Compass & Map

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" - Albert Einstein 

Research Roadmap

TIMELINE

  • Develop a hypothesis

  • Complete a preliminary li review

  • Establish commitment from a mentor

  • Complete CITI training

PGY1

  • Finalize literature review

  • Develop study design 

  • IRB submission no later than the end of PGY2 year (earlier if large project)

  • Determine funding sources (do this early!)

PGY2

PGY3

  • Finish data collection on your project

  • Poster presentation or abstract submission (or both!)

  • Finalize your manuscript for publication

  • Submit your work for publication

PGY4

  • Finish any ongoing study 

  • You do not want to be finishing this while studying for boards

  • If you are lucky enough to be done early, help others!

  • Don't forget to update your CV with all of your hard work

CHOOSE AN ADVISOR

Step

1

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THINK OF A PROJECT

Step

2

Develop a hypothesis. More generally, what question are you trying to answer, and how would you answer/test this hypothesis? Keeping this question simple will maximize your success through the Office of Research & Innovation and the IRB.

 

This is an important time to determine what do you want to do with your project when you’re done. Is the end goal a poster presentation or would you like to publish in a journal? I recommend you consider striving for both. Your faculty mentor can assist you with determining feasibility with these goals.

TEAM UP!

Step

3

Another thing to consider is that you do not need to go this adventure alone. If you are considering a moderate to large scale project, it would be beneficial to partner with another resident. A shared google drive can be used to organize literature, templates and keep everyone involved on the same page. 

LITERATURE REVIEW

Step

4

An important aspect of developing an idea is to determine if this question has already been answered. Visit our “how to do a literature review” article for step-by-step instructions on how to do this. You may perform multiple lit reviews before you find a feasible project. This is normal. 

START ORGANIZING A PROTOCOL

Step

5

This is where you start organizing your thoughts on paper and begin designing a draft of your protocol and informed consent document. You need to consider WHO will be involved in the study (attendings, residents, pharmacist, patients, students, etc.). Further, you need to consider HOW your data will get collected and how your patient’s will be enrolled in your study. Will you need any funding for your project? How will you record and store the data safely and securely? See the "how to develop a research protocol" page for detailed assistance with this. Your protocol does not need to be completed before moving to the next step, but it will save you time on the back end if you start organizing it now. 

OFFICE OF RESEARCH & INNOVATION CONSULT

Step

6

Before submitting to the Mercy Health Regional Institutional Review Board (IRB), all researchers must first consult the Office of Research & Innovation for a feasibility review. To do so, submit a consultation request. The Executive Director will review the research proposal, provide any necessary guidance and grant approval to proceed. Written approval by the Office of Research & Innovation must be obtained prior to IRB submission. The IRB cannot process a project for review until written sign off has been received. Visit the "how to consult the office of Research and Innovation" page for a step-by-step guide on how to do this. Please allow 6 weeks for the pre-IRB submission process. 

DETERMINE A MINIMUM SAMPLE SIZE

Step

7

While you are working with the Office of Research and Innovation, go ahead and submit a Scholarly Activity Consultation Request with the MSU Statewide Campus System. The Office of Research and Innovation will ask you “How many patients must be enrolled in your study.” We are partnered with MSU-SCS and we have access to their Statisticians. They analyze your data and tell you how many patients you need for adequate power for statistical significance. Visit the "how to consult MSU" page for a step-by-step guide on how to do this. 

COMPLETE ETHICS TRAINING

Step

8

GET FUNDING

Step

9

Funding and financial support for a study requires approval by the Office of Research & Innovation. Fortunately, they can also help you find and apply for funding if needed. Not all studies will require funding. In fact, the minority will. Mercy health has institutional standard operating procedures for this. Consult the Office of Research & Innovation if you feel your project will need funding.