Resident Scholar Project


What is the Resident Scholar Project?

A Resident Scholar Project is a thoughtfully researched and creatively presented original work, grounded in Family Medicine, that you share with your colleagues, and that demonstrates your competence in many of the CANMEDS-FM skills as Scholar, Expert, Communicator, Manager, Collaborator, Health Advocate, and Professional.

Can I work with others?

You are encouraged to work with others on a joint project in teams of 2-4. Collaboration often enhances creativity. Teamwork often results in more impressive results when individual talents and passions are pooled.

How much time do I have to complete this project?

Your Resident Scholar Project should reflect at least 40 hours of work (or approximately 10 half-days) per Resident involved. This is protected time that you can arrange to book off with your site coordinator. Note that the majority of this time must be used before the final manuscript is submitted and up to one half day can be used to prepare your project presentation.

When do I need to work on this project?

It is expected that you will start work on your project in your first year of Residency and complete it before the end of your second year; the final manuscript will be due February 28 (link to timelines) You will be expected to present your project on Scholarship Day or perhaps at another venue and time if your residency is not finishing in June.

The purpose of this short summary is to familiarize you with the mandatory 2nd year residency (R2) scholarship project that you are required to successfully undertake in order to complete your Family Practice Residency in UBC’s Department of Family Practice. All 2nd year residents, no matter what your site or academic background, must complete this scholarship project. Your scholarship project is deemed complete once you have presented your work to a body of your peers and your “8 Point Check List” is signed off by your Site’s Scholarship Faculty. There are five fundamental steps in your completion of your scholarship project: 1) decide on a topic and type of project; 2) confirm if ethics is needed (or not) to undertake your work; 3) complete and hand in a proposal and then an abstract of your project; 4) undertake your scholarship work and hand in documentation (aka manuscript or final paper) of your work; and 5) present your work to a group of your peers.

Scholarship, is defined broadly as “the character, qualities, activity, or attainments of a scholar, and synonymous with learning,” is key to attaining family practice competencies, including becoming a family medicine expert, honing skills as a scholar, being a knowledgeable health advocate, and ensuring you are up-to-date on information that impact being a manager, a professional, and a strong communicator. Scholarship contributes to critical and creative ways of knowing and being. The public record (e.g., academic journals, media, educational practices) is also sorely lacking in scholarship produced by and important to family practice experts: your completion of a scholarship project plays a small part in adding to a knowledge base pertinent to and informed by family practice experts.

This page will walk you through what your scholarship project might be and how to complete it. Choosing the kind of scholarship you want to undertake will ensure you enjoy your work.

Please read Requirements of a Scholar Project for more information about how your project will be marked and the consequences if your Project is deemed to be not satisfactory or not completed on time.

Every UBC Family Practice Residency Site has a Site Faculty for Research who is there to help you with your project. It is important to contact your Site Faculty for Research early on (by the end of first year Residency) with your ideas and tentative plans for your Scholar Project. You will also have a budget of $200 per resident available to pay for project expenses. Doing a team project will give you more funds to spend on the project.

A Principal Investigator (PI) is someone who has the content or methodological expertise required to support your project. They may also have access to data required for your project. This person may be your site scholar faculty but is often someone other than to your site scholar faculty. Your site scholar faculty supports you in finding and accessing the resources required for your project and guides you throughout the project from idea conceptualization, to writing your proposal, to conducting your project and writing up your findings so that your project will meet the program requirements. If your project requires ethics, you will need your Principal Investigator (PI) to access the Research Ethics Board (REB) application. The PI can be your supervisor or your site scholar faculty. If you are having trouble finding a PI, please contact your site scholar faculty. We also suggest you browse our repository for project ideas and potential PIs. The password is available from your site scholar faculty.

By January of your R1 year, start thinking about potential scholar project topics and who you might collaborate with. Projects of 2-4 residents are recommended so that residents can share the workload and have sufficient time to complete all the required steps of the project. Discuss your topic idea with your site scholar faculty to ensure your topic will meet the scholar project requirements and be feasible within the residency program limits. The methods you choose (i.e., project type) will depend on what your scholar project ‘question’ is. Determining your topic and ‘question’ is an iterative process requiring discussion with your resident partners, supervisor, site scholar faculty and review of relevant literature/information (engage a librarian for help with lit searching).

Detailed information about types of projects is found on ‘Types of Projects’ webpage.

Any research working with humans requires Ethics Approval: This addresses strict privacy safeguards and involved an Ethics Committee review.  Please review the checklist provided by UBC BREB. If you answer ‘yes’ to any items on the checklist, you must submit your project for research ethics board review. You can find Ethics application process here. This includes any research involving your fellow residents or medical students.

The current Tri Council Policy Statement defines research as “an undertaking intended to extend knowledge through a disciplined inquiry or systematic investigation” and states that quality assurance studies, performance reviews, or testing within normal educational requirements do not normally require review, unless they include an element of research.

