Back to Top
Top Nav Content Site Footer
University Home
 

Orthodontics Research Program

The Research Program

Detroit Mercy Orthodontics

One of the requirements for the successful completion of the orthodontic program in the Graduate Department of Orthodontics at the University of Detroit Mercy is that you initiate, conduct, and complete 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. More to the point, in conducting his or her own research a student learns how to learn. It is difficult to imagine a more appropriate goal for education at any level.

The Research Project

Topic Requirements

The research topic can be, for the most part, of your own choosing. However, the project must meet the generally accepted definition of "original research". In this sense, essays, reviews of the literature, and "state of the art" papers will not be acceptable as fulfilling the research project requirements. The research issue 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.

The Director of Research and the Research Committee at the outset must approve all research topics.

Within the limitations mentioned above, it should be obvious that the topic areas available to you are virtually unlimited. You are not required to pursue a research topic within the area of orthodontics, or even dentistry; nor must the topic necessarily be directly dentally-related. Thus, such diverse fields as acoustics, mechanical engineering, microbiology, neurology, nutrition, ophthalmology, pediatrics, physiology, and speech pathology would be entirely acceptable as areas within which you could perform your research.

The Research Process

The Department offers two courses whose primary goals are to provide you with sufficient understanding of the elements of the research process to enable you to satisfactorily conduct and complete a research project during your graduate program, to conduct independent research, both now and at any time in your professional life, and to enable you to more effectively analyze and evaluate material in both clinical and research dental literature. The beginning course places considerable emphasis on assisting you in the selection of a research topic, planning the design, and initiating the research. Research interactions are available with a number of departments within the Dental School as well as a variety of departments and centers at Wayne State University, University of Michigan, and selected private clinical practitioners.

The Research Paper

The University of Detroit Mercy Department of Orthodontics 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 Department Chairman, the Director of Research, and your Project Advisor will work closely with you during this phase of your project.

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 your Department Chairman, the Director of Research, your Project Advisor, your Review Committee, and members of the faculty.

Project Advisor

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.

Review Committee

Your Review Committee will consist of a minimum of three persons: the Department Chairman, the 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 you. Such a request need only be relayed to the Director or Research, who will make the necessary arrangements.

Hearings

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 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 Department Chairman 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.
Back to Top