The formal design or plan of an experiment or research activity; specifically, the plan submitted to a Scientific or Peer Review committee for review and to an agency for research support. The protocol usually also gives the background and rationale for the trial. The protocol includes a description of the research design, methodology to be employed, the eligibility requirements for prospective participants and controls, the treatment regimen(s), and the proposed methods of analysis that will be performed on the collected data. The plan is carefully designed to safeguard the health of the participants as well as answer specific research questions. A protocol describes what types of people may participate in the trial; the schedule of tests, procedures, medications, and dosages; and the length of the study. While in a project, participants following a protocol are seen regularly by the research staff to monitor their health and to determine the safety and effectiveness of their treatment.