Call For Research Projects!

Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto

MScPT Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice

Deadline for Submission

*NEW* Deadline: Tuesday March 31, 2020

The Department of Physical Therapy is preparing for the 2020/2021 Research Component of the MScPT Program and invites physical therapists with a Professional or Research Masters or PhD to submit a project outline and participate as research advisors to one of 19 student groups.  Each group will be comprised of approximately 6 students.  If needed, research advisors will be paired with an established researcher (PhD) from the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, referred to as the faculty advisor, who has experience with graduate student supervision.

In the recently revised MScPT curriculum, the process of the research curriculum entitled “Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice” remains essentially the same, with the exception of two changes:

  1. The timeline has been shifted to earlier dates; and
  2. The research units have been renumbered.

The research component is amortized over two Units in the new curriculum: Scholarly Practice I (Unit 7) and Scholarly Practice II and III (Unit 13), previously Unit 6 and Unit 10-12, respectively.  In Scholarly Practice I – Unit 7 (September 8, 2020 – September 25, 2020: 3 weeks), the student groups will develop a research protocol and submit the protocol for Ethics approval.  The role of the research advisor is to facilitate this process with the support of the faculty advisor (if applicable) and a teaching assistant.  Due to the short duration of Unit 7, advisors are expected to meet weekly with students and review the final research protocol with a quick turnaround time of 1-2 days. To enable effective communication, we recommend a maximum of three advisors (not including the faculty advisor).  Note: We also ask that research and faculty advisors meet with student groups once in July or August, prior to the start of Unit 7 to review study objectives and provide guidance on background literature for students to review in preparation for Unit 7.

Students will work on their projects on Mondays throughout Units 10 and 11 (January 4, 2021 – April 16, 2021) having approximately 13 Mondays as protected research time.  Throughout this period, advisors maintain contact with students through email, phone and meetings as the project requires.  In Scholarly Practice II and III – Unit 13 (June 7, 2020 – July 16, 2021: 6 weeks), the groups will analyse their data and complete a draft of a manuscript for publication and a poster.  Advisors facilitate data analysis and review drafts (no more than 2 drafts) of the manuscript and the poster. Faculty advisors provide guidance and support in the analysis and write-up phase.  Student groups present their posters during a Research Day and submit their final manuscripts at the end of Unit 13. 

Potential projects for the MScPT Research Component must be relevant to physical therapy and can include:

  • Chart Reviews **requires review of a sample of 10 charts to ensure that the data you wish to collect are routinely recorded in the charts and of adequate quality for chart abstraction.
  • Surveys
  • Program Evaluation
  • Pilot Studies (Quantitative or Qualitative)
  • Qualitative Studies (example: focus groups or in-depth interviews)
  • Secondary Data Analysis
  • No Literature or Systematic Reviews
  • No mixed methods – projects requiring both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis are not feasible for the MScPT curriculum.

 University of Toronto T-Space Initiative

T-Space (https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca) is University of Toronto (U of T) open access web space devoted to showcasing and preserving scholarly work accomplished at U of T.  The Department of Physical Therapy posts the scholarly products of each MScPT research project, including abstracts, conference citations and published articles, on T-Space.  This effort is to raise the profile of the research accomplishments made possible through successful collaboration among faculty, students, and the clinical community.

Online Project Submission

To submit a project:

  1. Click on the following link: https://app.rehab.utoronto.ca/ptresearchproject/

If the website does not open automatically, then cut and paste the URL into your Internet browser.

  1. Create an account to obtain a username and password.  If you created an account last year, your same username and password will still apply.
  2. Once you logon, click “Submit a new project” and complete the online form.  We recommend that you circulate a draft of your project description in Word to your co-advisors and when ready to submit, copy and paste into the online form.  You may save your project on the online form and revise at any time using the “Save” button.  When you are ready to submit the final version, click “Submit”.
  3. Links to examples of a qualitative and quantitative project outline are included on the website to provide a guide to the level of detail to include in the outlines.
  4. We’ve included a checklist for advisors to ensure their project outline meets the requirements for the MScPT curriculum.  Click on the link in the online form to access the checklist.

We are receiving an increasing number of project outlines each year. Selection will be based on the:

  • Quality of the project description,
  • Relevance of the project to physical therapy, and
  • Feasibility of the project in relation to the timelines of the MScPT research curriculum and the research capacity of the students.

The deadline for submission of projects is Tuesday March 31, 2020.  Please contact Nancy Salbach at 416-946-8558 or nancy.salbach@utoronto.ca or Kelly O’Brien at 416-978-0565 or kelly.obrien@utoronto.ca if you have questions.