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UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine

Clinical Research Glossary

Clinical research has a highly specialized vocabulary with a vast number of acronyms and abbreviations that help facilitate scientific communication. However, understanding and remembering a multitude of clinical trial terms, acronyms, and abbreviations, is a daunting task, particularly for newcomers. This is further complicated by the differences in the definitions of the same terms and institutional specific terminology, abbreviations, and acronyms.

To make research communication easier, the CRSO has created a comprehensive clinical research glossary that provides both plain language and regulatory definitions.

Expand your clinical research word power with the SOM Clinical Research Glossary.


The School of Medicine CRSO provides navigation, tools, and training to support the conduct of clinical research studies in which UNC serves as an investigative site. The CRSO serves as an advocate for the SOM clinical research community, with focus on supporting the workforce, identifying best practices and standardizing processes, and developing tools and resources to support essential activities.