The Tri Council Policy Statement, article 2.5, further defines quality assurance studies as studies related directly to assessing the performance of an organization or its employees or students, within the mandate of the organization or according to the terms and conditions of employment or training.

The BREB has developed a checklist to help researchers decide whether or not their project constitutes research requiring review, or whether it is quality assurance (quality improvement, program evaluation, etc.) and does not.   If there is any doubt as to whether your research requires review, the BREB recommends that you consult with the Board. None of UBC’s affiliated REBs will review or acknowledge research that has already been conducted.

Studies involving oppressed and/or vulnerable populations, especially but not limited to Indigenous populations, require additional method, methodological and ethical considerations.  Any Residents interested in partnering with oppressed populations for their Scholar Project should refer to Chapter 9 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement, CIHR’s Indigenous People’s Health, UBC’s Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health and their site Scholar Lead for more information and guidance prior to determining their project.

Once you have selected your topic and confirmed your ‘question’, write your project proposal with your coauthors. Template is found here Every project requires a proposal to be submitted (by July of R2 year) to and approved by your site scholar faculty before beginning your project. If your project requires ethics approval, your proposal is submitted with the REB application.

By Dec. 15 of your R2 year (or alternate date if off-cycle), submit your draft abstract to your site scholar faculty. They will assess it using the 8-point checklist. This process will ensure your project is on track to meet the scholar project requirements.

Timelines/deadlines can be found here

Guided by your site scholar faculty approved proposal, and with direction/support from your supervisor and site scholar faculty, undertake your scholarship work. Check in regularly with your coauthors, supervisor, and site scholar faculty to ensure you are on track and to address any questions or concerns. Sometimes scholarship does not go as planned or barriers arise. Your supervisor and site scholar faculty are available to help you work through any concerns. Manuscript/final paper requirements can be found ono the ‘types of scholar project’ webpage Much of what you have written in your proposal can be used in your final manuscript, with appropriate updates and changes to tense.

Some sites require a draft manuscript sent to site scholar faculty by Jan. 30. Please check with your site scholar faculty. Final deadline for submission to program office is Feb. 28 of R2 year.

Please send your final abstracts and manuscripts to by the deadline indicated.

Your final manuscript/paper is evaluated by your site scholar faculty using the 8-pt checklist. All concerns identified by your site scholar faculty should be addressed in your final paper with updated paper sent to program office if required. If remediation work is required, please plan with your site scholar faculty and site director.

Local/regional scholar days are planned in May/June for each site so that residents can present their work to their peers and the local medical community. Presentation requirements are available from your site scholar faculty and site coordinator. Presentations are evaluated by audience members. Evaluation form can be found here

For further breakdown, see this paper.

From painting to a randomized control study, from poetry to organizing a community gathering in support of Indigenous sovereignty, from designing and producing a website to undertaking a population survey, from conducting a systematic review to producing an infographic you will use with your patients, from sequencing DNA to studying rates of burnout in family doctors, scholarship is about learning, contributing your learnings to broader conversations, understanding how what you are learning is part of a larger ethos of learning, and then documenting what you have learned so that others can learn from you. No matter what type of scholarship project you choose, your final project MUST include:

a. The question you sought to answer (Introduction)
b. Background and context surrounding and informing the question you explored (Literature Review and Background; requires citation)
c. Acknowledgement that your project is informed by other scholars, learners, experts, and knowledge holders (Theoretical Context or Methodology; requires citation)
d. Documentation of what your project entailed and how you answered your question (Methods and Findings)
e. Summary of what you learned and the implications of your learning; contextualized into the broader literature/knowledge base of your topic (Discussion and Summary; requires citation)

In other words, even if you decide to do a series of short theatrical skits for you scholarship project, or a community walk to bring attention to Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG), you need to provide a scholarly write up about what you did, a write up that includes some context, a discussion of what you undertook, and some acknowledgment of what you learned and who informed your learning process. That is the essence of scholarship.

Finally, you need to account for “authorship” in your scholarship project. The latest authorship definition provided by the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals listed below from the ICMJE website as follows:

“All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. One or more authors should take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, from inception to published article. Authorship credit should be based only on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Conditions 1, 2, and 3 must all be met. Acquisition of funding, the collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, by themselves, do not justify authorship.”

In addition, refer to the Department of Family Practice Authorship and Collaboration approved by the Post-Graduate Education Committee in 2003. This policy guides the order of authors for faculty and residents who work together on a Resident Scholar Project. Careful attention must be paid with acknowledging collaborators and co-authors of oppressed populations to avoid the risk of tokenism and appropriation.

Now that you are familiar with the process, you will need to pick which of the four types of scholar project you would like to pursue. This information is found here.