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A research protocol is a document that describes the objective(s), design, methodology, statistical considerations, and organization of a psychology study.
The protocol usually also gives the background and rationale for the investigation, but these could be provided in other protocol referenced documents (such as an Investigator's Brochure).
The development of the protocol is the basis of good practice and clear thinking and provides a basis for developing grant applications and submissions to ethics committees
The protocol is designed to safeguard the health of the participants as well as answer specific research questions. The protocol describes what types of people may participate in the trial; the schedule of tests, procedures, medications, and dosages; and the length of the study.