Four Types of Scholarship

There are many different types of scholarship: this is because “scholarship” (most broadly) is simply about learning. While “research” is the most common kind of scholarship, especially in the discipline of medicine, scholarship can include creative practices, advocacy and transformation work, quality improvement, and knowledge translation or program creation/evaluation (aka design science). Each kind of scholarship project comes with attendant methods, activities, theoretical frameworks, presentation expectations, and ways of thinking about the world. Whatever kind of scholarship you choose, it should offer some (however broad) new knowledge that is useful to the discipline of Family Practice. Some projects require ethics approval, some do not.

General Method and Written Report Guidelines

NOTE: These guidelines apply to ALL project types. For project specific details please click on each project type individually.


Manuscripts are recommended to be between 2000 and 5000 words, and should not exceed 12,000 words, including the abstract, tables and references.


Include Objective, Design, Setting, Participants, Method, Main findings, and Conclusion and should be between 250 and 400 words. Up to four key words (MeSH headings) should be included.

Manuscript Structure:

Page 1: Title page with project title, authors, supervisor named;

Page 2-x: Final abstract;

Page x-end: Manuscript to include background including how this project is relevant to family medicine, question, methods including statement of ethics obtained/not required, findings (this can include any type of project output e.g., creation, data, etc.), discussion, conclusion, references, authorship statement, acknowledgements, appendices; keep tables/diagrams in-line with text rather than separate files.

Introduction: Define the clinical topic and the purpose of the review, and its relevance to family practice.

Method: Indicate how you did the literature search and indicate what sources you searched to ensure a comprehensive assessment of relevant studies (e.g., MEDLINE, Cochrane, TRIP Database, etc.). State how several sources of evidence-based reviews on the topic are evaluated.

Discussion: Discuss evidence-based review of a clinical topic by highlighting the key points about diagnosis and treatment. Acknowledge controversies, recent developments, other viewpoints, conflicts of interest, or instances of bias that may affect the evidence presented. When making therapeutic recommendations, indicate the magnitude of benefit and harm that would be expected.

Conclusion: Provide a summary of clinical topic and key points from review.

References: Must be current and complete. Check references for accuracy, completeness, and proper format (according to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals; References should be numbered in the order they appear in the text and should be limited to works cited in the article. List all authors when there are 6 or fewer; when there are 7 or more, list the first 6, followed by et al.

Key Points Include a short, point-form “key points” section including 1 to 4 points in 50 to 100 words. Key points should not duplicate the abstract or summarize the article; they should highlight what is new, different, unexpected, or surprising in the article.

Tables and figures: Attach separately from the main manuscript. Tables and figures should clarify and supplement, but not duplicate, the text. Tables must be self-explanatory and concise. Prepare each table or figure on a separate page. Give titles to tables and captions to figures and other illustrations. Ensure that all tables, figures, and illustrations are cited at appropriate places in the text. Prepare tables in Word; not spreadsheets. Use table structure, not spaces and tabs to format tables.

Images and any other visual material: Attach separately as separate electronic files (do not paste them into the manuscript). These may include photographs, digital illustrations or extra photographs for use if space is available. Images should be sent in a JPG file format.

Authorship: Include a description in written report of what each resident/author contributed to their Resident Scholar Project. In addition, if several residents are involved in one Resident Scholar Project, include a statement to describe the processes they underwent to decide the order of the authors on the Resident Scholar Project written report.

Acknowledgements: Name everyone (e.g. faculty, professionals, research assistants) who contributed to the work of the Resident Scholar Project who are not authors in the Acknowledgements section, describing what they did. Also, describe all financial support of the Resident Project in the acknowledgements.

Guidelines for Authorship and Acknowledgements

Please follow the latest authorship definition provided by the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals listed below from the 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, all residents and faculty should refer to the Department of Family Practice Authorship and Collaboration policy that was 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.

Scholar Project Types

Here are some broad descriptors of the various kinds of scholarship you might undertake. Below this are further details, including some details about concepts like methods, methodologies, theoretical frameworks, means of documenting and presenting, and outcomes.

Quantitative and Qualitative Definition and Overview

  • Quantitative
    • Descriptive
    • Correlational
    • Casual comparative/quasi experimental
    • Experimental
  • Qualitative
    • Phenomenological
    • Historical
    • Action-based or participatory
    • Ethnographic
    • Case studies
    • Grounded Theory

Creative Practice Definition and Overview

  • Visual
    • Photo essays
    • Paintings
    • Videos
  • Performance and Sound
    • Dance
    • Theater
    • Music composition
  • Written
    • Poetry/Advocacy
    • Short Stories
    • Creative Essays

Advocacy or Transformative Action Definition and Overview

  • Organizing a public event
  • Undertaking an advocacy project
  • Responding to a pressing social need or injustice

Quality Improvement, Program Evaluation, Education Outreach, Design Science, and Evaluation Definition and Overview

  • Contributing to the betterment of a program, clinic, strategy, or policy
  • Undertaking a search for solutions to a problem in a place or program, testing that solution, evaluating the success of the solution
  • Analytical essay
  • Developing educational tools
  • Creating a website
  • Designing an “app”
  • Virtual manuals
  • Programing and simulation scenarios
  • Producing electronic tools
  • Curriculum development and evaluation
  • CME update