Research week is designated time dietetic interns get to work on our research projects. Our group of 5 interns and 5 research preceptors (it’s a big group) is working on understanding 4th year dietetic students’ perceptions of their upcoming internships via focus group discussions.
The week felt like the week of to do lists. We created recruitment emails, consent forms, response emails, and edited our ethics and research proposals. Through this process, we did a lot of reading, writing, re-reading, and re-writing. To help us anticipate what we might need to prepare ahead of time, we thought through the details of the study procedure and put ourselves in the shoes of the research participants. We got lots of valuable feedback from an experienced researcher. Her basic message to us was: Keep It Simple, especially when the target audience is a potential research participant. Give only relevant information (and all the relevant information) to ensure clear communication.
We read about research methods and focus groups, and phenomenology as a research approach. It’s interesting how much there is to consider when designing a research study!
What I learned:
- Always think ahead– what’s the next step? Is there anything that can be done to make the next step easier?
- Bullet points make everything clearer, it’s great in written communication to research participants!
- Write important stuff at the beginning of an email.
- When working with a research group for 7.5 hours a day: have a plan, make sure everyone is clear about what’s expected, and delegate appropriately to maximize productivity