Protocol Writing and Examples

[updated 22 February 2017]

The task of writing a protocol might seem difficult to some, but please do not feel discouraged (see PI Encouragement). Here are some samples of written and IRB-approved protocols representing various risks and data privacy. Use them as examples and look for updates to the current protocol version.


Example protocols

A general, all purpose, protocol:

General Sample Protocol 2015 (DOC.)- Investigators may use this sample protocol as a general guide to answer the questions on the protocol form. Note that every protocol is different and the format in which this protocol was written may not apply to every study but it could still be helpful.

College of Science:

Cold Pressor study (PDF) - invasive, physiological study but negligible confidentiality risks.  This link to the informed consent form (PDF) shows comments about the original one in the protocol.


Minimal risk behavioral science studies - a psychology study (DOC) on charismatic speech and its informed consent form (PDF) with comments

sociology study (DOC) on responding and its informed consent form (PDF) with comments.

College of Education and Integrated Studies (CEIS):

Education (CEIS) protocol (DOC) with older minors, teachers, and anonymous survey.  This link provides constructive comments about the consent, assent, and recruitment (PDF) letter in the protocol.

Other sample protocol #1(m) (PDF).  

Other sample protocol #2(a) (PDF).

College of Business Administration:

Business research protocol (DOC), student PI protocol (PDF) with an anonymous on-line survey, other business anonymous survey protocol (PDF)


Questions about research data?

Review this publication on "Access to and Retention of Research Data: Rights and Responsibilities" Council on Governmental Relations, 2006.


Using copyrighted materials 

The CSU Office of General Counsel has a manual on the Fundamentals of Copyright and Fair Use. See: