Develop Research Question

Careful planning is the key to successful research. The Research Office is happy to help you with all of your planning needs. If you have any questions about any available resources please contact the Research Manager.

Identify your question

One of the most difficult part of research is refining and framing your research question. You may have an idea of the question that you would like to answer already from your practice, or you may need to talk with a potential mentor to help you identify a research question.

Residents who are interested in identifying a research mentor are encouraged to contact the Postgraduate Education Office to obtain a list of available mentors. PI’s who are interested in mentoring residents/fellows or graduate students are encouraged to contact the Research Manager.

Develop Research Question

When considering your research question ensure it is good practice to evaluate your idea to ensure your proposed study is:

  • Achievable –  given the available time, funding and patient population
  • Novel – ensure that the study has not already been done
  • Relevant – other individuals in your field would benefit from the knowledge or findings
  • Ethical – does the work you are proposing ensure

Individuals without previous research experience are encouraged to begin with a common convention for framing a research questions, the PICOT approach (1-2).

  • Population/Problem
  • Intervention
  • Control
  • Outcome
  • Time frame

Literature review

A thorough literature review will help ensure that your question is novel and has not been answered already. If you have never performed a detailed lit search before please visit the UBC Library Research Help site to see the excellent resources available for faculty, staff and students.

UBC Library has links to 50+ Indexes and Databases for Medicine including:

Note that C2E2, the Centre for Epidemiology and Evaluation, offers periodic courses in systematic review. Individuals interested in conducting systematic reviews are encouraged to look for training opportunities.

Consult with a Statistician or Methodologist 

Careful planning and purposeful collection of data is key to the successful outcome of a research project. Consulting with a biostatistician or methodologist at the beginning of your project can assist with the following:

  • Help you ensure that you are collecting all the information you need to answer your question
  • Develop a plan for how to deal with missing data/ incomplete data sets
  • Assist with sample size estimates for budgeting and planning your study

Department of Medicine researchers may have access to a variety of Statistical and Methodological support services, ranging from drop-in support, collaboration, rounds and group/panel discussions. For assistance in determining the best option for your project please contact the Research Manager.

Name Site  Support Offered Consultation  Costs
C2E2 VGH Collaboration, weekly rounds, clinical research & methodology, biostatistics, systematic reviews, health services & outcomes, health economics , training and education Free 1 hr Variable
CHEOS SPH Collaboration, work-in-progress seminars, data management, grant applications & budget preparation, clinical trial support, statistics, methodology & mentoring Free Starting at $50/hr
SCARL UBC Planning, data management, surveys, statistics and data interpretation 1 hr Free to UBC Grad students  $50 – $200/hr