JNIL Nutrition Research Designs and Methods Workshop

First Nutrition Research Designs and Methods Workshop

jnil workshop
Online July 3-9 & July 17– August 5
In-person in Jerash, Jordan |  August 6 -11, 2022


The Nutrition Research Designs and Methods Workshop is an initiative of the Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab from Tufts University.  The objective of the Lab is to enhance its ongoing support in building individual and institutional capacity in research and training focused on maternal, infant, and child health and nutrition in Jordan.

The no-cost workshop will be held from August 6-11, 2022 in Jerash, Jordan.  This will be preceded by a weekly online preparatory and reading period during July 3-9 and July 17- August 5 (accounting for Eid-Al-Adha holidays from July 10-16).

The overall goal of the workshop is to train upcoming Jordanian scientists on the rigor of research methodology and enhance skills in conceptualization, development and implementation and analysis of robustly designed quantitative research protocols.

The specific objectives of the workshop are to:

  • Identify the basic concepts of research processes and components.
  • Learn to critically read and search the literature in order to identify research gaps in scientific knowledge.
  • Gain substantive knowledge in the developmental and structural processes in preparing a research protocol.
  • Learn to write a research question that is specific and measurable using quantitative methods
  • Select and develop appropriate research design, sample, data collection and analysis methods.
  • Develop a Letter of Intent and Research Plan on a specific topic that will be presented in a written and oral form.

Participants will be exposed to the theory of designing nutrition research studies with hands-on experience in developing a letter of intent and analysis plan for the research.  Topic areas include the development of a research question that answers a gap in current scientific knowledge in Jordan, defining specific aims and outcomes of interest, determining appropriate study designs, research methodology and assessment methods.  Participants will work in pairs to develop and present a letter of intent and an research plan, interacting with faculty mentors through the workshop period.

Potential participants should be students in the following fields who hold at least a bachelor's degree: nutrition science, public health, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and other allied health sciences. Potential participants should demonstrate a strong interest in working in community/public health nutrition research and practice.

There is no workshop fee for the participants. Participants will be selected through a competitive selection process. The first part of the workshop will be totally online from July 3-9 and July 17- August 5 (Accounting for Eid-Al-Adha holidays from July 10-16)

The participants will be provided a research methods book and access to a Learning management System called “Canvas” on which we will post relevant reading material and short quizzes over assigned book chapters.  A key element of success of this workshop is that the participants will be assigned to a team of two people that will work as a pair through the period of the training. The assignment into teams will be based on matched research interests and conducted by faculty after the selection process. The participants will be informed of which team and how they were chosen to be assigned to that team.  Each team will identify a research question and carry out a literature review to identify relevant papers to support their proposed research question.  With this preparation, they will then be ready to participate in an in-person workshop to be held from August 6 – 11, 2022. 

The workshop will be held in the Olive Branch Hotel in Jerash, Jordan from August 6 to 11, 2022, with residence at the Olive Branch beginning the evening of August 5, 2022. The Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab will plan and manage all lodging and boarding arrangements. As this is an intensive workshop, participants are required to spend six days at the workshop location.

Participants should have had foundation courses in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, physiology, nutrition, public health, and biostatistics/statistics.

A total of 20 participants will be selected to participate in the workshop. The faculty that lead the workshop will review applications and select participants based on specific selection criteria.  In the application, participants will be asked to select and share three research questions of their interest. We will provide a list to stimulate your thinking.  After selection, the faculty will assign participants into pairs using the list of research questions as a guide for matching research interests. 

The workshop is a mix of preparatory online work and then an in-person comprehensive workshop covering substantive theoretical lectures, application sessions, and guided practical work sessions with mentors. Please be prepared for long but productive days during this workshop.  Each workshop day will begin at 8 am and include coffee and lunch breaks. After dinner, each pair may need to work towards accomplishing their assignment on a daily basis. The final deliverable for this workshop is a Letter of Intent (LOI) and a Research Plan (per participant) that will be presented by each team/pair at the closing session.

During this online and in person workshop, participants will learn in a theoretical and applied manner, the designs and methods used in nutrition research. Participants will be able to:

  1.  Describe the concepts and theory of research design, articulate policy-relevant research questions, develop specific aims and outcomes, identify an appropriate study design and methodology.
  2.  Utilize appropriate tools to undertake complex nutrition studies. Examples include:
    1. Organizing a literature search; identifying relevant search terms and which literature bases to search for defining or fine-tuning research questions. Establishing parameters for the review regarding what it will and won’t cover.  Extracting relevant information from appropriate studies in a systematic manner (with summary tables and figures)
    2. Theoretical knowledge on different types of study designs and research methodologies
    3. Statistical tools for the calculation of sample size, definition of sampling strategy and data analysis
    4. Data collection methods and management and quality assurance, ethical considerations
  3. Write a Letter of Intent (LOI), and a Research Plan for study implementation
  4. Describe the challenges in developing a research plan
  5. Work in a team, defining roles and responsibilities for each member of the team

The final day of the workshop will involve:

  1.  A group presentation on each research topic.
  2.  Each participant will submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) and Research Plan.

Required- This will be provided prior to the online portion of the workshop.

  • Ranjit Kumar.  Research Methodology, 5th Edition.  Sage Publications. 2019
    ISBN 978-1-4462-6997-8 (Pbk)