Research proposal


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Research proposal

  1. 1. Research proposal The first step for being a researcher Dr. Tarek Amin Professor of Public Health Cairo University
  2. 2. Research proposal…W hy? Purpose of a proposal: T he purpose of the proposal is to help you (as student) to focus and define your research plans.  An indication to your faculty of your direction and discipline as a researcher. T hey also help you to prepare your application to the E thics Committee.
  3. 3. W hy Research proposals must address the following questions: What you plan to accomplish? Why you want to do it? and How you are going to do it?
  4. 4. T proposal is expected to: he 1- Show that you are engaging in genuine enquiry; 2- L your proposed work with the work of ink others, 3- P roving you are acquainted with major schools of thought relevant to the topic; 3- E stablish a particular theoretical orientation; 4- E stablish your methodological approach, and 5- Show you have thought about the ethical issues
  5. 5. Research proposal “contents” FINER T T itle/ opic Simple Specific In advance L iterature review Introduction and literature review Research Question Objectives H ypothesis statement Variables definition Outcome Predictor T heoretical and conceptual frame Sampling theory and designs Study Design & Setting Research Instruments M ethods of data P rocessing: computers and statistics Sampling Design and size Data processing Research design: functions E thical issues P rinciples of Scientific writing P roposed Chapters of report P roblems and limitations Validity and reliability of the research tools T ime frame B udget
  6. 6. I- T itle and topic Concise and descriptive.  Stated in terms of a functional relationship indicating the independent and dependent variables.  If possible, think of an informative but catchy title that wins the reader's interest. 
  7. 7. II- Introduction The introduction typically begins with A. a general statement of the problem area, with B. a focus on a specific research problem, to be followed by C. the rationale or justification for the proposed study.
  8. 8. The introduction generally covers the following elements: State the research problem.  Provide context and set stage for research question (show its necessity and importance).  Present the rationale of study and clearly indicate why it is worth doing.  Describe major issues and sub-problems to be addressed by your research. 
  9. 9. Identify the key independent and dependent variables.  State your hypothesis, if any. 
  10. 10. Structure of The introduction section A good introduction has the following elements: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) a general description and the background of the problem to be researched; relevant factors influencing the research problem; the state of knowledge relevant to the research problem as given in the literature; the relevance of your own research; a problem definition or research question and, if applicable, the expected outcome or hypotheses. The order in which to include these elements is not fixed, particularly the order of elements b through d. If you use new concepts that are not generally known, you must explain them.
  11. 11. III- Research question: Characteristics of a good research question “F R Criteria”. INE Feasible interesting novel ethical relevant Adequate number of subjects. Adequate technical expertise Affordable in time and money M anageable in scope T the investigator o Confirms or refuses previous findings E xtends previous findings P rovides new findings T scientific knowledge o T clinical and health policy o T future research directions o
  12. 12. I Saudi A n rabia, re liable studie s that tackle the pre vale nce and patte rn o f re fractive e rro rs amo ng primary scho o l childre n are scarce , with varied results due to inconsistency in the cutoff used for errors definition form 23% in the high altitude Abha city (Abolfotouh et al.,1993) to 10.7% among pre-school children in Jeddah city at sea level (Wedad et al., 2002). Moreover, the Saudi school health services provided by Ministry of Education do not include adequate vision screening facilities (Wedad et al., 2002). In accordance with WHO’ s global initiative “ Vision 2020” The right to sight (, a professional based (optometry) screening program for all school-aged children is recommended to provide an early detection and initiate early treatment. The objective of the this study was determine the prevalence and pattern of refractive errors among primary school children in the age group of 6-14 years of both sexes in Al Hassa, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.
  13. 13. To address the existing gap in the literature on smoking among adolescents we have tested the following hypotheses: First, o lde r male ado le sce nts are mo re like ly to smo ke to bacco than yo ung e r and fe male ado le sce nts. Se co nd, smo king amo ng clo se re lative s (e nviro nme ntal to bacco e xpo sure ) and frie nds (pe e r pre ssure ) wo uld incre ase the like liho o d (risk) o f be ing curre nt smo ke r. Finally, ce rtain mo tive s (so cializing , imitatio n, o uting , rathe r than re lie ve o f stre ss and ple asure ) and the pre se nce o f de pre ssive and/o r anxie ty diso rde rs may re pre se nt po te ntial pre dicto rs fo r the curre nt smo king status amo ng ado le sce nts. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, there are no previous studies in Saudi Arabia that address the psychosocial predictors of smoking status among this age group. In this study, we attempted to provide baseline information on the psychosocial determinants and prevalence of smoking among adolescents in secondary schools in Al Hassa, KSA, for proper design of practical and effective intervention strategy.
