Steps to Developing a Research Project: Resources to Help

Designing a research project is a careful process that involves many steps. The Academy and DPBRN offer many resources to help members through each stage of the process, from development of the research question through reporting and disseminating results. The Academy and other organizations offer resources (including webinars and tutorials) to help with each of these steps. (See Resource list below.)

Step 1: Develop the research question.
The first step in designing a research project is to define the general problem by reviewing existing literature and specifying the research objectives. This is also a good time to start looking for funding sources.

Step 2: Outline the methodology.
In this stage, researchers define the target population and determine where, when and how the data will be collected. They select or create data collection tools and develop a plan for analyzing the data. They also start the process of Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.

Step 3: Conduct the research.
Research starts with participant recruitment and the informed consent process. It also includes project monitoring and data collection. Depending on the design of the study, this stage can take weeks, months or even years.

Step 4. Analyze the data.
This stage may include data aggregation, statistical analysis and results interpretation.

Step 5. Reporting and Dissemination of Results.
This step may include abstract and/or manuscript preparation, publication selection and conference presentation.

Resources:

Making the Case for Research

PubMed (Step 1)

Research in Nutrition and Dietetics — What the Academy Can Do For You?: A comparison of five research models relevant to dietetics. (Step 1)

Research: Successful Approaches, 3rd Edition: A comprehensive guide for survey planning, study and questionnaire design and execution and presentation of research. (Steps 1-5)

Grant writing resources from other organizations (Step 1)

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Evidence Analysis Manual: The Evidence Analysis Manual is the Academy's step-by-step instruction guide for EAL project teams (expert panels, lead analysts, evidence analysts and Academy staff) to carry out the process of evidence analysis. It highlights the EAL's rigorous methodology used for all EAL systematic reviews and includes templates used in the process. (Steps 1 and 2)

Research Ethics for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist: Four self-study modules on research ethics to learn about the regulation of research and how it applies to you as you get started in research. After watching all four modules, you can take a quiz about them. You'll receive 1.5 CPE units if you correctly answer at least 80 percent of the questions in the quiz. Each self-study module requires Adobe Flash Player to be played; modules may not display on mobile devices. (Steps 2, 3)

Fact Sheet Institutional Review Board: Where, When and Why to submit your research. (Step 2)

Fact Sheet Special Populations: Special considerations for participants such as pregnant women, children, students and employees. (Step 2)

Guide for Effective Nutrition Interventions and Education: A simple, practical and evidence-based tool to help nutrition education practitioners design high-quality and effective programs. (Step 2)

Introducing ANDHII: Background information on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Health Informatics Infrastructure. (Step 2)

The Informed Consent Process: Fact sheet with instructions on obtaining informed consent from study participants. (Step 3)

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: The Journal's author information page provides an example of the formatting and organizational requirement typically required for publication in peer reviewed journals. The Journal has also published some articles that describe the research process. Academy members have free access to these articles: (Step 4)

Ethics in Research and Publication: The Publishing Ethics Resource Kit (PERK) is an online resource to support journal editors in handling publishing ethics issues. It is a single point of access for information and guidelines on publishing ethics. (Step 4)

FNCE® Education Session Resources: Guidelines and training PowerPoints for submitting your research for a Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo Educational Session. (Step 4)

Webinar: Submitting a FNCE® Poster Abstract: Strategies for Success: Learn about the necessary components of an abstract, how submissions are evaluated and common pitfalls. To view webinar, you may be prompted to download Cisco s WebEx Player application. This webinar cannot be played on mobile devices.

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: Authorship, publishing and manuscript preparation resources. (Step 4)