Completion of a research project is a GCMP requirement. The goal of the research project is to (1) learn how to synthesize and critique the research literature; (2) formulate a specific hypothesis and determine an appropriate study design and analysis plan; (3) understand research methodology; and (4) organize research results in a coherent and meaningful manner.
The research project is driven by the interests of the individual student supported by the program faculty and/or clinical supervisors. Starting in the fall of the first year, students take an introductory graduate-level course in Epidemiology where they learn about study design, variables, and analysis. Then, in the spring of the first year, students take the Research Methods for Genetic Counseling course where they are guided in designing their thesis project, choosing a thesis committee, and writing a research proposal. By the end of the first year, students should have an approved thesis project and they can begin the process of obtaining approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). After IRB approval, student can begin collecting, analyzing, and writing the thesis. The research typically begins before the end of the summer.