Tdrsmallgrant09_instruction for proposal construction
Joint Small Grants Programme for Operational Research in Communicable Diseases INSTRUCTIONS FOR RESEARCH PROPOSAL CONSTRUCTION
Please read the following instructions very carefully. Succinct descriptions should be
given under every heading in part II (Research project description) of proposal form.
Identify and state clearly the specific questions that you propose to answer by the
research and why those answers are important.
2. Review of literature and other existing information
Provide a brief synthesis of literature and other information. If a detailed review is
presented, it should be put in an appendix. A review of literature and other existing information is important when preparing a proposal because:
− it helps further your understanding of the problem you plan to research, and may lead
to refining the "statement of the problem";
− it helps you find out what others have learnt and reported on your topic, and take
account of this in the design of your study; and
− it gives you a familiarity with the various types of methodology that might be used in
State your hypothesis. A hypothesis is "a tentative prediction or explanation of the
relationship between two or more variables. A hypothesis, in other words, translates the problem statement into a precise, unambiguous prediction of expected outcomes". The research then is designed to test the hypothesis.
A hypothesis can be as simple in form as predicting the relationship between two
variables, one independent and one dependent.
Example: The proportion of malaria cases in a village where people sleep inside
insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) is lower than that in a similar village where ITNs are not used.
Clearly and concisely list general and specific objectives of the proposed study.
The general objective of the research identifies what is to be accomplished by the
Example: To assist in implementing the Expanded Programme on Immunization
The specific objectives identify, in greater detail, the specific aims of the research
projects, often breaking down what is to be accomplished into smaller logical components. In other words, specific objectives relate to the questions the researcher wants to answer through the study.
Example: − To study the tasks that form part of the EPI that is operated from the health centres in
− To study the capabilities and current tasks of the public health care workers within
− To evaluate through a quasi-experimental approach, two alternative plans concerning
how the public health care workers could assist in implementing the EPI in regard to vaccination coverage and costs.
Mention the type of study design, e.g. cross-sectional, case-control, intervention study.
Describe the methods to be used in the study.
The research setting includes all the pertinent facets of the study, such as the population
to be studied, the place and time of the study, and consideration of ethical problems. Ethical consideration will be very important if the study involves human subjects or human blood or tissue samples. When this is the case, the proposal will be submitted for ethical review by designated National or Institutional Ethics Committee (depending on national requirements) and then for ethical review by the World Health Organization.
Study participants should be clearly indicated as human cases, vectors, animal, etc.
This part also describes inclusion and exclusion criteria of the study participants.
5.4 Use of controls and the definition of a control group
Properly defined control groups are necessary when a study is designed to draw a cause-
and-effect relationship. Control groups consist of comparable units from the same population but differ in some respects namely in exposure to risk factors, use of a preventive or therapeutic measure or subjected to an intervention programme.
In an experimental study, the control group consists of those subjects to whom no
experimental stimulus is administered, but who resemble members of experimental group in all respects. The subjects that will form part of experimental and control groups should be selected and allocated randomly to each group, if possible. While some descriptive studies (studies of existing data, surveys, etc.) may lack control groups, control groups are necessary in all analytical epidemiological studies, in experimental studies of drug trials, in research on the effects of intervention programmes and disease control measures and in many other investigations. Many gross errors have been made in attempting to equate groups and make generalizations based on comparisons between groups that, in reality, are very different. It is important that the experimental and control groups must be as similar as possible except for
the factors being studied. Therefore, plans for testing of equality between experimental (or sample) and control groups need to be made.
Mention the input criteria for sample size estimation, justification for the sample size
used in the study if the statistically calculated is larger than what would be practical given the resources available.
Try to use the established sampling technique that will be used in order to obtain a
representative sample for your target population.
5.7 Data collection instruments, techniques and plan
Describe instruments used for data collection (questionnaire, observation recording form,
etc.), and studied variables included in these instruments, as well as the methods used to test for the validity and reliability of the instrument.
Briefly describe and reference data collection techniques used, e.g. larvae collection
technique, laboratory test, screening procedure, and interview.
Describe the quality control measures and best practices followed during the study
This part also describes: − plans for collecting data, organization of study and data collection in order to
minimize the possibility of confusion, delays, and errors.
− organization of the data collecting team and training as well as definition of
− logistic support for data collection; − plans for pilot or feasibility studies including pretesting methods; − plans for collaboration among different institution.
Plans for analysis are an integral part of the research design and should be stated in the
Preparing such plans helps the investigator avoid several pitfalls such as discovering at
− some needed information has not been collected; − certain information collected will not be included in the analysis; and − certain information collected has not been gathered in a form appropriate for
(b) plans for processing and coding of data: − manual sorting; − machine sorting; − computer programme(s); and − record linkage.
(c) choice of statistical methods to be applied to each hypothesis, statistical analysis
6. Implications of study results on disease control
Describe how the results of this study will be useful for policy-makers, health
administrators or health scientists. How will the results of this study be transmitted to appropriate audience?
7. Areas of integration of research activities
If applicable, list the areas of integration of research activities, e.g. related to more than
List references used in the proposal and in the application. Reference style must be
List research activities and mark them corresponding to implementation months in the
Prepare a budget that includes the following main categories: − personnel (allowances to be paid); − major equipment; − supplies; − travel, domestic and international; − data analysis costs; and − miscellaneous expenditures.
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