Research Rotation

(Also refer to the general goals and objectives for PhPr 803)


The research rotation is intended to provide an opportunity for doctor of pharmacy students to acquire experience in the various aspects of research as outlined in this document. The rotation is a six-week experience in which the student can participate in the research process. Students in the PharmD/PhD program may select two-research rotation.

Because six weeks are not sufficient time to become an experienced researcher, the intent is to expose the student to as many aspects of research as possible.

The rotation may be completed with faculty from various disciplines within the College of Pharmacy such as medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacology, toxicology, and pharmacy practice and pharmacy administration. Research rotations may also be available with off-campus preceptors engaged in research.

This list of objectives is intended to provide both the preceptor and the student with an idea of what can be expected during a clerkship. The objectives are guidelines and are written to allow flexibility in the rotation experience.

Outline of the Rotation Experience

Prior to the clerkship, the preceptor and student should design a rotation schedule that identifies the specific activities the student will perform during the six-week period. The activities included in the schedule should be part of the actual ongoing research the preceptor is conducting. At the beginning of the rotation, the student and preceptor should review the objectives and the schedule. At the end of the rotation, the student will meet formally with the faculty member to review his or her experiences and the level of accomplishment for the objectives.

All students participating in the research rotation should make a formal presentation of results. This presentation should be advertised in advance within the College, particularly to graduate students and faculty.


At the completion of this rotation, the student should be able to:

  1. Prepare a one-page outline of a research protocol including goals, objectives, significance, background, study design, methods, time table, statistical analysis plan and budget.
  2. Perform statistical analysis of a set of sample data using one of the available statistical programs such as SPSS, SYSTAT, BMDP, or SAS.
  3. Maintain and manage data in spreadsheet programs such LOTUS 1-2-3, Excel, or Access.
  4. Review and describe the contents of the submission documents that would be required for approval of a pilot project involving human subjects and/or animal experimentation.
  5. Calculate the appropriate statistical results on one sample of research data covering at least one of the following: chi-square, t-test, regression, correlation, or analysis of variance. Understand how to use statistical consultants.
  6. Develop a research design (diagram) to test a pharmaceutical research question including a problem that allows or requires random selection, random assignment, crossover design, or repeated measures, etc.
  7. Draft a hypothesis statement related to a selected research question and pharmaceutical theory providing both the null hypothesis and the alternate research hypothesis.
  8. Prepare a one-page outline of a publication of sample research findings including an introduction, background, methods, results, discussion, and conclusions. Attached to the outline should be a draft of a well-labeled, key table providing sample results and statistical tests.
  9. Prepare and give a formal presentation of research results collected during the rotation.
Originally posted: August 29, 2013
Last updated: July 1, 2016
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