The Research Program

Introduction

One of the requirements for the successful completion of the endodontic program in the Graduate Department of Endodontics at the University of Detroit Mercy is that you initiate, conduct, complete and present an original research project, including a written article for submission to a professional journal.  The basis for the requirement stems from the conviction that a research experience can, perhaps better than any other learning experience, develop and/or refine habits of critical thinking and reading. It is difficult to imagine a more appropriate goal for education at any level.

The Research Project

The research topic must be one that can be formulated in terms of a research hypothesis and one that is amenable to systematic and scientific investigation, including statistical evaluation of the data.  Also, the project should be one that can be completed during your two year program.  All research topics must be approved by the Director of Research and the Research Committee at the outset

Project Advisor and Review Committee

In carrying out your research project there are several people who will be available to you for advice and assistance.  These include the Director of Research, your Department Chairman, your Project Advisor, your Review Committee, and members of the faculty.

The Project Advisor generally will be a faculty member of this institution or some affiliated institution, and is the person with whom you will work most closely in terms of advice and guidance throughout the project.  In most instances you may select the individual who will serve as your Project Advisor.

Your Review Committee will usually consist of a minimum of three persons: the Director of graduate endodontics, Project Advisor, and the Director of Research.  Additional qualified persons may be asked to serve on the Review Committee by any of the persons previously mentioned, or by yourself.  Such a request need only be relayed to the Director of Research, who will make the necessary arrangements.

At least two "research hearings" will be held.  A "preliminary hearing" will be held soon after you have established your research design.  It is at this time that any questions, confusions or apprehensions concerning the research, either on the part of the Review Committee or yourself, should be fully aired.

The "final hearing" will be held after you have completed your research project and after each member of your Review Committee has received a typewritten copy of the final version of your research report. If, for any reason, either you or any member of your Review Committee should wish to convene the Committee for an additional hearing, such requests simply may be relayed to the Director of Research who will make the appropriate arrangements.  The recommendations of the Committee are given to the student immediately following the hearing, who is then responsible for implementing these recommendations.

The Research Paper

The University of Detroit Mercy Department of Endodontics no longer requires the traditional thesis as the written report of your research.  In place of the thesis, the Department requires that the written report take the form of an article in suitable form for submission to a professional journal.  The journal to which you submit your research may be of your own choosing.  If you select a target journal at the outset of your research project, the format and style of the written report will adhere to that employed by that particular journal.  If you do not have a particular journal in mind as you begin your research, the written report will simply follow the format utilized by most professional journals in reporting research results, that is: Introduction, Review of the Literature, Methods and Materials, Results, Discussion, Summary and Conclusions, and References. The Director of Research and your Project Advisor will work closely with you during this phase of your project.

Timelines

By the completion of course DEN 590 (Basic Research Methods), each resident will have developed a written research proposal.  The proposal will include the problem statement, purpose and background literature review.  During this semester, the project advisor and review committee will be determined and provide appropriate input.

By the completion of the course DEN 591 (Biostatistics), each resident will have developed the written research protocol. The protocol will include the introduction, purpose, methods and materials, and statistic analysis in the format of the referred journal to which the article will be submitted.  The research protocol will then be reviewed/approved by the review committee.

It is anticipated that the experimentation and data collection will be conducted during the summer between the first and second years.  By the completion of the second year Fall Term, all data will be collected, analyzed and the written article developed.

The project will be presented multiple times during the final semester and the written manuscript submitted for publication.