Research Projects

Primary Research

Residents have the opportunity to conduct primary research. Generally, we expect a literature review to be performed prior to a project proposal, followed by a proposal submission, before the execution of the project. Results are typically presented as a PGY4 or PGY5 at the Department of Emergency Medicine Annual Research Day and at the CAEP annual meeting. We provide some examples of previous research projects below.

Meta-analysis/systematic reviews

Meta-analysis/systematic reviews are acceptable scholarly activities for the resident. A meta-analysis/systematic review in progress, studying the development of a protocol that would advance to completion at a later date, is considered an acceptable contribution to the scholarly work of the Department.


Prospective surveys of residents, medical students, staff or patients is acceptable. In addition to being forms of primary research, they require a formal protocol and ethics approval, which can be a prolonged process.

Medical Record Review Studies (MRRS)

Retrospective or prospective chart reviews of medical process, outcome or quality require significant planning to assure validity and reliability of data. These types of studies should only be conducted after a systematic search of the literature to identify the evidence for a particular diagnostic or treatment approach. All MRRS require ethics approval from both the institution and the University, as well as production of a written protocol.

Secondary Research

Involvement in research conducted within the Department of Emergency Medicine (at any of the individual sites) is an acceptable minor project. Residents must make a specific contribution to the research project and present this as their scholarly work at the end of the year.

Collaborative Research

Involvement in research that is conducted within the institution, the Department, the Faculty of the community are also acceptable alternatives. Residents must provide some contribution to this collaborative research, which may or may not be directly related to the clinical practice of Emergency Medicine.

Case Report

A systematic review of the literature on an interesting case, produced with publication in mind, is an acceptable project.

Evidence-Based Medicine Project

Evidence-based medical vignettes, which include development of a specific research question, systematic search of the literature, critical appraisal of the evidence, the implications for practice, and dissemination of its feedback associated with a critically appraised topic, are acceptable.

Simulator Module

Current, the Human Patient Simulator needs a wider variety of patient scenarios, to test the skills of Emergency Medicine residents, staff and other trainees. A module for the Simulator, with some information provided as to how it was developed, is an acceptable project.

Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG)

Involvement in the development or dissemination of a CPG is acceptable as scholarly activity.

Research projects must be discussed in advance with the Program Director(s).

Each year, the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Alberta holds a Faculty and Staff Research Day in May or June to disseminate the results of scholarship within the Department. This is organized by the Research Director, and residents are expected to present their projects as defined above.

Emergency Medicine residents with previous research experience often use this opportunity to hone their skills while bridging the gap between research and clinical practice.