Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I request more information or reserve the Mobile Research Unit?
Submit an electronic request by following completing our Mobile Research Unit Request Form.
- Is there a base rental cost for the Mobile Research Unit?
Yes, the base price includes fuel, driver, maintenance, and one CRC staff member. Utilizing available shore-power may help reduce the costs of diesel fuel.
Add-on costs may include additional staffing support. Additional fees may apply depending on type of request and location including third-party shore power electrical hookup, parking permits, event registration fees, specialized equipment, etc.
- Are there any time limits or restrictions for research visits or reservations?
There is no time limit for study visits, however, participants and staff are not permitted to sleep on the unit overnight. The Mobile Research Unit may be reserved in half-day or full-day increments, and it may also be reserved for reoccurring visits or for weekly blocks of time.
- What are some example reservation packages?
- Example #1:
- Conduct Study Visits/Procedures + Department Staffing.
- Cost includes diesel fuel and operator per half-day or full-day.
- Example #2:
- Conduct Study Visits/Procedures + NO Department Staffing Available.
- Cost includes diesel fuel, operator, and staffing from Research Support Core.
- Example #3:
- Event for outreach or recruitment purposes only (NO study visits/procedures).
- Cost includes diesel fuel and operator per day. Additional fees may apply including electrical hookup, parking permits, event registration fees, etc.
- Example #4:
- Park unit at a site/event for marketing or awareness (Unstaffed; Locked & Secured).
- Cost includes diesel fuel and operator to setup/breakdown for event. Additional fees may apply including electrical hookup, parking permits, event registration fees, etc.
- Example #1:
- Are special rates available for nonprofits?
Research discounts may be available for Federally-funded and internally-funded projects. Unfunded projects require VP approval and will be reviewed upon special request.
- What types of screenings do you offer or can you conduct?
The unit is fully-equipped with two private exam rooms and a fully-functional lab processing space for the purpose of supporting clinical research. The unit is able to accommodate almost all ambulatory assessments and procedures that would typically be performed on-site including vital signs, study-specific procedures/assessments including physical exams, vital signs, ECGs, phlebotomy, study product administration and accountability, biopsies, etc.
General wellness exams or health screenings unrelated to clinical research require VP approval and will be reviewed upon special request.
- If I use the bus for screenings, what do I need to consider for budgeting?
Non-research related requests require VP approval. Budget would follow standard-of-care processes in addition to budgeting the cost for the driver and one CRC mobile research unit staff member to operate and maintain equipment as appropriate.
For more information or resources related to non-research health screenings, please contact the UH Mobile Health Screenings Team.
- Is the Mobile Research Unit staffed?
Yes, the unit is required to be staffed according to utilization per system policies (i.e. two clinical staff members must be on the unit while seeing patients and performing procedures/assessments) and per UH CRC policies (one trained CRC mobile research unit team member must be present to operate and maintain equipment).
- Does a member of CRC staff have to be on the Mobile Research Unit regardless of who has contracted use?
Yes. In addition to the driver, at least one member of the CRC who has completed fleet training and mobile unit operation is required to be on the unit while in use. This is to ensure safety of staff and patients, as specialized training is required to move and operate the unit in case of emergency, and also properly trained on how to utilize and maintain equipment within the unit including shore power connections, wheelchair lift, water pump/heater, diesel generator, unit’s heating and cooling system, etc.
- What is included in tours?
Walk-through tours for clinical investigators include a trained member of the mobile unit team to review equipment and functionality. Walk-through tours for the general public include a member of the mobile research unit team and/or a CRC recruitment specialist to answer general questions about the unit and clinical research.
- Am I responsible for supplies?
Yes, similar to utilizing on-site clinical or research spaces, the study team is responsible for providing study-specific supplies including lab shippers, dry ice, recruitment materials, laptops/tablets, personal protective equipment, etc.
Study teams may also request supplies through CRC to be included in their budget for the Mobile Research Unit.
General supplies and equipment available on-unit: include secure WiFi network, printer, portable ECG machine (local), specimen refrigerator, specimen freezer (up to -80 degrees Celsius), refrigerator for transport/temporary storage of IP or other products to be administered or consumed, refrigerator for food and beverages, locking cabinets and drawers to secure supplies, a locked safe to store items of monetary value, soap, paper towels, RV-grade toilet paper, AED, safety and emergency equipment (including fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, weather-related supplies), etc.
General supplies and equipment available upon request: outdoor tent, chairs, tables, portable clinical equipment, etc.
- Can temperature logs from the Mobile Research Unit refrigerators and freezers be requested?
Yes, temperature logs and calibration logs are available for all equipment.
- How will we know where the MRU is in the community to tour the bus (ie community event calendar, social media, etc)?
Events open to the public will appear on the CRC Event Calendar and information will be posted on CRC Social Media Pages.
- Are participants allowed to have visitors on the bus?
Visitors are permitted per current UH Visitation Policies.
- Are study teams responsible for any clean-up after a study visit?
Yes, study teams are responsible for basic clean-up just as they are for conducting visits at any other location. This includes removing all study-specific supplies, wiping down exam tables, chairs, and equipment as appropriate, removing full biohazard and sharps containers, etc. Any leftover items will be discarded.
- During a study visit, do the study teams have complete privacy from any CRC members?
Departments may utilize their own research staff to conduct visits, and there are 2 exam rooms on the unit that have doors to ensure privacy. At least one CRC mobile unit clinical staff member will be present on or near the bus during the visit to maintain safe operations of equipment and the unit, however, they are not required to be present in the exam rooms. The CRC staff member can be available to assist department staff for tasks in their scope-of-practice if needed.