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Research

Departmental and University Resources

Financial

Information on general funding opportunities can be found by viewing the University of Calgary Funding Deadline Calendar.

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology offers project funding through the Leadership Circle. A request for proposals is sent out via email each October for interested applicants.

Other specific opportunities can be found through:

Additionally, the Open Access Author’s Fund is available to cover the costs associated with publishing your research in an open access journal (http://library.ucalgary.ca/open-access-authors-fund)

Statistical Analysis

Several resources are available within and through the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  • Ms. Selphee Tang is a research analyst employed part-time through the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Depending on her current workload, she may be available to conduct the statistical analysis for your project.
  • Dr. Katie Chaput is available to support residents whose preceptors are members of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute 

Neither of these people are available on a last-minute/urgent basis. If you are interested in accessing these resources, contact the appropriate person when you are developing your proposal. 

Summer Students

Typically you need to identify an undergraduate student of interest and a project. Together you can apply to the funding competitions listed below.

ACHRI Scholars Undergraduate Summer Studentships
Deadline: Feb 15th (more info)

Marking Undergraduate Summer Research Program
Deadline: Feb 15 (more info)

Alberta Innovates Health Solutions
Deadline: Feb 2 (more info)

Resident & Fellow Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Calgary

Expectations
Residents are expected to be involved in two original research projects during their five year residency program. At least one of these projects must be presented to a scientific/clinical audience at a conference or the local Clara Christie Research Day. It is expected that the resident research projects will result in scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Fellows in Gynecologic Oncology, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Minimally Invasive Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and Urogynecology are expected to lead an original research project during their two year fellowship program. It is expected that this project will be presented at national/international conference and will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Research Training
All residents will participate in a four week research methods during block 5 of year 1 (typically mid-October to mid-November). Fellows who did not complete their residency at the University of Calgary may also choose to participate in this course. This course consists of lectures on research methods and work in small groups where residents and fellows get personalized feedback on their research proposals. By the end of this course, participants should have completed their research proposal and ethics application.

Residents and fellows also have the option of taking graduate level courses as open studies students. For more information about registering as an open studies student, visit Registration, Office of the Registrar.. Some departmental funding may be available on a case-by-case basis to cover the costs associated with taking additional courses. Graduate-level research courses are offered through the Department of Community Health Sciences. For course offerings and descriptions, see Course Schedule

Residents and fellows who are interested in completing a graduate degree (MSc or PhD) during their clinical training are encouraged to look into the Clinical Investigators Program. The application deadline for this program is January 31st.

Suggested Timelines

PGY-1
July-October: Start thinking about a potential research topic and a potential preceptor. While your research topic needs to be related to obstetrics or gynecology, your preceptor’s primary appointment may be in a different clinical area.

Some key things to think about when selecting a research topic are:

 

  • Will I have time to complete this project during my residency/fellowship program?
  • Do I have all the skills I need to complete this project or will I need to rely on other people for access to resources (i.e. biological samples) or research support (i.e. statistical analysis). If so, what impact does this have on my timelines and how am I going to access funding for these supports
  • Will this project make a meaningful contribution to the field?
  • Am I interested enough in this topic to work on it for several years?

 

Some key things to consider when selecting a preceptor:

  • Can this person meaningfully guide me through a research project (ie. Do they have the time and skills to contribute to this project and to your research education)?
  • Can this person facilitate access to resources you need to complete this project?
  • Have other residents/fellows working with this person completed their research projects in a timely fashion?
  • Do you have similar research/clinical interests?

October-November: Residents are excused from clinical duty during block 5 to complete the research methods course. You need to have selected a topic and a preceptor before this course starts. By the end of this course, it is expected that you (with the support of your preceptor and the course coordinator) will have ready all the materials you need for your ethics application.

When writing your proposal, it is recommended that you start with the end in mind; that is, before you start writing, think about what potential journal you might submit your manuscript to and write your proposal as if you are writing the introduction and methods section of your manuscript. Pay attention to word counts and formatting guidelines for your target journal.

Also, use a reference management software for your proposal. Most manuscripts are submitted to multiple journals before ultimately being accepted for publication. Reformatting a manuscript for submission to a new journal (and simply editing a manuscript) is much easier if you’re using a reference manager software, as the software will update all your references for you. Refworks is provided for free through the University of Calgary library

May: Present proposal at Clara Christie Day

PGY-2
Conduct research (using academic half days effectively or by negotiating additional research time with relevant clinical supervisors). You will have a lot of clinical demands on your time, so it is recommended that you protect some time for your research project in your schedule.

PGY-3

  • Finish research project
  • Present findings at Clara Christie Day
  • Consider presenting your findings at another conference
     

PGY-4
Draft manuscript based on research project and submit for publication

Writing a Research Paper

For tips on writing scientific research papers, check out the following series of articles published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology: http://www.jclinepi.com/content/jce-Writing-Tips-Series

Past Projects

Here are some examples of past research projects conducted by residents/fellows:

  • Raguz N, McDonald SW, Metcalfe A, O’Quinn C, Tough SC. 2014. Postpartum mental health outcomes of mothers who conceived using fertility treatment. Reproductive Health 11:19
  • Kenny K, Leung W, Stephanson K, Ross S. 2013. Clinical practice in prevention of neonatal HSV infection: A survey of Obstetrical Care Providers in Alberta. J Obstet Gynaecol Can 35(2):131-7
  • Nasr-Esfahani M, Jarrell J. 2013. Cotton-tipped applicator test: validity and reliability in chronic pelvic pain. Am J Obstet Gynecol 208(1):52.e1-5
  • Paterson ND, Foong SC, Greene CA. 2012. Improved pregnancy rates with luteinizing hormone supplementation in patients undergoing ovarian stimulation for IVF. J Assist Repord Genet 29(7):579-83
  • O’Quinn C, Metcalfe A, McDonald SW, Raguz N, Tough SC. 2012. Exclusive breastfeeding and assisted reproductive technologies: a Calgary cohort. Reproductive System and Sexual Disorders S5:002 doi:10.4172/2161-038X.S5-002
  • Soucie JE, Chu PA, Ross S, Snodgrass T, Wood SL. 2012. The risk of diagnostic hysteroscopy in women with endometrial cancer. Am J Obstet Gynecol 207(1):71.e 1-5
  • Kiely DJ, Stephanson K, Ross S. 2011. Assessing image quality of low-cost laparoscopic box trainers: options for residents training at home. Simul Healthc 6(5):292-8

Research Ethics

All research projects must receive approval from the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board at the University of Calgary prior to receiving or collecting data. Ethics applications must be completed online through IRISS. Residents/fellows are not permitted to the principal investigator on an ethics application. Please designate your preceptor as the principal investigator and yourself as the primary contact.

The following documents must be attached as part of all ethics applications:

  • Study proposal
  • Signature page signed by your preceptor and your preceptor’s department head
  • Budget summary
  • Certificate of completion for the TCPS2 tutorial for all residents/fellows/graduate students involved in the research project (Online Tutorial TCPS 2)

The current version of these forms can be found by visiting the Conjoint Health Research Ehtics Board (CHREB) website.

If relevant to your project, the following documents should also be attached to your ethics application:

  • Data collection form
  • Survey materials
  • Recruitment materials
  • Participant consent forms

Sometimes there’s a grey area between research projects and quality improvement projects. If you’re unsure where your project fits on that spectrum, complete this checklist developed by Alberta Innovates Health Solutions: If your project is deemed to be quality improvement and is below minimal risk, you may be able to obtain an exemption from the CHREB.