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Basic Research Concepts (BRC): Introduction

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Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4 Module 5


The purpose of this training is to promote an understanding of basic research concepts for new research staff. The curriculum is intended for research support staff/volunteers who have a role in the conduct of research, but who have received little to no formal training in this area.

The primary goal is for learners to develop an understanding of basic research concepts and appreciate the importance of conducting research in keeping with an approved plan. We hope this enhanced knowledge and understanding of research concepts and responsible practices will contribute to the integrity of the research and the value of the research results.

The training offers an introduction to the basic research concepts of research as is completed according to personal abilities (e.g., self-paced).  The material serves as a foundation to for responsible and proper conduct of research. The topics presented include how to design and conduct research as well as how actions conducted throughout research can affect the integrity of the research project. This training presents ethical issues associated with conducting research and encourages beginning research team members to make decisions consistent with responsible and ethical research practices.

The topics were selected by experts in research methods in a variety of fields (e.g., social science). The topics discussed in this manual are typically offered as university research methods academic courses; however, the information was written without technical words so that the issues discussed are accessible to individuals who have little to no experience in these topics. Each module includes learning objectives, which are conveyed through key points, examples, and an opportunity for you to complete discussion questions and module quizzes, and answer case scenarios.

Case scenarios are provided in each section. The case scenario illustrates the topic and includes discussion questions to assist in understanding the concept. Please use these case scenarios to critically think about the topic presented and enhance your understanding of this information.

At the end of the modules, trainees will be able to define and/or describe:

  1. Key research terminology,
  2. Research practices with the potential to impair or enhance research integrity,
  3. Important concepts related to research data and management of the data.