Academic Honors at Graduation
Guidelines for Project Implementation and Review
Students should discuss research ideas with faculty members to obtain insight and perspective with regard to a sufficient scope to meet the criteria for graduation with academic honors. Projects should not be too broad or too narrow in scope.
The project can be initiated at any time while a pharmacy student in the University of Florida, College of Pharmacy except the semester of graduation. This includes the summers between professional years of study. Course credit is not required. Projects can be completed during clerkships.
Examples of research projects include, but are not limited to, implementation and evaluation of a clinical service, resolution of a problem in a research laboratory, compilation and interpretation of clinical or scientific data from the literature that resolves a significant problem or dilemma, implementation and evaluation of a survey that addressees a specific problem or dilemma.
Students should consult the College’s web site for a description of research interests in the College. It is recommend that students link to the individual departments within the college to get an initial overview of research activities ongoing within each department. Once the student has identified a department of interest, it is recommended that each student review each individual faculty member’s research interests to determine if there is an interest in working with the faculty member. The student then contacts the faculty member to discuss research opportunities.
Students should share a research proposal with a faculty member whom the student would like to work with to complete the project.
Financial support for research projects may be obtained through faculty research funds including students’ participation in competitive funding for research projects through the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE), American Foundation for Aging Research (AFAR), and Summer NIH research training grant for students in the Health Professions or any other appropriate funding source. Please access the Research Opportunities for PharmD Students link on the College’s web site to identify each of these funding sources.
The faculty member who serves as the supervisor for the student’s research project should meet with the student on a periodic basis to review and approve all stages of the project, submission, and presentation.
Students may work on the project during academic semesters or in the summer time. Academic credit for the research may be obtained, although not necessary, by registration of no more than six credits in Research in Pharmacy elective courses per department.
Research in Pharmacy Elective Courses
Students may take coursework in research by taking one or more of the following courses as elective credit in the PharmD degree program.
The course syllabus for the courses below should address specific objectives, activities, time frames, expectations, and methods for evaluation of student performance. Satisfactory and unsatisfactory grades are usually given in these courses.
- PHA 6901 Introduction to Graduate Studies in Pharmaceutics 1-5 credits
- PHA 5901 Research in Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy 1-3 credits
- PHA 5902 Research Pharmacodynamics 1-3 credits
- PHA 5906 Research in Medicinal Chemistry 1-3 credits
- PHA 5907 Research in Pharmacotherapy & Translational Research 1-3 credits
- PHA 5900 Clinical Pharmacy Research 1-5 credits
- PHA 5933 Selected Topics in Pharmacy 1-3 credits
- PHA 5625 Pharmaceutical Industry Practical Training for Externs 2-6 credits
All data collection for projects should be completed by the end of the semester prior to graduation. For entry-level PharmD students this is usually the end of the fall semester of the fourth professional year.
The report should be completed, approved, and presented a month prior to the graduation date. For entry-level PharmD students this usually will be by April 1. Students should follow the guidelines for preparing a report approved by the faculty (please see below, Guidelines for Project Written Reports).
Projects must have a faculty supervisor, but the faculty supervisor need not be in the College of Pharmacy. The supervisor may be any faculty or scientist at any University or research firm that agrees to the research project guidelines and meets approval by the College.
The date of the presentation of the report should be set and announced by the department. Faculty and students should attend the presentations.
Students should arrange to make a presentation of the research project to peers and faculty as determined by the faculty member and department in the College. Students are also encouraged to present the results of their research projects at professional meetings, as well as, at the College’s Annual Research Showcase, which is held every year in the spring semester. All presentations should be completed a month prior to the graduation date.
The faculty member who supervises a student project must sign the project approval form that the project is worthy for consideration to meet requirements for graduation with magna cum laude or summa cum laude. The final project must also be approved by the faculty supervisor’s respective department chair, as well as the Graduate Studies Council.
For Graduate Studies Council review, the project report and the project approval form for awarding magna cum laude or summa cum laude should be submitted to Dr. William J. Millard, Executive Associate Dean, Room 4-334, HPNP building, no later than two weeks prior to the graduation date. Dr. Millard will then send a list of approved candidates for academic distinction to the Office of Student Affairs prior to commencement for final certification.
Guidelines for Project Written Reports
As noted above, projects can be laboratory or clinical based. Scholarly work in the literature about a therapeutic dilemma or other type of research question is acceptable. If the selected projects involve research on human subjects, the project must be approved through the Institutional Review Board (IRB) before the project can begin. It is highly recommended that students and faculty mentors review the IRB Guidelines for Student Projects prior to preparation of the project. Information on exempt studies, which may be a frequent type of student research project may be found at (http://irb.ufl.edu/irb01/forms.htm#forms). Survey type projects with no subject identification may receive exemption from full review.
Please have the paper typed, double-spaced, using 12 font. The paper should be approximately 3,000 words at a minimum.
The report should contain the following elements: Statement of the research question (i.e., goal/objectives for the research question); discussion of the literature regarding the research question (i.e., history of research performed, comparison of different approaches); methods to gain data or information; presentation of findings; evaluation of the most promising resolution of the research question (i.e., discussion of the results of research with emphasis on the approach that seems to answer the question); conclusion/summary; and, references. The content of the paper is guided by the topic and your discussion with the pharmacy professor about what is required in the paper. Therefore, you have flexibility regarding content. The above statements are intended as guidelines. The intent is to prepare the report in a format adequate for publication consideration in a pharmacy or other health related journal. Therefore, students can follow the directions and guidelines for a specific publication in lieu of the above guidelines regarding content and categories.
References should be consecutively numbered in the term paper; then listed at the end of the paper in numerical order of citation. That is, use (1), (2) to reference an idea or data obtained from a journal or text; then, list the number in the reference as 1. Reference for (1); 2. Reference for (2), etc.
You may include pictures, graphs, tables, and figures. Identify the faculty member with whom you worked on the title page of the report. Give the original report to the faculty member.