VCU Medical Center

Department of Human and Molecular Genetics

Research Project

Each student is required to complete a research project during their course of study. The purpose of the research project is to give the student experience with developing a research question, reviewing relevant literature, proposing how to answer a research question and facilitating completion of this process. Research projects enhance a student’s professional development and represent a strong component of experience that they gain during the program. Projects can range in topic area and may include laboratory involvement, case studies or survey development. All projects are required to have defined goals and/or hypothesis to be tested. Institutional review board application and review is often required for student research. Publication and professional presentation are strongly encouraged.

First year responsibilities:

-Students attend multiple meetings with a department assigned representative to help culminate areas of research interest, current topics of research in the genetic counseling field or other current projects occurring within VCU.

-Students are given instructions and assistance with developing a research proposal and protocol.

-Students are assisted in picking a research adviser who will oversee their research project. Regular meetings between the student and advisor are encouraged.

-Students typically start project/survey development during their first year.

Second year responsibilities:

-Students often need to Obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for their project.

-The students must select other individuals to be a part of the research committee. The research committee must include at least three faculty members within the department of human genetics. Additional members from outside the project may be added if needed for optimal project advising.

-Students must complete all research, data analysis, project development with the assistance of their research advisor and assistance from other committee members.

-Students present their finalized project during the departmental research seminar.

-Prior to graduation, each student will submit a formal written document that encompasses their research project. This document is discussed and defended by the student during their oral exam. The oral exam is attended by the student, research advisor, research committee and one department appointed advocate.  [View Image]









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