The Research Project

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 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.