  14. 14. IV-Literature Review:  Sometimes the literature review into the introduction section. is incorporated
  15. 15. L iterature review (functions)        Ensures that you are not "reinventing the wheel". Gives credits to those who have laid the groundwork. Demonstrates your knowledge of the research problem. Demonstrates your understanding of the theoretical and research issues related. Shows your ability to critically evaluate relevant literature information. Indicates your ability to integrate and synthesize the existing literature. Convincing that proposed research will make a significant and substantial contribution to the literature.
  16. 16. In Saudi Arabia there has been a considerable change in the pattern of breastfeeding in recent decades due to population transition as a result of advancements in socioeconomic status.7 Breastfeeding in Saudi Arabia has been customary;8 its duration used to exceed the age of 24 months, and solid food would be introduced as late as 12–18 months and complementary to breastfeeding.9 Studies from Saudi Arabia have recorded a progressive decline in breastfeeding practice and duration, especially among young mothers in urban areas,10–12 with early introduction of bottle feeding12,13 and earlier introduction of solid foods.14 The initiation and duration of breastfeeding depend on several determinants, namely, socio-demographic, psychosocial, biomedical, and healthcare-related factors, community attributes, and public policy;15 however, the importance of these factors varies across countries and over time. Few studies14–16 have addressed factors related to initiation and exclusivity of breastfeeding in Saudi Arabia with inherent faults either in samples studied of purely urban mothers14 or using different cutoffs for exclusive breastfeeding.16
  17. 17. Your research competence will be questioned if any of the below applies to your proposal.  Lacking organization and structure  Lacking focus, unity and coherence  Being repetitive and verbose  Failing to cite influential papers  Failing to keep up with recent developments  Failing to critically evaluate cited papers  Citing irrelevant or trivial references
  18. 18. Organize your literature review  Subheadings to bring order and coherence.  Keep in mind that you are telling a story.
  19. 19. V-Methods:      Tells how you plan to tackle the research problem. Describe the activities necessary for the completion of your project. Contains sufficient information for the reader to determine whether the methodology is sound. Should contain sufficient details for another qualified researcher to implement the study. Demonstrates that “ your approach is the most appropriate and most valid” .
  20. 20. Instructions for writing the Method section  Methodological elements are described precisely and accurately.  Unlike the Introduction, the Method section is divided into subsections. Each methodological element is described in a separate subsection with its own heading.
  21. 21. Ele me nts o f the M tho d Se ctio n e 1- Research design (s): this element describes the design - the 'format' - of the study. Contains information about the measurements, the test subjects and - if applicable - the period covered by the data.
  22. 22. E lements of methods section 2- P rocedure: Describes how the research will be conducted and includes the steps taken to implement the research design, such as the recruitment of test subjects.
  23. 23. E lements of M ethods section 3-Research population: Accurate description of the research population (the sample). Such a sample may involve highly diverse entities: material (e.g. contact lenses), cells, animals, patients, healthy persons, physicians, and so on.
  24. 24. E lements of methods section 4- M aterials: Describes the material collected (the variables included). Only describe the data that was used to answer your research questions. Use headings and subheadings to structure the information, so that the reader quickly gets the picture.
  25. 25. T ypes of sampling Non-random/probability Random/probability Simple Stratified Cluster Quota Mixed sampling Systematic sampling Judgmental Proportionate Single Accidental Disproportionate Double stage Multi-stage Snowball
  26. 26. Number of contacts Reference period One T wo E xperimental T hree or more P rospective Nonexperimental L ongitudinal Studies Cross-sectional Studies B efore and after studies Retrospective P rospective Semiexperimental Study designs Retrospective Nature of investigation Classification base T ypes of study design (I)
  27. 27. Research designs (II) ”?Did the investigator assign exposure “intervention Yes No Observational study E xperimental study ?Comparison group ?Random allocation Yes Randomized Controlled T rial RCT No -Non Randomized Controlled trial Cohort studY E xposure → outcome Yes Analytical study No Descriptive study Case report Case series ?Direction E cological E xposure and outcome at the same time Case-CoNtrol studY E xposure ← outcome Cross-seCtioNal studY
  28. 28. M ethods of data collection P rimary Sources Secondary Sources Observation Documents Participant oGovt publications oEarlier research oCensus oPersonal records oClient histories oService records Interviewing Structured Non-participant Animals/Lab. Questionnaire Mailed Unstructured Collective
  29. 29. B asic structure of case-control design PoPulatioN Diseased Unexposed to factor (b) Diseased (cases) Sample The Odds “ chance of exposure Is calculated between both groups E xposed to factor (a) Disease-free E xposed to factor (c) Disease-free (controls) Unexposed to factor (d) P time ast T race P resent time Starting point
  30. 30. Calculate the difference in Odds for the included exposures for comparison. Calculate the difference in Odds for the included exposures for comparison.
