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How to Write a Research Proposal Detroit Medical Center Nursing Research Council.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Write a Research Proposal Detroit Medical Center Nursing Research Council."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Write a Research Proposal Detroit Medical Center Nursing Research Council

2 What is a research proposal?  A research proposal is your plan It describes in detail your study Decisions about your study are based on the quality of the proposal  Research funding  Approvals to proceed by the Nursing Research Council, the DMC, and the WSU Institutional Review Board

3 Research Proposal Elements  Background/clinical significance  Research Question/Aim/Purpose  Methods Design Sample/Sample Size Setting Protocol Analysis plan  Timeline

4 Writing the Proposal

5 Background/Clinical Significance  Why is your study important?  Describe the clinical significance of the research question or clinical problem  Answer the “so what?” question

6 Literature review  What is the state of the science on this problem? Are there gaps in the literature? How will your study fill those gaps? Synthesize recent literature (within the past 5 years)

7 Purpose  Identify simply what you plan to do in your study  The purpose can be framed as a research question or an aim  Examples: What is the impact of meditative music on agitation in hospitalized elders? The purpose of this study is to show the impact of meditative music on agitated elders.

8 Methods  This section of your proposal has multiple parts Design Sample/Sample size Setting Protocol Analysis Plan  Detailed enough so that the reviewers could conduct the study

9 Methods - Design  Describe your study design  Design examples Prospective vs. Retrospective Descriptive Observation Intervention clinical trial Surveys, interviews, questionnaires Focus groups, field studies Others  Example We plan a prospective randomized controlled trial of meditative music vs. no music

10 Methods – Sample/Sample Size  Who are the study participants? Describe inclusion criteria Example: Adult men and women inpatients with stage IV heart disease Who is excluded? Example: Patients who do not speak English

11 Methods – Sample cont’d  How will participants be recruited? Convenience sample of nurses or patients Flyers in clinics or waiting rooms Advertisements Electronic Records search  How many participants are needed? How will you justify the sample size? Has there been a power analysis? Do you have a comparison or control group?

12 Setting  Describe the units or clinics at DMC sites where you plan to conduct the study  Do you have support from the clinic or unit to conduct the study? Letters of support from site or unit

13 Protocol  What are you going to do to study participants? Detailed, step by step explanation Include how you will identify participants, obtain consent, and collect data If there is an intervention, describe it in detail Will you use measurement tools? Describe the tools, including reliability and validity and include a copy of the tools with your proposal Include the time frame for implementing the study

14 Data Analysis  Describe your analysis plan What statistical tests will you use? Be sure your statistics are appropriate for your study design

15 Timeline  Describe how long it will take to do your study  Provide timeline benchmarks  Example: Months 1 – 3 Prepare study tools Months 4-10Collect data Months 11-12Analyze data

16 Common pitfalls to avoid  Missing aims or purpose  Not enough detail about protocol Write your proposal so anyone reading it can understand your plan  Is your study significant? Does it answer the larger “So what” question? Why should nurses care about this work?  Underpowered sample size Describe why you are using the sample size and justify it  Invalid or unreliable instrumentation Has your instrument been tested with the population you are studying? If not, will you test it within your study?  Improper statistics Are you using the appropriate statistical analysis?

17 How will the Nursing Research Council Evaluate my proposal? The NRC will evaluate your proposal based on specific criteria defined by the Wayne State IRB The research design must be sound enough to yield the expected knowledge The aims/objectives are likely to be achievable in the given time period The rationale for the proposed number of participants is reasonable The scientific design is described and adequately justified

18 Resources Each DMC hospital has a Nursing Research Council representative. Contact them before you submit your proposal if you have questions. ntent.aspx?id=548

19 References Mateo, M.A.; & Kirchoff, K.T. (1999). Using and Conducting Nursing Research in the Clinical Setting. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company. Polit, D.F.; & Beck C.T. (2010). Nursing Research Principles and Methods. Philadelphia, PA: Lipincott.


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