DOCS Scholarly Work Protocol

Updated as of 03/2020

Thinking about possibly doing research within DOCS? Want to carry out your own DOCS QI Project at our Clinics or Health Fairs? 

Please use the following link to submit a research or quality improvement proposal:

Why do I need to submit my project? 

The primary primary function of DOCS is philanthropic and not grounded in the creation of scholarly work.  However, with all successful and innovative projects there should be continuous quality improvement, and some obligation to disseminate the information to raise awareness and provide for dialogue with others in the field; but these should be byproducts and not primary motives.

DOCS RQI serves to screen projects for feasibility and actionable outcomes that support the overall mission of DOCS. Feasibility is the research plan the project is based on (i.e. does the data already exist, and if not, how will acquiring this data interrupt services provided at health fairs or clinics?). Actionable outcomes are to show how that research will help our patients or DOCS as a whole. Students must demonstrate a significant gain to patients or operations through any proposed research. To start a research or QI project within DOCS, you will need approval from Dr. Deshpande, via the RQI Director, and also may need to search for an assigned faculty mentor/content expert who will provide written acknowledgement to Dr. Deshpande that they will serve as the principal investigator.  If the main objective of the work is for internal QI, then after approval you can proceed without an IRB. However, if research aims are the main purpose of the project, then an official IRB through UM will be required prior to starting the project. Applying for an approved IRB can be concurrent with internal DOCS review by the RQI Director and Dr. Deshpande.

1) All QI projects should be submitted through the above link so that DOCS has a live database of all internal QI projects though its various projects, and actionable outcomes and applied changes can be accurately documented. 

2) All research projects are to be submitted through the above link and must have an approved UM IRB before starting any work. 

2) All publications (abstracts, posters, and articles) using the work of DOCS and/or it’s patients must be approved first by the RQI Director under the guidance of Dr. Deshpande before preparing for manuscript submission. If your project has already been approved by RQI, please email the RQI Director directly before your intention to submit your work to a conference or journal.

No student is allowed to use the name of “DOCS” in their published work without prior approval from the RQI Director. 

RQI will review the proposal and respond as soon as possible. If approved, RQI will help connect inquiring students with other teams within DOCS that they may need to work with to accomplish their project objectives. If the proposed research question is already being worked on by DOCS, then RQI may point interested students in that direction to help with current efforts. Please refer to the DOCS Scholarly Work Protocol regarding the procedures in initiating and conducting RQI efforts in DOCS:

Any questions can be directed to the student RQI Director at

DOCS Research Presented at ALL Conferences- 

Important deadlines to keep in mind:

  1. If you are thinking about applying to a conference or submitting any scholarly work for publication, please e-mail 6 weeks before the submission deadline of your intention to submit. 
  2. After acceptance to conferences, posters should be e-mailed to 2 weeks prior to the conference date

Student Reimbursement for DOCS Work Presented at a Conference- 

  1. If you wish to be reimbursed through DOCS for DOCS-related work concerning registration fees, poster printing, hotel, and travel you must directly email the RQI Director and the DOCS Executive Directors with your request to be reimbursed.
  2. It is at the discretion of the DOCS Executive Directors to approve any student reimbursement related to research based on availability in the DOCS Budget. 
  3. Because of the above, it is IMPORTANT to email RQI Director and Executive Directors BEFORE your submission to any conference so that they can work to see if student reimbursement is possible. If you are planning to pay yourself without reimbursement for the costs mentioned above, then please still keep in line with the deadlines above of emailing 6 weeks prior to submission due date.