5 Tips for Setting Your Clinical Trials Budget

Lauren Castro
Post date: 
November 1, 2015


1. Prices Change

Remember when projecting a budget for a study, prices for a given supply or service can change.  This may be especially true of prices that are updated annually.  When you receive a quote, always remember to ask if there is a set annual increase.  This will allow you to best estimate costs, especially for multi-year projects.

2. Budget the Unexpected

Clinical research is complex with many variables and the ‘unexpected’ is almost always going to occur in one way or another.  Consider subject drop out, changes in study staff, or the effect of longer than expected study duration when putting together your initial budget. 

3. Don't Forget about Recruitment and Retention

Participant recruitment and retention, in almost all scenarios, requires resources.  This may include PI or study staff time, generation of recruitment materials, advertising of the study to the public or other applicable audiences among many other possibilities.  Even if a PI plans to recruit only from his/her clinical patient population, the investment of time should be considered carefully in planning. 

4. Consult with the Clinical Trial Office

The virtual UIC Clinical Trials Office will provide comprehensive analysis to ensure your project meets all Medicare requirements in addition to offering a centralized process for obtaining prior approval from Medicare for IDE clinical trials.

5. Look at the Full Picture

Be sure to consider each step of the process in a given protocol.  For example, you may have budgeted for the analysis of a given blood test but you will also need to include the cost of the actual blood draw from the participant, likely a separate cost.  Likewise, the charge to interpret a given test may be separate from the charge of the actual exam itself.  It can be helpful to think of a project in a step by step timeline format, considering each service or procedure, who is involved, and what charges will be incurred.  If you are unsure of a given process or procedure, it's always best to ask!


If you are interested in developing a budget for a trial through the CCT's Clinical Research Center, please contact Lauren Castro.