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Welcome Pritzker Summer Research Program Research Seminar #2. Quick Check In. Cluster group meetings? Other problems? Logistics? (epic, etc.) Mentor? Mixed feelings about project? Seek guidance of your mentor, cluster leader, or SRP Directors

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quick check in
Quick Check In
  • Cluster group meetings?
  • Other problems?
    • Logistics? (epic, etc.)
    • Mentor?
    • Mixed feelings about project?
  • Seek guidance of your mentor, cluster leader, or SRP Directors
    • If you email ME, cc Dr. Wolfson & Kate Blythe and tell us your mentor’s name and title of your project for a more timely response
last week
Last Week
  • References
    • Any issues with Zotero?
    • Any issues with SRP website?
  • Introduction
    • Keep in mind your entire paper is roughly 3K words so not too much time on this
  • End with Aims & Hypothesis
  • Assembling a final paper
    • What are the other parts?
  • Short review on statistical testing
  • Writing abstracts (for end of summer)
  • Tips to Survive SRP & S&D Transition
  • Step by step detailed protocol
  • In general, 3 main paragraphs
    • Study Design
    • Data Collection
    • Data Analysis
study design including setting population
Study Design…including Setting & Population
  • Design
    • Retrospective or prospective?
    • RCT, pre-post, observational?
  • Setting: Where conducted?
    • Multicenter, single institution, in a lab, in the community.
  • Population: Who or what was studied?
    • People, cell lines, etc.
    • In enough detail so reader can assess generalizability
  • Often end with IRB/IACUC approval or exemption statement
data collection
Data Collection
  • Step by step, how was data collected
    • May use sub-sub headings if many types of methods
  • Give examples
    • how a survey question was worded & scale used
  • Describe any products/instruments used (inc manufacturer) and units reported
    • Reference studies that use these methods or validate these methods
  • Past tense
    • since it was done- not copied from IRB app or grant!
data analysis
Data Analysis
  • Calculations used to arrive at the results
  • Data were analyzed using.. .
    • Specific tests
    • Qualitative or Quantitative
    • Any software or product used
  • How statistical or clinical significance was defined
    • Multiple comparisons may necessitate more conservative p values
pitfalls of methods
Pitfalls of Methods
  • No data analysis section due to a fear of statistics
  • Too short
    • Not enough detail to understand study
    • Assuming that others know what your method is
  • No mention of IRB/IACUC
  • No methods references
  • Remember to start with the basics
    • “Descriptive statistics” - basic # to demonstrate
    • Describe study sample characteristics
      • Often referring to “Table 1”
    • Examples
      • # of experiments you’ve done
      • # of people you have enrolled (response rate)
  • Consider the “flow” – give most important results first or “set up” the important ones
    • Important results relate to your hypothesis
    • Followed by “secondary” results that are less important but interesting or characterize a finding further
  • Consider flow with your mentor
  • Likely will continue to work on results rest of summer (Upload a placeholder)
project not working
Project not working?
  • It is OK if…
    • Hypothesis is disproven
    • p value is >0.05
    • enrollment is low
    • results are slow
  • If a project is NOT working…
    • Meet with mentor to troubleshoot
      • IRB issues? Methodological problem?
      • Change direction?
need statistical help
Need Statistical Help
  • Use your mentor and resources of your mentor’s lab, Dept, colleagues etc.
    • May have a statistician for the project
    • Or someone they curbside for stats questions
  • Revisit notes from Dr. Lauderdale’s class
  • If your mentor needs help…
    • biostatistics assistance available to faculty (and their students)
    • Save for when you need it –at critical point
      • Costs $$$ after 2h of use (to your mentor)
    • http://biotime.uchicago.edu/
initial approaches to data analysis
Initial Approaches to Data Analysis
  • Describe the variables
    • Height /weight ?
    • Likert type data ? (Strongly agree to strongly disagree)
    • Gender?
    • Race? / Specialty you will go into?
  • This is the KEY to decide what statistical test to use
categorical outcome
Categorical Outcome


figures graphs tables
Figures/ Graphs / Tables
  • Show the data the best you can
  • Tables and Graphs should be “stand alone”
    • That is they should convey the meaning of the data without HAVING to read the paper
  • Often this will require a legend
    • Be very careful with abbr. - explain in legend
how most people read journals
How Most People Read Journals
  • Read Title
  • Read Intro (first few lines) to decide to read further
  • Look at figures/ tables to see if they can get the gist of your work
  • Read conclusion

But, reviewers do not read this way!

Neither do those “looking for your article”

