Research Methodology and Study Design

Course Name: Research Methodology and Study Design

Course Offered: September - June

Elective Duration: 4 weeks

Enrollment Limit: 1

Facilities: Greenville Memorial Hospital

Visiting Students: Accepts visiting students

Elective Director: H. Lee Higdon III, Ph.D.

Contact: UME Program Coordinator


Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Greenville Health System
890 W. Faris Road, Ste 470
Greenville, SC 29605

Phone: 864-455-5524

Fax: 864-455-3095


Format for the Course: Participation in Departmental Research Activities

Description: Whether primarily conducting research or performing patient care, an evidence-based approach to medicine requires the ability to understand and critically evaluate scientific literature. This skill is emphasized in the scholarly activity required by all ACGME accredited residencies. This course is designed to prepare the fourth year medical student for the scholarly activity he or she will encounter in residency and to provide the student with the skills required to engage in lifelong practice-based learning and improvement. In addition, at the end of this course, the successful student will have a well-designed research protocol that he or she can use as a residency research project if so desired.

This course is offered to students based on academic merit. Interested students should contact the program coordinator to request an application.

Course Objectives:

  1. To gain an understanding of research study design.
  2. To develop proficiency in searching and evaluating the scientific medical literature.
  3. To gain an understanding of compliance requirements for human subjects research.
  4. To develop proficiency in research hypothesis generation and selection of appropriate study design.

Instructional Methodology:

Required Activities of the Course

  1. Student will perform background reading in study design and discuss topics with mentor.
  2. Student will identify a medical topic of interest and perform a systematic literature search.
  3. Student will generate a research hypothesis and design an appropriate study to answer the research question.
  4. Student will submit a written research protocol suitable for submission to an Institutional Review Board.
  5. Student will design and create case report forms for the proposed study protocol.
  6. Student will create a budget for study operations.
  7. Student will make an oral presentation to the faculty on study proposal.
  8. The student will attend other educational opportunities as advised by the mentor.


  1. The student will participate in the Resident Reading Conference every Wednesday morning, which involved assigned readings from Evidence-Based Medicine Journal Club.
  2. The student will participate in Resident Educational Core Lectures every Friday from 8:30 am - 12:00 pm.