Congratulations and welcome to this portion of your research studies! If you are at this point in your academia, you should have completed your research classes, and should be able to create a professional research request (protocol).

Prior to entering your protocol, you should, as a user, have a basic understanding of the following:

Functional Ability Where you can obtain assistance
1. Uploading/attaching documents through a browser
2. Writing a "professional-looking" research request (protocol) and associated documents
3. Accessing/saving Acrobat (PDF) files
TSU's OIT Help Desk (713-313-HELP)
Advisor; PI's committee; department faculty

Before entering your protocol in TOPAZ, have the following documents, in electronic format, ready for uploading as separate files:

  • Consent Form (if applicable)
  • Instruments (if applicable)
  • Permissions (if applicable)
  • Training Certificates (if applicable)

Do not attach documents that are not requested in TOPAZ. Give your documents appropriate filenames (i.e. for the instrument, name it survey_instrument) so the committee will be able to quickly recognize them. Only upload Microsoft Word or Acrobat files.

To assist with entering your protocol, you may view/download the flyer "Tips for Creating an Excellent Protocol".

  1. Request a TOPAZ account by visiting the TOPAZ page. For TSU students, your TSU e-mail is required. If you do not know it, contact OIT. Your request will be received, and once the account access has been established, you will receive an e-mail to your TSU account. If you are not a TSU student, click here for instructions on how to submit your protocol.
  2. After the TOPAZ account has been created, an account in CITI Program will be created, and initial log-in credentials will be provided to the PI. Principal investigators will be required to log into CITI to complete the basic course for principal investigators. Additional courses will be assigned based on the protocol content, and completion of these courses will be required prior to the protocol being approved.
  3. Have your documents electronically accessible beforehand. This includes having them properly named; in addition, knowing where they are located can help entering the protocol more expediently. Remember, only Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat file types are acceptable.
  4. Access TOPAZ and enter your protocol. Click here -> for tips about writing the protocol
  5. For student investigators: use TOPAZ's pre-submission button to forward your protocol to your faculty advisor or committee member or committee chair for review. The reviewer may provide feedback to the student ID at this time. This person must electronically sign the protocol.
  6. If the PI deems it is ready, the protocol can be submitted to the committee for review.
  7. The initial review of the protocol will be to ensure documents are attached, and for content for the purposes in assigning the appropriate online training courses.
  8. The CITI courses will be assigned based on the protocol content (i.e. if the study involves existing data only, that course will be assigned; if the study involves a vulnerable population (there are several), the course assigned will be the specific population in the protocol).

Click on the link to see the committee (Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)) review process, depending on the protocol type:

Research Study (protocol contains): Committee:
Secondary (pre-existing) data CPHS
Survey, interview, focus group
Human interaction
Benefit Service Program
Educational Techniques/Practices
Consumer Acceptance Studies
Public Officials or Candidates for Public Office
Animals IACUC

Texas Southern University (TSU) welcomes the opportunity to be considered for external research studies. For those persons desiring to include TSU students, faculty or staff as part of a study, the procedures are outlined here. The process is done electronically, and acceptable document file types are Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat.

  1. Send protocol documents to Click here -> for important information  about documents that are required.
  2. There will be an initial review of documents for completeness and to ensure that all required documents have been received. If items are missing or are incomplete, an e-mail notification will be sent to the principal investigator.
  3. Documents will be forwarded to the appropriate committee for committee recommendation.
  4. If the committee recommends approval, the request is then forwarded to the Office of the Provost for approval.
  5. Once the Provost approves the request, a letter is prepared and sent via e-mail to the principal investigator.
  6. The investigator can begin the study.

Click on the link to download/complete the document.

On this page are documents and information that is designed to assist TSU investigators, both students and faculty alike. Where feasible, document templates are available for downloading and customizing for your protocol.

Contact the Office of Research if the type of research in which you are interested is not listed here. Questions about protocol review may be addressed at, or by calling 713-313-4301. Please do not begin any form of the research process until the study has been approved.