (EHR). Employing a clean and easily navigable user interface, a research easily generate a query to perform study feasibility and cohort discovery. Additionally, TriNetX has the ability to perform analysis of the identified cohort and “estimated rate of arrival” projections. TriNetX is a valuable resource for accelerating the conduct of both investigator-initiated and industry research.

As of March 2018, with the addition of "TriNetX Research" TriNetX now offers the ability to collaborate with 18+ Health Care Organizations (HCO) from around the world to conduct real world evidence (RWE) research.

Please Note: As TriNetX currently only allows access to de-identified, aggregate data, no IRB approval is required. 

To learn more about TriNetX please visit: TriNetX

Request Support (SPARC Request)

SPARC Request (Services, Pricing, & Application for Research Centers) is a web-based research transaction management system that was created at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). SPARC Request provides a central portal for researchers and their study teams to browse for research services and resources as well as submit service and pricing requests.

SPARC Request features include:

  • Order services from various CTSI-CN modules/cores

  • Create budgets for studies/projects

  • Manage active studies/projects within the user Dashboard

  • Track research activity for services provided by CTSI-CN Cores

  • Fulfill service requests in real-time

  • Communicate directly with your service providers

  • Generate various reports for study teams

To learn more about SPARC Request please visit: Request Support (SPARC Request)