Pharmacy Student Scholarly Project: Develop a Question

Resources to help you complete your required Pharm D Scholarly Project.

Developing a research question

Developing a research question is not always easy. Use the tips here and explore the books and links to help you determine a topic.
1. Start by considering what you are interested in, and what drew you to pharmacy practice. You'll be working with this project for some time, so having personal interest is important.
2. Consider the readings you have been assigned in class. What questions have you developed after reading, say, a chapter about communication skills for pharmacists? Or the effects of rising costs of drugs? Could you do a project to answer these questions?
3. Research is intended to fill in gaps in knowledge. Consider any readings you have done, or lectures you have attended, where it is mentioned that more research is needed to answer a question. Can you try to answer part or all of that question?
4. Examine specific types of research to find gaps in knowledge.

4a. Examine guidelines and look at the levels of evidence supporting each claim. Are claims supported by low-level evidence? Could you create stronger evidence?

4b. Look at UpToDate or other clinical tools, focusing on the evidence supporting each claim. Are the claims supported by high-level or low-level evidence? Could you create better evidence?

4c. Examine textbooks focused on pharmacotherapy, body systems, or diseases. Look for problems mentioned in these texts, look for future directions in research being summarized, look for words like "unclear, controversial, uncertain." All of these areas can be possible research topics.