Welcome to the Applied Research Project (ARP). This is an exciting project that will contribute to your knowledge development and build leadership competencies and research skills in your professional field. The ARP can be approached from many perspectives. For example, you may choose to perform a needs assessment; program evaluation; or apply experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental research designs. The ultimate goal of the project is to enhance the health of society in some way. Applied research can be implemented into any area of practice.
Each student in the Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) program must complete an integrative applied research project. This is a rigorous project that encompasses 25 credits of the DHSc’s 70-credit curriculum. The applied project consists of five courses focusing on research methodology that are taken consecutively as the project evolves. The project has been designed to incorporate theory into practice throughout the process to enhance learning and skill development in applied research. In addition it is expected that theory from various other courses will be applied to study and research a significant health science issue. The outcome of the applied research should have a positive impact on your professional career in that it provides evidence of peer reviewed work, enhanced knowledge and critical thinking in applying research methodology.
In the Portney and Watkins textbook, Foundations of Clinical Research: Application to Practice, applied research is defined as “solving immediate practical problems with functional applications and testing the theories that direct practice” (2015, p. 19). The main goal of applied research is to search for new applications, or to find new methods to solve practical problems.
The ARP is both a process and a product. You will identify a particular issue or problem relevant to your professional practice and/or workplace. After completing a thorough review of applicable literature, you will apply research methodology to gain a better understanding or positively impact this issue.
Ongoing facilitation of the project will guide you through each step of the process. The goals of this project are to assist you in learning the skills required to critically review research and literature, to understand the theory of research methodology, and to participate in the development and implementation of evidence-based outcomes in your area of practice.
Remember this is a journey and learning is progressive. Therefore, it is important to select a project that is manageable in the time allotted. Your faculty member will guide you in decision making with project topic selection and methodological choices. I know you are going to find this a highly rewarding and enjoyable experience.
Kate DiCaprio, PhD
Program Chair, Doctor of Health Sciences Program (DHSc)
DHSc Program Chair
Kate DiCaprio, PhD, CIP
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Susan Swogger, MLIS
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Brigit Ciccarello, M.A.
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