  • 1st paragraph – Summarize the results in word form
    • Can add if this was the ‘first study’ of its kind
    • Make sure it is clear whether you accept or reject hypothesis
    • You will feel like you are REPEATING yourself
  • 2nd paragraph – Mechanisms for these findings
    • No new data from the study here
    • Were there any findings that were surprising? Or was this to be expected?
    • Can frame in context of other results / studies but use references sparingly (avoid reference rehash)
  • 3rd paragraph – Implications for these findings
    • What do these findings mean for patients or clinicians?
    • Or other stakeholders??
    • What type of future work is needed to answer follow up questions?
  • 4th paragraph – Limitations
    • Be comprehensive
    • All studies have limitations
    • Don’t get in the habit of saying “study limited by…but we did this…”
  • 5th paragraph – Conclusions
    • No more than 2-3 sentences summing up your main findings
    • Feels like you are repeating yourself!
some common limitations
Some common limitations
  • Single institution limiting generalizability
  • Small study
  • Few samples
  • Calibration / instrument errors
  • Results not replicated
  • Cannot make causal associations (true for any observation study EVEN if you use regression)
  • …many others…
pitfalls of discussion
Pitfalls of Discussion
  • Not summarizing first paragraph or following the ‘recipe’ of the paragraphs
  • Introducing new data from study
  • Too many references
  • Too few limitations
  • Overinterpreting the findings
    • Stick to what data shows (correlation NOT causation)
reminder paper
Reminder Paper
  • Select a journal
  • Or use JAMA format
  • Double spaced
  • Under 3000 words (or specify your journal format)
  • Fewer than 5 tables or figures
  • Upload to SRP website by paper deadline
managing expectations
Managing Expectations
  • TIME
    • your timeline consistent with mentor/lab?
    • VERY UNUSUAL to have paper ready to submit to journal at end of summer
    • Publicationdepends on factors out of your control (Project, mentor, scientific climate)
      • Even a good project takes years to publish
what might you have
What Might You Have?
  • Abstract Writing
  • Writing a good abstract is critical to scientific research
  • Why?
challenge of writing a good abstract
Challenge of Writing a Good Abstract
  • Many people find it harder to be terse
  • Or do not choose the most relevant information
  • Key is to stay big picture and focus on the MAIN points
submitting to a meeting
Submitting to a meeting
  • Abstracts are your entry point to get to meetings
  • Look up the format for when you write – DO NOT JUST WRITE

1st --what is the word count (write that at the bottom so you know how far over/under you are always)

abstract writing
Abstract writing
  • VERY different from papers
    • No references
  • Usually 250-500 words (required for those of you on NIH training grants) so keep it very brief
  • Same format “IMRaD” or a format they specify (i.e. “innovation abstracts)
abstract writing1
Abstract Writing
  • Always takes longer than you think
  • Start early!
  • Get feedback
  • Can often write the background and methods while you wait for the results
keys to good abstracts
Keys to Good Abstracts
  • Intro sets the stage but does not go into more depth than needed. only 1-2 sentences
  • Methods understandable (not vague/skimpy)
  • Results – provide the data to support main points (need to decide what those are)
  • Conclusion reinforces main points and includes forward thinking implications for future work
tips to surviving srp
Tips to Surviving SRP
  • Focus on the process and making sure you are on top of your assignments
    • Results should come eventually and sometimes no way to ‘force’ them
    • Figure out how to troubleshoot & consider plans B & C
    • Sometimes you have to change your hypothesis to accommodate this change too
tips to surviving srp1
Tips to Surviving SRP
  • Cultivate a working relationship & rhythm with your mentor and mentor’s lab
    • Proactively communicate but respect their competing obligations that prevent you from being their top priority at every moment
  • Graduating students will tell us that finding a good mentor is the key to a successful experience (not the “project”)
tips to surviving srp2
Tips to Surviving SRP
  • The timeline to produce anything meaningful is LONG
  • People spend their whole lives on making one breakthrough
  • You have 10 weeks
    • This is in some ways a ‘jumpstart’ to learning about research and your interests
tips to surviving srp3
Tips to Surviving SRP
  • Do not focus on “publishing” a paper
    • Will just annoy your mentor
      • Want to see you genuinely interested in work
  • Think about more appropriate dissemination for a first step
      • SRP Forum counts!
      • Internal conferences “Dept of Surgery Research Day”
      • Regional or national conference
    • The first step is submitting an abstract
needed for payday
Needed for Payday!
  • Check #1 available AFTER…
  • Requires validation of
    • References
    • Hypothesis
    • Introduction
authorship workshop
Authorship workshop
  • Led by Dr. Wolfson at next SRP Lecture August 4th
    • Part of REQUIRED research ethics curriculum
  • Dr. Valerie Press on Effective Scientific Presentations
    • What you need to know to present at SRP Forum
    • Also should be further along
srp s d
SRP  S&D?

(n=64, Aug 2013)

srp s d1
SRP  S&D?

(n=64, Aug 2013)

looking forward to ms2
Looking Forward to MS2
  • Some of you will continue your project as part of Scholarship & Discovery MS2 Block (5 weeks at end of MS2 year after USMLE before mS3)
  • Some of you may not want to because
    • Your project is at a natural stopping point
    • Your interests have changed
    • Your project is not working that well
fall ms2
Fall MS2
  • Submit track application in early NOVEMBER
    • Although this seems like a long time away, the key is that you don’t start back until Sept 22nd (which is really already October)
  • So, if you have an inclination to switch, you may want to think about new mentors for your MS2 year S&D block
some pitfalls
Some pitfalls
  • MS2 think they get more done than they will during MS2 year before the Block starts
    • They don’t factor in how time consuming CPP&T or how tiring studying for USMLE is
  • Many want to “start” a new project since all they have to do is “finish a paper” from SRP
    • “finishing a paper” easily takes more than 5 weeks!
    • Don’t take on too much
srp questions
SRP Questions
  • SRP ?s
    • When your mentor or cluster group leader can’t answer…
    • Email Drs. Arora & Wolfson with CC to Kate Blythe (do not email me alone esp now)
      • Most questions are logistical
      • Depends on type of research