Table 1.

Research Project Team Member Roles

Members of the research teamRole/ResponsibilitiesHousedKnowledge and Experience
Principal Investigator (PI)Leads the study team. Oversees the development of the protocol and all aspects of the study related science. Ultimately responsible for carrying out the research study.Internal or externalPreferably experienced in practice-based research. Knowledgeable in the field of study.
CoinvestigatorWorks with the PI to implement the studyInternal or externalHas skills and knowledge in a content or research-skills field
Project managerIs responsible for ensuring that all details of the study are carried out successfully, in partnership with the PI. Develops and keeps track of the timeline. Oversees the submission of application to the primary IRB. Works with the Research Coordinator to ensure a realistic budget is instituted. Manages all other aspects of the study and AAFP NRN staff.Internal and/or external. For studies in which the PI is external, there may be both an external and internal project manager.Master’s degree preferred. Experience in practice-based research.
ConsultantsBudgeted for a certain period of time to work on specific tasks.ExternalHas a specific skill or knowledge in a subject area that is pertinent to the study.
Research assistantAssists the project manager in taking the study to the field. Manages the project data.InternalBachelor’s or master’s degree. Previous research experience.
Senior scientistRepresents the interest of the AAFP NRN members and staff and is sensitive to the work burden expected.InternalPhD level. Has knowledge of internal AAFP NRN procedures.
Practice lead physician/ clinicianOversees implementation of the study in the practice.ExternalMD, DO, occasionally PhD, PharmD, NP, or PA
Practice study coordinatorCoordinates the research locally in each participating practice. Generally responsible for data collection.ExternalOffice manger, nurse, technician, or practice research coordinator