ITSU-4001 - Research Proposal Development

ITSU-4001 - Research Proposal Development

Elective Title: Research Proposal Development
Course Number: ITSU-4001
Elective Type: research Duration/Weeks: 4 Max Enrollment: 20
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Year 2
Additional Requirements: C-form is required. Send form to Marisa Pelonero Bible (
Responsible Faculty Director: Judy Aronson, MD Periods Offered: 1-13 including holiday period 8 
Coordinator: Marisa Pelonero Bible & Donna Adams Other Faculty: Dr. Steve Wolf
Location to Report on First Day:
Donna Adams, 409-772-1932

The overall goal of the elective is to prepare students for subsequent Honors program or Translational Research Track level research projects, by developing research proposal in conjunction with research mentor, completing regulatory requirements such as human subjects or animal research approvals.

At the completion of this experience, the student should be able to:
1. Under the guidance of a faculty research mentor of choice, identify an area of clinical or translational research interest and develop a focused research question.

2. Review and summarize relevant biomedical literature as rationale for research question

3. Develop scientific writing skills.

4. Create an NIH style grant proposal (see below) and/or IRB proposal that will be explored during future research electives.

5. (If appropriate for research project), Learn about the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process and obtain access to Tivoli and InfoEd. Obtain or make concrete plans to obtain MyCiti training, Tivoli training, UTMB specific annual research training.

6. If appropriate for research project) Make concrete plan to obtain hands on training relevant to an individual's research project: Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2), Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL-2), An Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, writing consent forms, and other necessary training for the student's project.

Description of course activities
Students will work with faculty research mentor to create a written research proposal for a project that will be performed under the guidance of that faculty member during future elective periods. Student independent work will include literature review, proposal writing, on-line training as appropriate for research regulatory requirements (human subjects, biosafety, animal use). When the faculty mentor signs off on the written proposal, this will be sent to the course director, and copied to the ITS Education Office. This proposal can be used for the Honors Research Program proposal and can serve as the plan when registering for subsequent research electives. Research mentors will be confirmed by the course director. If assistance is needed finding a mentor, there are resources available.

This course satisfies the Translational Research Concentration.

Type of students who would benefit from the course
Students interested in participating in research, particularly those participating in the TRT and/or interested in Research Honors Program.

    Weekly Schedule
          Estimated Course Activities (Start-Time/Finish-Time):
Day of Week   AM   PM

 Average number of patients seen per week:
 Call Schedule:

Research / Other Course Activities
(estimated schedule)
Activity Hours per Week
Faculty Contact-Time 10
Self-Directed Study 10
Data-Collection/Analysis 10
Other research related training, on-line or in person 10

Method of Student Evaluation
1.  Clinical Observation
  A. Where are students observed on this elective?
    Inpatient Service   Ambulatory   Surgery   Standardized patients
Patients simulators   Other
  B. Frequency - How often are students observed clinically?
  C. Format - What method(s) are used to document the student's clinical performance?
    Daily oral feedback   End of period oral feedback   Written feedback

2.  Oral Presentation
  A. Audience - To whom does the student present?
  B. Frequency / Duration of Presentation(s)?
  C. Format - What guidelines are set for the student's presentation?
  D. Assessment - Who assesses the student's presentation performance?
    Self-assessment   Peer assessment   Faculty assessment
  E. Method of content selection
    Current cases  Student-selected topic   Assigned topic

