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Suggesting a Research Topic

FROM STUDY IDEA TO PROS STUDY:

Ideas for PROS studies may be submitted by a Fellow of the Academy in a participating practice, a Chapter Coordinator, a member of the Steering Committee, a member of the research team, or an Academy committee or council. Practitioner-generated ideas are especially valued by PROS -- several have generated highly successful projects. If you have an idea for a research project, read the materials below and then type in a brief summary of the idea. A member of the PROS executive committee will get back to you to discuss this further.

PROS functions as a pediatric primary care laboratory. The ideas most appropriate for PROS studies are typically encounter-based projects that can capitalize on the network's size (nearly 700 primary care practices with over 1800 practitioners) and broad geographical distribution (all 50 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico). Physician surveys that do not involve data collection from patients are better done via other mechanisms. Although most PROS projects have been observational studies examining variations in pediatric care and their associations with short term patient outcomes, PROS is now conducting intervention studies as well, and ideas for intervention studies are particularly welcome.

To make a study suggestion, please contact a member of the PROS Executive Committee -- Steering Committee Chair Benjamin Scheindlin, MD (bscheindlin@yahoo.com), or PROS Director Richard "Mort" Wasserman, MD (richard.wasserman@uvm.edu). Ultimately, you will be asked to submit a written proposal for consideration by the PROS Steering Committee (PROS SC). That proposal will need to specify:

1. The research question;
2. The specific aims of the study;
3. The information to be gained from the study and its importance;
4. The data to be collected;
5. The approximate time frame for accomplishing the study.

Criteria applied by the PROS Steering Committee in its deliberation include importance of the study idea, appropriateness for PROS, and feasibility. If the committee approves a study idea, it is brought before the PROS Chapter Coordinators (AAP chapter representatives – mostly practicing pediatricians) for their review. If a study idea is approved by the coordinators, it is also reshaped and refined in varying degrees as the coordinators and other PROS practitioners who review and pilot study protocols and data collection materials maximize the study’s “do-ability” in the practice or clinic setting. Through this process, network practitioners gain ownership of the study (and improve it!). Following coordinator approval, the PROS SC appoints a Principal Investigator to lead the study’s Research Management Group in writing a grant proposal to obtain funds for the project (PROS and the AAP don’t fund studies). The individual who originally proposed the study idea often is the Principal Investigator, and always is a member of the Research Management Group. The process from suggestion of an idea to launching a study may take 2-4 years, with funding as the limiting factor.