Welcome to the Rush Department of Emergency Medicine Research Faculty Development Group. The aim of this group is to (a) find a better name and (b) guide interested faculty through the steps of taking an idea through the steps of the research process and ultimately resulting in dissemination of the work.
Alone this is a daunting task. Together we can provide one another with insights and experience and the accountability to continue to push forward. Each time one of us moves through this process we gain experience and confidence. This allows us to move others through the process.
Below are the 10 steps of a research project each person will generally go through. There will be variations for specific projects, but this encapsulates most cases. We are planning how-to guides for each of the steps for our website. If you’re willing to write one, please let Kasia or Rahul know.
There are a few things you should know and do before we get started. Much of what we will discuss comes from the wonderful book Designing Clinical Research by Stephen Hulley.
1. Getting Ready
2. Literature search
Summarize the work that has already been done in this area. From this understanding, identify an interesting but unexplored corner in which to develop your study.
- Using search engines (PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, MedEd Portal) and the Rush Library’s website.
- Using a reference manager (such as Zotero)
- How to Take Smart Notes
3. Formulate a research question
Once you’ve identified your corner of the knowledge to explore, you’ll need to get more specific about what can be answered by a research project. The team can help you make the idea more focused and amenable to study.
4. Study Design
The team works to select an appropriate study design given the research question, the state of existing literature and available resources. The lead faculty will work on creating a study plan based on input from the group.
- Selecting a study type
- Case studies, case reports and innovation reports
- Designing observational studies
- Designing trials
- Survey study design
- Qualitative study design
- Scoping reviews
- Systematic reviews and meta-analyses
- Creating a study plan
- Selecting subjects & variables
- Power calculations and sample size
- Determine statistical considerations up front
- Selecting your journal targets
5. IRB Approval
The lead faculty for a project will now work on submitting the an application to the institution’s IRB. Getting access to their portal requires first completing several training modules.
6. Performing the study
The team needs to start formulating a study manual with consents and other study materials. Logistics need to be figured out.
- Writing a study manual
- Study logistics and past lessons learned
- Using RED CAP to collect data securely
7. Analyze the results
Once data has been collected, it is time for statistical analysis. Often times this requires the assistance of a statistician, however we can perform some simple basic tests using Excel and a little know how.
- Working with a statistician
- Basic statistical analysis with Excel and the Data Analysis Add on
We suggest starting writing at the beginning of the project. A draft can be easily revised or addended as new data becomes available.
- Reviewing the journal’s publication requirements
- Writing, revising and the crappy first draft.
- Reviewing other’s drafts with a critical eye
9. Submissions and resubmission
Once the draft is complete, it is ready for submission.
- Preparing a draft for submission
- Submissions requiring revision
- Revising for another journal
- What to do with submissions that are rejected
- Make it count twice: presenting at conferences
10. Becoming a mentor
Once you feel comfortable completing research projects, it’s time to act as a mentor for the next group of research novices.
- Best practices in mentoring
- How to keep people accountable
- Reviewing for journals
Rush EM 4+4 Research Group
The group was born out of an idea of Dino Rumoro’s where 4 faculty coaches guide 4 rookies through the process. Each novice researcher brings their own project and the other three assist on the project. All four are ultimately authors on all four projects. The coaches keep the rookies on track and answer questions.
After gaining experience, each clinician novice then becomes a newly minted research mentor to lead a new group of clinician novices.
Faculty will move through 10 steps, providing their progress at bi-weekly meetings. The meetings serve as accountability checks as well as idea sessions. Each member receives mentorship throughout the process by the faculty coaches.