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Our Research History 

NARAP has enrolled more than 140,000 participants in primary health care screening studies.​

  • Domestic violence

  • Firearms injury risk assessment

  • Cardiovascular risk assessment

  • Tobacco cessation

  • Cervical cancer

  • Breast cancer

  • Prostate cancer

  • Colon-rectal cancer

  • Assessing ankle injuries

  • Evaluating chest pain

  • Cytomegalic encephalitis

  • The presentation of tuberculosis

  • Antibiotics in children

  • The association between asthma and cocaine

  • The link between erythromycin and heart rhythm disturbances

  • Emergency physicians’ decision-making intervals

The Research Associates Program has successfully transitioned from 20 years of individual research sites to a nationwide research alliance.


We  completed the fourth largest emergency medicine research study in the United States: Tobacco Cessation Study

The NARAP Tobacco Cessation Study Poster

The NARAP Tobacco Cessation Study published in Addictive Behaviors  (Vol 40, Jan 2015).


Click to view the Abstract


Click to view the Published Article.


The NARAP Research Associate Program Rationale


Clinical research depends on large numbers of participants and trained data collectors. Given the financial constraints on medicine, there is a need for such data collectors to do the research work, that are willing to be paid in some commodity other than money. In hospital emergency departments, the many patients and their visitors have a heightened awareness of their health care issues and the focused time to reflect on potential changes. This makes it both a teachable moment and an opportunity to enroll them in research studies.  However, research in this busy, often chaotic environment is difficult to conduct at best and, without sufficient personnel dedicated to the process, is often impossible.  This is especially the case for studies looking to enroll large numbers of participants in short time periods.  NARAP tackles these problems by utilizing the time and population opportunities presented by emergency department visits, combined with the willing workforce of pre-health professional students eager to volunteer their time in exchange for clinical experience.


Research Studies

Beau Abar, PhD, heads our research team as the Chief Research Officer (CRO).  In conjunction with the CEO/CMO and the Program Directors, he leads new study selection, the conduct of the research and its publication.


Currently, NARAP is conducting a study on facilitating cervical and breast cancer screenings among emergency department patients and their visitors.  Colon-rectal cancer and prostate cancer screening and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as a predictor of medical resource utilization are among the future research under consideration.


NARAP presented its first national, multi-center study, “The Emergency Department as a Platform for Tobacco Cessation Utilizing Pre-Health Professional Students as Research Associates” at the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Research Forum at the 2013 annual meeting and is submitted for publication.

Research Model

At NARAP’s core is a simple, successful research model: pre-health professional students volunteering as Research Associates (RAs) for one 4-hour shift per week as data collectors for clinical studies in the emergency department.  RAs facilitate the studies in the manner the investigators choose to use them. Depending on their training, this may range from potential participant identification, through reading the informed consent and scribing for a professional researcher, to data entry and the details concluding the study. Of course, the investigators are responsible for the research; the RAs are there to facilitate.


NARAP studies on the emergency department as a platform to facilitate primary health care screenings follow this model.  During their weekly shifts, RAs approach as many non-emergent patients and their visitors as possible to ask a detailed history on the prevention or screening issue under study. If participants are not up-to-date, RAs offer them ways to correct this, including referrals for specific interventions. After a period of time, other RAs make a telephone follow-up call to determine if the intervention has been accomplished or scheduled.


RAs carry secure hand-held computer tablets to record data which is transmitted to HIPAA-compliant cloud-based secure web application designed exclusively to support data capture for research studies.


Often NARAP national, multi-center studies are piloted at a single NARAP institution, then validated in a select group of NARAP hospitals before they are conducted at the national level, as was done for the Tobacco Cessation research.

Doing Research With NARAP

NARAP is always looking for research projects that would benefit from the high volume and diverse participant enrollment the RA model offers in our multi-center organization.


Research projects come to NARAP in a number of ways:
  • NARAP affiliates

  • Other emergency medicine or other specialty researchers

  • Health related organizations or departments (e.g., government agencies, universities, foundations, non-profits, etc.)

  • Industry (e.g., pharmaceuticals, device developers, demographic data collectors, etc.)


Criteria for a NARAP study:
  • applicability as a multi-center study, preferably with pilot data

  • powered to meet the study objectives

  • meets IRB approval at each participating NARAP site

  • conducted to the highest ethical and objective standards

  • prepared for publication regardless of the implications of the results

  • no product promotion

  • potential to provide meaningful experience for RAs

Process to propose research project:
  1. Initial discussion begins with Dr. Keith Bradley, MD  or call:  (203) 767-6363

  2. If there is mutual interest, the researcher submits a brief outline of the project for review by Dr. Beau Abar, PhD, our Chief Research Officer

  3. With his approval, the researcher develops a formal proposal (collaborative work with NARAP on this is encouraged)

  4. Next, the proposal is circulated to the NARAP Program Directors for their consensus endorsement to proceed as a NARAP study

  5. With the researcher as the Principal Investigator, an Authors Group is developed among Associate Investigators at the PIs institution and NARAP personnel:

    • members will be those actively involved in the study to the level of authorship

    • will act as the steering committee for the study

  6. The study is then given a schedule for IRB approvals, training, enrollment initiation and completion, data analysis, presentations and publication

  7. The Authors Group will work closely together to monitor the optimal production of the research.




NARAP's administrative costs vary on several factors, including the size and complexity of the study, and are based on fair-market value.  Funding for NARAP's participation must be included in all federal, foundation, and industry grant applications for studies the organization facilitates.  Documentation of funding requests must be submitted with the formal proposal.


Our sponsored services are specialized research projects similar to our current healthcare research. Our services are emergency department based, and designed to help you with marketing, strategic planning, proof of concept reports and more. To tell us about your organization and project please contact

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The National Alliance of Research Associates Programs


A Unique Approach to Clinical Research 
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