Proposal Approved – Five Things To Worry About Now

The final research committee member approved my proposal, and I finally get to start my study.  I wish I did some things differently to not be worried, so prepare now if you can.

Read the IRB forms well in advance.  Get a friend who has completed their forms and received approval to use as a model.  I only thought of this too late and there is an abundance of fine print and detailed questions.

Retake the CITI course, or whichever research course your institution requires if your certification is expired.  This is noted on the IRB forms, which you can read anytime.  Mine expired, and all I remember is a prison study gone awry, which also happened to be the topic of a TED talk.

Learn Excel.  If you don’t know this software program by now, it may be too late for you, as it is for me.  I can sort of make a few things happen here, but I regularly worry about a boss or coworker expecting an Excel miracle.  Since my study has statistics, I believe that Excel is in my future, so I’m worried. 

4.     Get SPSS.  I have heard that a student version of this is not expensive, but I have a feeling that this will produce a greater anxiety than Excel.  I’m pretty sure I can’t avoid it, and I am having flashbacks to a 1990s decisions science software program that nearly forced me out of business school. 

5.     Learn how to format APA tables and histograms.  I have no idea how to do this.  Which font, what size, how do you make the lines right on a Mac? 

Okay, so get busy everyone — and if you know how to format a table on a Mac, please share!    


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