Premier Experimental Design

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This template should help you to plan your project in such a way that all possible difficulties, risks and systematic errors that may occur are considered and minimized in advance. By means of specific questions the ever present bias in experiments shall be reduced and project specific topics shall be brought into the awareness of your experimental design. It should be noted that you do not necessarily have to / can answer all points, which depends on your type of project (exploratory / confirmatory etc.). If you can't say anything about single points, please briefly explain why.

Explainer videos for technical use can be found here.

Project details

Project name:

Project Manager:

Planned project duration:

Short project description: (What is your project about? What is the goal?)

(If required, click the above edit button and upload an image.)



Literature Databases / Other sources:

What is (was) the research strategy?

Hypothesis / Counterhypothesis


Set up hypothesis / counter hypothesis: Have you formulated your hypothesis and the corresponding counter and/or null hypothesis?

Counterhypothesis: Have you searched for literature that argues against the hypothesis?

Target Parameter


Contact person for:

In vivo questions: André Rex

In vitro questions: Dorette Freyer

Definition of the target parameters: Which primary and secondary target parameters have you defined?

Sample Size Calculation


Need for experimental units: How was the need for experimental units (number of animals, organs, organ sections or cultured cells) determined?

Which reference was used for the estimation? groups and units: Name the experimental groups with the exact number of units and identify test and control groups.

Experimental Design / Model Planning


Definition of criteria: Have you defined the following criteria for your project: - method selection - influencing factors - requirements - control groups - validations?

Feasibility Check


Feasibility of the project: At the end of the feasibility study there is a plausibility check. Is it positive for your project?

Nesting and Pseudoreplication


René Bernard will help you with this topic.

Identification of the problem: Does the biological unit used for statistical evaluation correspond to the one used for randomisation? If not, check if pseudoreplication is present and how it can be avoided in the evaluation.

Randomization and Blinding


René Bernard will help you with this topic.

Implementation of R+B: Which methods were used to randomize and blind your experiments?

If you did not perform randomization and blinding, please explain why!

Resource Plan


Resources and infrastructure: Is the financing of your project secured and is there enough personnel, material and a suitable infrastructure available?

Alternatives: If this is not the case, are there planned strategies to overcome the possible challenges?



Preparation of the timetable: Have you created a detailed, realistic timetable for your project?

Is a project management tool available?

How do you manage, review and update this timetable?

(If required, click the above edit button and upload a timetable Excel file.)

Accompanying training courses


Determine training needs: Are there any special trainings, courses etc. that are absolutely necessary in order to carry out the project?

Attend training courses: Do you attend training courses that can be helpful for your project?

Planning of Data Preparation / Analysis


Data analysis: How did you plan the aggregation and preparation of the data?

Please explain and document (in the ELN) the step from primary to secondary data!

Archiving the data: Have you ensured the archiving of primary and secondary data?

Data Storage


Location: Where did you store the primary and secondary data?

Backups: Are you planning additional backups?

Clarification of Authorships


Requirements for first authorship: How are the authorships for your project clarified?

Documentation: Has the agreement been documented? If so, where?



René Bernard and Claudia Kurreck also provide further assistance on this topic.

Implementation: Where did you pre register your project?

Please explain in the ELN if you have not pre registered your project!