3.  Written Assignment (H&P's, notes, papers, abstracts, etc.)
  A. Frequency of written assignment(s)?
  B. Format - What guidelines are set for the student's written work?
    The required written assignment is a research proposal in NIH style format. This proposal may be used to apply for the Honors Research Program, if desired. The proposal must be 5-10 pages in length, single spaced, including an appropriate bibliography. The general outline and style of an NIH research grant application should be utilized with the following sections, in order: (a) specific aims/objectives of the project (what is to be done; hypotheses to be tested); (b) significance, rationale, and background of the project (why the proposed work is important); preliminary data and/ or relevant experience of the applicant (this is a feasible project for which I have the required or can acquire the skills and knowledge to perform); (d) experimental design and methods to be utilized to meet the goals of the project (a description of the protocols to be used and how they will answer your aims. How many experiments? How will you validate your results; how reliable are they? Are there pitfalls, problems, alternative explanations, or conclusions? Is the amount of experimental work realistic for the time you have available?); and (e) bibliography. Students will also be required to document certificate (eg CITI training) protocol submission (eg IRB protocol) or administrative approval for human subjects research, animal research, or biosafety training, as appropriate for the given research proposal.
  C. Length of written assignment(s)?
    Abstract   Annotated bibliography   1 - 2 page paper   3+ page paper
  D. Are recent references required?   No    If yes, how are they selected?
    Literature search using appropriate academic database
  E. Method of content selection - e.g. student-selected, relate to cases, etc.?
    student selected
  F. Audience - Who assesses the student's written performance?
    Peer Assessment     Faculty Assessment     Other

4.  Examination
    Oral   Written multiple choice   Written essay / short answer   OSCE

5.  Extra Course Activities
  What expectations do you have for the student to demonstrate participation in the elective (e.g. small group activities, seminars, thoughtful questions, providing resources, journal club, resident lecture attendance)?

6.  Additional Costs
  Please list any additional costs and/or purchases (books, materials, movies to watch, etc.) that are required for this course. Include an estimated total cost. If there are no additional costs, please enter "None".

7.  Other Modes of Evaluation
  Please explain below.

8.  If this course is an Acting Internship, please complete the following:
  A. Objectives for the AI should relate directly to the Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs). Each AI should describe how the four key Year-4 EPAs that our school has identified as being Year-4 skills are assessed. The Year-4 objectives are:
1. Entering and discussing orders/prescriptions.
2. Give or receive patient handover to transition care responsibility.
3. Recognizing a patient requiring urgent or emergent care and initiating management.
4. Obtaining informed consent for tests and procedures.
Specify how the student will be given formative feedback on their clinical skills.

Year-4 students should demonstrate mastery of EPAs they developed in the clerkship year, including recommending and interpreting common diagnostic and screening tests, and performing general procedures of a physician. They should be able to demonstrate masterfully and independently skills they mastered in Years 2-3, including efficiently performing comprehensive admission-notes and succinct daily progress notes and perform accurate, concise, and hypothesis-driven clinical presentations, form clinical questions and retrieve evidence to advance patient care. They should be able to demonstrate basic understanding of and beginning mastery of collaborate as a member of the interprofessional team and identify system failures and contribute to a culture of safety improvement.

List advanced clinical skills that a student will be assured an opportunity to practice.

How specifically will this AI build on developing skills from the clerkship year to prepare students for internship?

What opportunities will typically be available to all students who take this AI (procedures, required presentations, etc.)? What opportunities may be available based on patient load/presentation or student initiative (ie. Writing a case report)?

An AI should have expectation of a minimum of 32 hours per week of clinical responsibilities. Duty hours should be capped at ACGME limits for an intern, thus up to 24 hours followed by 4 hours of activities related to patient safety, education, and handoff. Students cannot work more than 80 hours per week averaged over 4 weeks. They can only have 1 day off in a 7-day work week with 8 hours off between shifts.

Clinical responsibilities will vary depending on specialty, but how is the student functioning with work commensurate to a PGY1 with an appropriate level of training?

How is the student demonstrating drawing clinical conclusions and/or developing a management plan and documentation as an intern would do?

How and by whom will midpoint feedback be provided to the student? How will you remediate deficiencies identified at midpoint?

Acting Internship students often seek letters of recommendation following their experience. How many different Faculty will work directly with the student and have knowledge of the student's abilities to detail in a written evaluation? Describe the degree of supervision and interaction with faculty vs. residents or other providers and how feedback will be obtained if more direct work is with residents or other providers.