Title and Problem Statement?

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Proposal Development: 2019

Assignment # 1: Title and Problem Statement

Due by midnight, Saturday, January 19th

(Late assignments will NOT be accepted)

Objective of this assignment

The overall objective is to get you to start thinking about the topic that will be the focus of your proposal. Writing a title will allow you to identify key elements of your project. Defining a Problem Statement will force you to think beyond the general issue of interest, and articulate what it is about that issue that needs to be understood and why it is important.

Assignment

  • Name

  • General topic areas of interest (for dividing class into small groups)

  • Title

Provide a title for your proposal that is descriptive with respect to the problem you are addressing, your population of interest, and if you have space, the approach that you will be taking (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods). The title does not need to be a fully grammatical sentence, but should be intelligible to an informed reader in your discipline. Avoid hyperbole and abbreviations of all but very complex terms (for example, spell out Tuberculosis, but it is OK to abbreviate PEPFAR or HbSAg).

A common and effective structure for proposal titles is:

[Intervention/Project] [Target Population] [Geographic Location]

Use the Word Count feature of your word processing software to make sure that the total letter count of your title (including all spaces and punctuation) does not exceed 100 characters (including spaces).

Examples of Good Titles:

  • Peer-Based Health Project for Refugee Women in Atlanta: A Needs Assessment (82 characters)
  • An Evaluation of the Logistics System for Antiretroviral Treatment Commodities in Kenya (86 characters)
  • The Use of Telephone Interpreters by Nurses in Pediatric Emergency Rooms in Georgia (85 characters)

  • Microbicides to fight HIV among Commercial Sex Workers In Zambia: A Clinical Trial (82 Characters)

  1. Draft Problem Statement

2a. Write a one sentence problem statement for your proposed project. It should provide a concise description of the problem of interest, as well as important context, the target population, the region of interest, the methodological approach, and/or the significance of the study. Include what you consider to be the really important and unique aspects of the proposed project.

2b. Write 1-2 paragraphs to support your problem statement, supported by the literature (use citations!!).

Your paragraph(s) put the problem in the context of questions that the current literature does not answer, and outline why it is important to study the problem in the particular context you propose (e.g. region and/or population) or create the program you are proposing. It may also include a brief mention of the expected outcome/deliverable for the project (e.g. revised curriculum, intervention, publishable manuscript), the intended audience (e.g. policy makers, clinicians), and/or a justification of why the project is important.

Your problem statement section should create interest in your proposed project on the part of the reader. It will set the stage and provide the overarching justification for your entire proposal.

Examples:

  • Problem Statement
  • Darbonne, Haiti lacks access to even basic healthcare; Community Health Workers (CHWs) are able to provide basic first aid care, preventative health programs, and health education, however the training curriculum is out-dated and incomplete, such that their positive impact on the community is limited.
  • Problem statement (shown in bold) + supporting paragraph
  • Hepatitis E infection is a major public health problem in developing countries like Nepal, although the major risk factors driving the high incidence of this disease are poorly understood. The use of new serologic tests has indicated that anti-HEV exists in all areas where it has been sought, including developed countries such as the U.S.1-6 It has been found that some sporadic incidence of HEV is associated with transmission routes other than the expected waterborne transmission, which are not yet well understood.7,8 It is essential to understand the association between sporadic hepatitis E and animal contact, food exposures, injections or sexual contact in order to help identify additional transmission pathways that present opportunities for prevention.

Submission

Upload your assignment as a word processor file to the digital drop box on Canvas before midnight on Saturday, January 19th.

Grading of Assignment # 1

– This assignment is worth 5% (5/100 points) of your final grade.

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