Guidelines for submission of a research proposal at HMC
When you have a research proposal to submit:
1. You have to be organized in your mind about what to do
2. You have to present all your information in a written form to the Research committee (RC) at HMC for their scrutiny and permission to conduct the research.
3. Always remember that you need to take permission in advance from the RC before you do a research and not after. For a case report, this might include asking for permission from the research committee before publication.
What do you have to do before you write a research proposal?
1. Get a research idea.
2. Convert the research idea into a research topic, something concrete and refined.
3. Develop the research topic into a research problem, which nags you till you do some literature review, talk to others about it and basically nurture it till you have to do something about it.
4. The research problem is further refined into a question form by reading up on the topic and finding out if some researcher before him has done work on it, what are the known facts about the topic and if there are any unknown facts about it which could be researched or is it an absolutely un researched topic. So the research problem becomes a research question. The research purpose is an offshoot of the research question, which identifies the goals of the research and why the research should be done absolutely.
5. Building a research hypothesis: Finally you have to state your research question, goals and objective in the form of a hypothesis which is a prediction on what the research question is going to be and what the predicted association or correlation you expect to find or disprove at the end of the research is.
What are the guidelines of the Research Committee for a research?
1. The research proposal: All researches conducted in HMC require a research proposal. The research proposal is the research hypothesis and the plan by which the researcher proposes to prove or disprove his/her hypothesis. It has to be in a written format.
2. Approval of the research proposal : To conduct the research in HMC, it requires an approval from the research committee at HMC.
3. What constitutes research in HMC : Any research conducted on human subjects from whom data is obtained through intervention or interaction with the individual or from whom identifiable private information is collected.
4. Contents of a research proposal : Any research proposal submitted to the RC at HMC must have the following elements:
I. General Information
1. Title of the research proposal
2. Names of the principal investigators
3. Name of the correspondence investigator
4. Signature of the head/chairman of the department
5. Names of the co investigators
6. Details of past research projects
A research proposal has to have:
1. A title
2. The names of the investigators – principal , co investigators & correspondence
3. Signature from the chairman/ director of the department and head of section of the PI’s department
4. Details of past research projects
6. Goal of the research
7. Objectives of the research
8. Methodology of the research
9. Ethical considerations
10. Time line
11. Budget of the research
12. Public health importance of the research
13. References for the research
14. Documents to be attached:
a) CVs of the investigators
b) Investigator’s assurance form
c) Data collection sheet
d) Consent forms in English, Arabic and relevant languages
II. a) Background of the research
• Statement of the research problem
• Background and significance of the problem
• Statement of the research question and the research purpose
Paragraph 2-4 Review of relevant literature
• Review of textbooks (theoretical literature)
• Review of relevant researches done by others on this research topic
• Summary of all these readings in one’s own language or quoting references appropriately
Paragraph 5- Developing the framework for the research
• Definition of the various concepts to be used, predicting relationships or associations between those concepts and developing a framework under which the study will be done
Paragraph 6- Concluding paragraph- The rationale of the study
• Why does the researcher think this research has to be done ?
• Why does he think this research project needs to be approved by the IRB?
• Why does he think this project needs to be funded?
• Written defense of his research project
b) Goals of the study
c) Objectives of the study
d) Secondary objectives of the study
III. Methodology of the study
a) Study area : The setting of the study
b) Study subjects :Identification of the population and the sample, inclusion and exclusion criteria
c) Study design
d) Sample size : Use of sample size calculations, power analysis
e) Sampling technique : Sampling method used and why that method is selected along with its strengths and weaknesses
f) Data collection methods, instruments, measurements: Data collection processes, Data collectors , training of data collectors, schedule of data collection, data collection forms , data management
g) Data analysis plan : The data entry process, the data analysis process, the statistical software that will be used, plan for the data analysis relevant to the objectives of the study, levels of significance if appropriate
h) Plans for monitoring the study :Reliability, validity of the study, methods planned for standardization of the data collection instruments etc
i) Identification of limitations of the study
j) Ethical considerations : Consent /Rules and regulations of the IRB/Confidentiality and anonymity issues/ Data safety and security/ Data monitoring etc..,
IV. Practical considerations, logistics, benefits of the study, references
a) Discussion of findings from the study : how will the study conclusions be communicated to others
b) Presentation of study budget
c) Presentation of the study timetable
d) References of the study
V. Documents to be included along with the research proposal
a) The CVs of the Principal investigators
b) The investigators assurance form
c) The consent forms in English and in Arabic etc..,
d) Data collection sheet
e) Any other document like adverse event reporting form etc...