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The Research Training Institute curriculum focuses on individual development for library professionals who want to enhance, extend, or refresh their individual research skills, knowledge, and abilities. Training covers all the stages of designing, implementing, and communicating a successful research project framed in the context of health information research. Topics covered include: developing effective research questions; selecting a research design and theoretical framework to address a research question; identifying the components of a research project; applying data collection, management, and analysis strategies; publishing the results of a research project; research ethics; and much more.

Institute training uses a blended learning model. Participants will receive expert instruction beginning with pre-institute online learning activities and throughout a five-day, face-to-face workshop at the University of Illinois–Chicago (UIC) that includes small-group sessions and individual consultations with instructors. All institute participants will receive a year of post-institute online support through online discussion sessions and personalized consultations while conducting their research and preparing research results for dissemination. Additionally, institute participants are encouraged to continue their research engagement as members of an online research community of practice for their continuing learning and collaboration with other librarian-researchers.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is intended for all types of library professionals who provide health information, support, and services. Institute training is geared for library professionals with novice or intermediate research skill levels who are interested in conducting, applying, and publishing health information research. Health information research informs best practices in libraries, demonstrates the impact of libraries on user communities, and strengthens the research base in health sciences librarianship. Participants who would greatly benefit from the institute program are:

  • health sciences librarians working in academic, hospital, research, special, and government libraries
  • hospital library managers
  • library informaticists who have special knowledge in health information resources
  • librarians who provide research evaluation or data services
  • embedded information specialists
  • library web managers
  • consumer health librarians
  • health foundation librarians
  • community college librarians who provide health information to students
  • public librarians who provide health information to the public

Learning Outcomes

The Research Training Institute curriculum will provide theories, tools, and strategies to build participants’ mastery of each of the outcomes below. Course objectives complement MLA’s Competencies for Lifelong Learning and Professional Success.

By the end of the institute program, participants will be able to:

  • write research questions and hypotheses 

  • select a research design to address their research question 

  • identify the components of a research proposal 

  • select a theoretical framework appropriate to a given research question 

  • conduct a literature review 

  • apply sampling, recruitment, and ethics approval strategies and procedures 

  • apply data collection and data management strategies 

  • identify and implement data analyses appropriate to a research question 

  • enumerate factors that influence balance of research with workplace demands 

  • identify venues, processes, and issues related to research dissemination 

  • identify the components of a publishable research report 

Course Content

Content for each institute may vary somewhat based on the research proposals submitted by the participants. Breakout sessions will focus on themes that emerge from participants’ projects to maximize the institute’s relevance to each participant. The curriculum will be flexible enough to accommodate each unique cohort and their research interests and projects.

Course content will include the following topics:

  • research timelines and project planning 

  • structure of research papers (introduction, methods, etc.) 

  • writing of research questions 

  • identification of funding opportunities 

  • research and grant writing 

  • research ethics, including institutional review boards (IRBs), research rigor, reproducibility, and data sharing 

  • basic quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research designs and methods 

  • best practices for survey design, in-depth interview techniques, and focus groups 

  • comprehensive literature searching: methods and strategies 

  • data collection and management strategies 

  • essentials of data analysis for qualitative and quantitative data 

  • presenting and publication of results 

  • strategies to incorporate research into practical work 

For questions regarding the institute, please contact Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA, Research Training Institute project director.

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