RES/724 Research Protocol

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RES/724 Research Protocol


Create a research protocol by writing a paragraph or two for each section below providing the required information.


1.            Background of the Problem and Rationale

  • Provide background information for your study.
  • In what ways will your research contribute to understanding the phenomenon?
  • What is the justification for doing this study?
  • What do we already know about this topic?
  • Why do we need to learn more?
  • What are the gaps in the literature that you plan to explore?



2.            Conceptual Framework

  • What is the theoretical/conceptual framework for this study?
  • Why will the approach you propose to use be most suitable to answering the gaps in the literature?
  • Show the relevance of the conceptual framework to your own research.



3.            Objectives

  • What are the objectives of your study?


4.            Study Setting

  • Where will your study be held?
  • Are permissions needed to do the study in this location?
  • Discuss issues of confidentiality given the study setting.   Study design
  • Give an overview of the study design and its relevance to your research.
  • Why is this design appropriate given the problem and purpose of your research?


5.    Field Methods

  • How will the research be carried out?
  • What data collection approaches will you use?
  • What activities will you undertake?
  • Complete a section below for each type of field activity you plan to use.
    • Interviews
    • Observations
    • Focus groups
    • Panel of Experts
    • Collection of artefacts


5.1  In-depth interviews, Observations, Focus Groups, Expert Panel

5.1.1 Purpose

  • Why will you be doing interviews?
  • Who will you be doing interviews with?
  • Why will you be doing observations? Of What?
  • Why will you use focus groups?  Who will participate?
  • Why will you use an expert panel, Who will be the experts?


5.1.2 Participants

  • Who will be the interview, focus group, expert panel respondents?  Be sure to describe them in detail and explain relevance to your study.
  • How will you access your participants?  Discuss method for sampling, i.e. Nonrandom, purposive, snowball sampling etc.
    • List Inclusion criteria for participants.
    • List exclusion criteria for participants.


5.1.3 Sample size


  • List the proposed sample size. 
  • If using more than one group, list sample size for each group.
  • Explain reasons for the proposed sample size
  • Discuss data saturation.


5.1.4 Permission


  • Give details on permissions needed from organizations to do your study
  • Give details on permissions needed from individuals.


5.1.5 Consent process


  • What information will be given to participants prior to participation?
  • When will informed consent be given to the participant?
  • How will informed consent be given to the participant?
  • What information is on the Informed Consent form?


5.1.6 Organizing the interview, focus group, observation, expert panel


  • When will the interview, focus group, observation, expert panel take place?
  • How will you arrange a date and time for the Interview etc. with the participants?
  • If done via telephone, skype etc. how will this be arranged?
  • If done via other media such as survey monkey, how will this be done?
  • If doing observations, who are the gatekeepers?  How will observations be arranged?


5.1.7 Introduction to the interview


  • How will you set up the interview, focus group, observation, expert panel?
  • What information will you give the participant prior to starting the data collection?
  • Will you give any incentives for being part of the research?


5.1.8 Interview Script or Guide


  • What questions will you be asking?
  • You should have an interview script in an appendix of your protocol. (This is not necessary for this assignment)


5.1.9 Validating questions


  • How will you validate your questions?
  • Who will be participants?
  • What will you ask them to do?
  • What will you do with the results?


5.1.10 Recording Interviews

  • How will you record the interviews?  You must justify your methods chosen.
  • Audio recording
  • Video recording
  • Note taking



6.    Data Management and Analysis


6.1 Data Handling and Data Entry  File Names

  • How will interviews and other documentation be noted and transcribed?
  • How will you code individual participants to maintain confidentiality?  During Field Work

  • How will all data (recordings, transcripts, informed consent, contact summary forms) be stored to maintain confidentiality when doing the interviews or observations...?
  • How will you handle and enter any demographic data.
  • Where will you keep this information?
  • What demographic data will you collect?


6.1.3 Interviews and Observations

  • How will you maintain confidentiality of participants names during the interview or observation i.e. use of codes on all recorded interviews and notes?  Name of person will never be recorded.
  • How will you maintain confidentiality of the expert panel?


6.1.4  After the Field Work

  • How will you store the transcripts, recordings, informed consent, after the interviews or observations?

6.1.5 Transcription

  • Describe how the interviews will be transcribed.
  • If someone else is doing the transcribing, you must have a confidentiality agreement with that person.
  • Will any non-verbal data be included in the transcription?  I.e. Observations.

6.2  Data Analysis



  • How will the data be analyzed?
  • How will the data be coded and developed into meaningful themes and constructs?
  • If using software to help with analysis, provide a clear understanding on how this software will be used.
  • This should be a step-by-step approach to how the data will be coded and analyzed.
  • If doing a Delphi study, how will subsequent rounds of data be analyzed.


6.2.2 Organizing the data

  • How will the data be stored and managed?  If using software, explain in detail.

6.2.3 Initial coding

  • How will you develop the initial codes for the data?
  • How will you arrive at the general themes?
  • Will you use software such as NVivo? How?

6.2.4 Development of theoretical constructs and narratives

  • How will the coded material be arranged to develop theoretical constructs and themes
  • How will results be related to existing literature and the conceptual framework of the study to develop conclusions?
  • Discuss member checking



7.     Ensuring ethics and quality

7.1 Ethics

  • How will research participants be protected?
  • What are potential risks?
  • Issues of confidentiality
  • How will the research act in an ethical manner?
  • Approval by IRB(s)


7.2 Rigor and quality

  • How will you maintain transparency?
  • How will you assure that your research is dependable and credible?
  • Discuss things such as maintaining an audit trail, personal journals, and research journal.
  • How will you minimize researcher bias?  Discuss things such as bracketing and epoch.
  • Discuss how you will maintain quality and rigor in each stage of the research study and how this will be monitored.


8.    Timelines


  • Provide a timeline for each stage of the research?  Consider how long each phase will take
  • When will participants be solicited?
  • When will data be collected?
  • Time frame for transcription?
  • Time frame for member checking
  • When will data be analyzed
  • When will narrative and write-up be completed?


RES 724 Research Protocol

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RES 724 Research Protocol

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