  31. 31. Incidence of cancer lung Cohort Incidence of cancer lung
  32. 32. T control group design he “the control experim ental design” Independent variable E xperimental group Study population Intervention arm Study population Study population No intervention Control group Study population B aseline Data M easuring dependent variables “outcome” T chief objective of the control group is to quantify the impact of extraneous factors he “possible confounders”, which help to ascertain the impact of the intervention only.
  33. 33. T placebo design he E xperimental Group P lacebo Group Control Group T reatment/ placebo/ confounders T reatment P lacebo/ confounders Placebo E xperimental Group Placebo Group T reatment+ P lacebo (-) T reatment+ Confounders P lacebo Confounders Control Control Group T reatment Outcome Confounders (-)
  34. 34. Phases and indications of basic study designs T ype of study T iming F orm Crosssectional Cross-sectional Observational Repeated crosssectional Cross-sectional Observational Action in past time Action in present time Action in future time T ypical uses P revalence estimates Reference range Current health status Collect All information Collect Collect Collect All All All informationinformation information Changes over time Cohort L ongitudinal (prospective) follow Observational Define cohort and assess risk factors Observe outcome P rognosis and natural history E tiology Case-control L ongitudinal (retrospective) Observational Assess Risk factors trace Define cases and controls (outcome) E tiology particularly for rare diseases C.T follow L ongitudinal (prospective) E xperimental Apply intervention Clinical Observe outcome trials to assess therapy T rials to assess preventive measures L ab. experiments
  35. 35. Summary: For quantitative studies, the method section typically consists:     Design: What kind of design do you choose? Subjects or participants: Who will take part in your study ? What kind of sampling procedure do you use? Instruments: What kind of measuring instruments do you use? Why do you choose them? Are they valid and reliable? Procedure: How do you plan to carry out your study? What activities are involved? How long will it take?
  36. 36. VI- Statistical analysis      Data analysis was carried out using SPSS 16.0 (SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL, U.S.A). For categorical data, frequency, proportions and percentage were used for reporting, Chi square, Z test and Chi square for trend were used for comparison. Major osteoporotic and hip fractures probabilities were reported using the mean percentage and the range. For continuous data mean, standard deviation, and median were used to express the results, t-test and Mann Whitney test were used for comparison. Multivariate logistic regression model was generated to determine the possible predictors for receiving osteoporosis screening (BMD) (dependent variable) by inclusion of significant potential independent variables revealed form univariate analysis. Logistic regression analysis was carried out for the subset of population including only women and men aged ≥ 60 (individuals for whom screening is recommended). P value of ≤ 0.05 was considered significant. 11/27/13 Dr. Tarek Tawfik 36
  37. 37. VII- Results:  Obviously you do not have results at the proposal stage.  However, you need to have some idea about what kind of data will be collected, and what statistical procedures will be used to answer your research question or test you hypothesis.
  38. 38. VIII- Discussion: 1. 2. 3. The potential impact of your proposed research. Enthusiasm and confidence without exaggerating the merits of your proposal. Mention the possible limitations and weaknesses of the proposed research, and try to justify them.
  39. 39. IX- References 11/27/13 Dr. Tarek Tawfik 39
  40. 40. Common Mistakes in Proposal Writing 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Failure to provide the proper context to frame research question. Failure to cite landmark studies. Failure to accurately present the theoretical and empirical contributions by other researchers. Failure to stay focused on the research question. Failure to develop a coherent and persuasive argument for the proposed research. Too much detail on minor issues, but not enough detail on major issues. Too much rambling Too many citation lapses and incorrect references. Too long or too short. Failing to follow the APA style (sometimes). Slopping writing.
  41. 41. Elements of protocol Research questions Significance (background) Design time frame epidemiologic approach Subjects selection criteria sampling design Variables predictor variables confounding outcome variables Statistical issues hypotheses sample size analytic approach Purpose What questions will the study address? Why are these questions important? How is the study structured? Who are the subjects and how will they be selected? What measurements will be made? How large is the study and how will it be analyzed?
  42. 42. Thank you