415.882.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 2nd Term | 2 Credit(s)
T 8:30:00 AM
  • Contact Information
    Lori Erby
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Be prepared to conduct an independent research project, including refining skills necessary to: a) Analyze the problem b) Develop a rationale c) Propose a conceptually sound research proposal, and d) Formulate theory-based hypotheses
    • Finalize a formal research proposal To be prepared to orally defend a research protocol
  • Course Description

    Critically examines the elements of the research proposal, through critiques of students’ own work. Each student begins with a draft proposal developed in prior terms. Through a combination of class critiques and individual meetings with the instructor, prepares students to submit a final proposal and to take oral examinations at the end of the term.

    Additional Faculty Notes

    This is a three-term course in which, during the first term, you were exposed to the conceptual side of research. Armed with this knowledge, in the second term, you worked on developing a proposal for your own research project. In this final term, you will refine your proposal for submission to the Executive Committee and prepare for the oral examination.  By the end of the three terms, you will be expected to have turned a nascent research idea into a proposal which will then become your thesis.

    As all students are expected to begin the term with a draft of a proposal, this course will focus on refining the existing draft and preparing the oral presentation.  It is expected that each student’s needs will be highly individual, and as such, topics may change from week to week to meet emerging needs.

  • Intended Audience
    GCTP students
  • Methods of Assessment

    Student paper and class participation

    Course requirements for this term are as follows:

    A. Draft of complete proposal, including human subjects sections due Nov 4.  (20 pts) See the format suggested by the SRC on the NHGRI website:

    B. Mock oral presentations (30 pts for presentation; 20 pts for questions). Each student will be asked to give a 5-10 minute presentation on an overview of their proposed research (just as in the Executive Committee).  The course instructor and other students will ask questions about the proposed research to which the student will respond.  Each student will be allotted approximately 45 minutes of question time.

    C.  Final proposal due Nov 14 (20 pts)  See the format suggested by the SRC on the NHGRI website:

    D.  Class BBS Discussions.  Weekly questions due by noon the day before class (10 pts).  You are expected to participate fully in class discussion. To facilitate discussion, each week that there is a group class meeting, please submit one or two questions or issuses that you are running into related to work on you proposal to the BBS discussion board.  I will weigh in, but my hope is that you will each offer your own thoughts as well.   The discussion on each topic can certainly continue beyond class, but please submit your initial questions by the day before class.


  • Prerequisites
    415.880 and 415.881
  • Required Text(s)

    Locke LF, Spirduso WW, Silverman SJ (2000) Proposals that Work:  A Guide for Planning Dissertations and Grant Proposals. 4th edition.   Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage Publications, Inc. (Abbreviated as LSS in the schedule.)

    Kumar, R. (1999). Research methodology: A step-by-step guidefor beginners. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (for reference)

  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at