Detection and identification of Listeria monocytogenes in manufacturing plants with a resident Listeria problem. Implementation of Listeria intervention strategies to control the spread of the organism.

| April 19, 2014

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Assignment Brief
Write a detailed research protocol on the topic you’ve been allocated for your project. This is a document outlining why you are doing the research project, how you will carry it out and when it will get done.
The protocol should be presented in an appropriate format and should include the sections described in the guidance below.
The protocol will be marked by your individual research project supervisor as an assignment for the Research Methods module and then moderated by the module leader and external examiner. Afterwards it will be the plan used for your research project and be the basis of your application to the Universities Ethics Committee.
You will need to meet at least once this term with your project supervisor to discuss your ideas. Your supervisor will help you to refine your ideas but please note that you cannot discuss the exact details of your research tool (ie specific questionnaire questions) with your supervisor until after you have submitted your protocol.
Note also that your supervisor will be expecting you to lead the discussion about your project e.g. you have to have some knowledge and plan about what you are hoping to research and how you are intending to go about it.
Your individual supervisors will mark and grade your assignment.
Please write the name of both the module leader (RF) and your project supervisor on the assignment cover sheet. Submit two copies to RF, she will distribute to the relevant staff.
Word Length
Maximum word length 3000 words +/- 10%
Research Methods Assignment: Developing a research protocol
The aim of this assignment is to give you practice in designing a feasible and methodologically sound undergraduate project. Writing a research protocol is a useful framework for developing your project, by enabling you to think through your ideas and to receive some feedback on the strengths and limitations of the proposed research.
Ensure your ideas remain realistic and achievable within the confines of an undergraduate project. Remember to reference throughout the work (although it is not likely you will reference your aims) Use the following headings when writing the protocol:
1. Introduction and Literature review (background) (30% marks)
• The background or introduction, sets the scene for the proposed study. Here you give the justification or rationale for your project.
• It is in the background section that you argue the feasibility and the importance of your research question.
• Your argument needs to be supported by reference to appropriate research.
• You need to show evidence of critically appraising the literature.
• Your literature review should enable you to work out if your research question has been asked before and what methods were used to collect and analyse the data.
• Your literature search does not need to be exhaustive but needs to be sufficient to justify your research question.
2. Aims (5% marks)
A clear statement of the aim(s) of your research eg the aim of the proposed research is to…
The aim should be followed by some specific objectives eg, the data collection tool (a questionnaire, observation, focus group…) will explore ……
3. Research design and method (45% marks)
Your method section should demonstrate that the proposed research is feasible and scientifically rigorous. You should use the following subheadings as appropriate to your proposed project:
• Begin with a brief description of the appropriate research design to answer you research question. Remember that the method you choose always depends upon the type of research question asked.
Participants or Sample
• The description of your sample or the participants for your study should indicate
where the study will be conducted; how the participants are to be obtained; who the participants will be, relevant inclusion/exclusion criteria (explaining your reasons).
• You need to state how you will ensure that your research is ethical and, if appropriate, how consent for your research will be obtained.
(At this stage you will not be required to complete an ethics form for the Cardiff School of Health Sciences Ethics Committee).
Data collection
• In choosing your method(s), you need first to decide whether you are going to use qualitative or quantitative methods (or both) to collect your data.
• Whether your approach is qualitative or quantitative you need to be sure that the method you have chosen is suitable for your study.
• A clear description of the data collection tool (eg, questionnaire, observation or experimental schedule – include copy of research tool in Appendix) and a description of any pilot studies which need to be conducted to develop the tool are needed.
• If standardised questionnaires or measuring techniques are to be used, they should be fully described and referenced.
Data analysis
• A brief description of how you propose to analyse your data.
• If your data is qualitative, you should indicate how you would analyse it.
• If it is quantitative, you should identify the appropriate statistical tests.
4. Appendix 1 – Research tool (10% marks)
Include a copy of your proposed research tool, for example survey questionnaire, list of interview questions, taste test proforma, food diary and instructions, data collection sheet etc.
5. Appendix 2 – Resources, Timetable (10% marks)
• Detail the material resources required eg envelopes, stamps, photocopying, food, chemicals including quantities
You are required to produce a timetable of events in the form of a table or chart. This could include a development phase, during which questionnaires and other materials are selected or designed and piloted, a data collection phase, in which the questionnaires are distributed and returned including any follow-up letters and a data analysis and write-up phase. Be realistic with your timings and discuss these with your supervisor.
Key Timings to consider (also consider your availability – see ?) note exact dates TBC:
Term 2 2014 until Easter – see supervisor at least once
Note research methods ethics lecture week 34 and meet final years week 35
Easter break – prepare protocol check prior to break your supervisors’ availability if you intend to see them during Easter
Protocols – aim to be returned end May/ beginning of June
see your supervisor before term ends for feedback on protocol and decisions on way forward
working on research project during summer e.g. progress ethics, literature review, develop and finalise research tool
Note you cannot collect data or pilot a research tool until ethics is passed
Term 1 Final year
Get ethics in by mid October
Aim to collect data before Christmas break
Literature review submitted before Christmas (FST &PHN TBC)
Term 2 Final year
Literature review submitted before Christmas (FST &PHN)
Term 2 Final year
Aim to be analysing data January/February
FST – Draft academic paper and poster – individually agree hand in date with supervisor (approx. March). You need to allow at least 4 weeks after receiving it back to allow you time to address suggestions made.
PHN – Draft of academic paper and poster – on specified date in March through izone.
Academic paper and poster hand in before Easter (FST) or after Easter (PHN)
Poster presentation : FST Early term 3 (May) PHN late term 3 (June)
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