A two-month block of time is made available to perform bench top research. Clinical research occurs throughout the year. Collaborative research projects with investigators from the biomechanics or orthobiologics labs is encouraged. Collaboration with residents and biomedical engineering students is also an option.
The goal of the research rotation is to allow the fellow to gain knowledge regarding good scientific methods and to initiate and conduct a study in orthopedic research.
The fellow will be able to identify appropriate research questions and design a well-controlled study to answer the research questions. This would include understanding the definition of independent and dependent variables and recognizing potential sources of error.
During the research rotation, the fellow will have submitted a research proposal which demonstrates his ability to identify an appropriate research question and design a well-controlled study. The proposal should exhibit an understanding of independent and dependent variables, and how to control for potential sources of error.
The fellow will gain knowledge of how to conduct a literature search, critically read the literature (understanding the difference between peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed literature), and interpret current pertinent research in order to formulate a scientific hypothesis.
In the research proposal, the fellow will have reviewed, summarized, and cited key research papers related to the topic and stated a well-formulated hypothesis.
The fellow will evaluate the project’s facility and equipment needs including staffing, time frame, and budget for the study. The fellow will develop awareness of laboratory techniques and new materials/equipment for the investigation.
In the research proposal, the fellow will have determined the capabilities of the laboratory and clinical facilities including assessment of staffing needs, estimated start and completion dates, and budget requirements for the study.
The fellow will develop specific objectives to address the hypothesis, acquire a basic understanding of the statistical tests necessary to analyze the data, develop methodology to address each objective, and gain an understanding of basic technologies associated with the area of orthopedics being investigated.
In the research proposal, the fellow will have defined well-developed objectives to address the hypothesis, provided a statistical plan, and described precise materials and methods of the study.
The fellow will select an appropriate sample size, design questionnaires and/or data collection sheets that include quantifiable data, and conduct pilot studies, when applicable, to assess effectiveness of the procedures. In clinical trials, the fellow will present a professional manner and show respect for the patient. In laboratory trials, the fellow will work methodically, practice safety, clean up, and use research etiquette. In both cases, the fellow should work in a repeatable manner and understand the importance of handling all patients, specimens, and data collection consistently.
In the research proposal, the fellow will have identified an appropriate sample size, provided well-designed data collection sheets, and presented results of the pilot study when applicable. The fellow will have obtained a statistical consultation prior to writing the proposal. Throughout the trials, the fellow will have demonstrated good clinical and laboratory research techniques.
The fellow will develop a basic understanding of the statistical tests used for the study and why they are appropriate. This includes understanding the relevance of a p value, alpha and beta error, standard deviation, standard error of the mean, and confidence intervals.
During the research rotation, the fellow will have attended lectures on statistical design and demonstrated knowledge of skills in data collection methods and appropriate use of statistical tests.
The fellow will be able to interpret the data and results. The fellow will also apply the findings to the original questions, determine if the results have answered the basic research question, evaluate whether the objectives have been met, and accept or reject the hypothesis based on these findings.
At the completion of the project, the fellow will have presented the data clearly, demonstrated an understanding of the findings, and interpreted the results with subsequent acceptance or rejection of the hypothesis.
The fellow will discuss the results in light of existing research, compare the methodology and findings to other papers, and generate conclusions. This would include understanding the contribution of the results to the general body of knowledge, their relation to clinical applications, and their implications for future studies.
In the “Project Summary” (attached), the fellow will have interpreted the results and demonstrated how the methodology and findings compare to similar projects while contributing to the general body of knowledge. The fellow will have understood how the results can be applied to clinical practice and what their implications are for future studies.
The fellow will publish the results and/or present the findings of the study at the Orthopedic Educational Luncheon. With agreement of the faculty advisor, the fellow will submit the study for presentation at a national meeting. If the abstract is accepted, the study findings will be communicated efficiently in a poster or podium presentation. For a written paper for publication, the fellow will obtain the advice of the editor in the selection of an appropriate journal based on the scope/results of study and the journal audience. Following the journal format for submission of articles, the fellow will gain an understanding of the publishing process including editing and creating effective figures and tables to depict the collected data. For example, tables should elucidate rather than repeat the results and present the data so that their significance is easily recognized.
At the completion of the project, the fellow will have presented the findings of the study at the Orthopedic Educational luncheon, submitted the study for presentation at a national meeting, and /or submitted the study for publication in an appropriate journal with advice of the editor.