Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pinch me!

Yep! This means that my committee has approved my proposal (with no changes), and I'm sailing the skies off to Country-of-Research to begin data collection!

I've also booked to attend Glaser's workshop in March.

Is this really happening?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Good News

I heard today--only 4 days later--that the IRB has approved my application. No stipulations even!


BIG sigh!

I've always known that there is a divine purpose for me to be in this program. When I get such confirmations (e.g. a 21-day process taking only 4 days and without any hitch... well, except for my own panicking), I look Up and an impression seizes my heart with these clear words:

"Yes, keep going."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

IRB Mad Rush

The lady at IRB said that if I could get the application in today she would review it for me tomorrow so that I can still meet my deadlines and travel to gather data I thought it would take about 3 hours to complete the IRC applications and left it until yesterday Boy was that a mistake I stayed up all night and went to bed at 6:30 in the morning only to have my son wake me up an hour later But I was able to go back to bed again for another hour or so and then got up to see a client at 10:00 That went OK but then I had to rush over to see my adviser and department head to get their signatures Only when I got there my adviser had not filled up the form she had to fill up because it was a busy day at the department Luckily I had canceled my other noon appointment and so I stayed in her office and worked with her on it until it was done She signed it then the department head signed it and it was about 1:15 But I was not sure if all the 20-or-so pages of appendices were all properly labeled and so I went and doubled checked on them and sure enough found some mistakes which I corrected After that I pushed my haircut appointment 15 minutes later but when I got there I had to crap so badly and so I went into the bathroom for almost 10 minutes Yes yes Too much information Anyway it ended up that my haircut took extra long but I had just enough time to drive over to a coffee shop to down another cup of caffeine while I went through all the checklists to make sure that I had included everything Sure enough I discovered that I had forgotten to write my cover letter to explain my rushed time line That's when I also saw the bold print warning that there was to be no handwriting on the application but my adviser had written a couple of things by hand on the application Oh well I hope the lady at IRB will still accept it Then I went over to the copy store and made a couple of copies and had 20 minutes left to make a 15 minute drive over to the IRB office to hand in my application before it closed at 4:30 Why do people drive so slowly when you are in a rush Fark I revved until my tires started to wobble and then decided that it would be better for me to get there than to die trying and so I slowed down Finally I got near the office building Parking parking I needed parking Incredible what will motivate a person to pray And so I prayed and found a spot dropped in some quarters with trembling fingers and started running with just a vague direction in mind WTF The building was so huge Where the hurl was F3124 (made up room so you can't search me out online hah) This way that way I had no idea where I was The hallways looked like a maze I finally opened my mouth to ask This way then that way they said I followed Up stairs, then this corridor No backtrack Next corridor Up more stairs And finally with two minutes left I discovered there was construction blocking access to the office Fark A lady saw my anxiety and told me that way then that way I ran down the stairs then across the hall then pressed the elevator button and waited for hell to freeze over But it didn’t and the elevator binged and I got on got off and ran down the hallway The door to the office was just about to close I charged in and scared the staff closing the door and then pretended to walk casually towards the reception Oh oh No one was there I stood looking around Then a plump pleasant lady in the next cubicle smiled and I said I wanted to submit my IRB application She said "you can do it here" I gave it to her and she stamped it 02/16/09 I made it Whew

And so the IRB is submitted and I am anticipating that the lady at IRB will look at it and say "nah, you can't do this research because you don't have this or that form or you don't have this or that permission" But before all that let me keel over and die for a couple of hours from my non-stop adrenaline filled all-day mad rush with no sleep the previous night

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Institutional Review Board (IRB) - The Next Hurdle

Also known as the Ethics Board, the IRBs of research institutions in America seek to ensure that good ethical principles are upheld by researchers so that risks to human subjects are minimized or controlled.

I had this notion that my IRB application would only take 7 days. In anticipation of contingencies, I called the IRB today. Here is what I found out.
  • It takes 21 days for an expedited review (the faster version for minimal risk studies) to be conducted.
  • If there are changes or stipulations to be made, that can take another 7-10 days.
  • The review board tends to be even more picky when the research is international.
  • You are NOT allowed to begin data collection until you have received IRB approval.
Here is what I had planned on doing.
  • Defend my proposal on Feb 24th. Then submit my IRB immediately after.
  • Fly to Country-of-Research (C-o-R) a few days later while waiting for IRB approval.
  • Get IRB approval when I am in C-o-R, and collect data for two weeks.
  • Fly to U.S. West coast to attend Glaser's Grounded Theory seminar.
Everything I had planned on doing above was so that I could collect some data so that I could attend Glaser's grounded theory workshop (attendance requires data to have already been collected). I was a little shocked to find out the actual amount of time that would be required for IRB approval process.

Thankfully, I was able to be prepared enough with my IRB training that someone in IRB will help to push through my application so that I might be able to do as I had originally planned.

Moral of today's post: If your study requires IRB approval, plan your timing accordingly!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Committee Meeting for Proposal Defense

I can't believe it.

It's only taken me a total of three days from sending my draft into Adviser to getting my defense date set.

  • Monday around 5am at night, I sent my draft to my Adviser.
  • Tuesday in the afternoon, Adviser wrote back saying she'd read it soon and that it looks good.
  • Tuesday in the afternoon, Adviser follows up with email telling me that it is good, and to get the committee together for a defense date, and to edit her phone number on the consent forms.
  • Tuesday in the afternoon, I wrote to Adviser to clarify if she wanted to meet with me before that. I had psyched myself up to spend another few days to edit the proposal. You see, Adviser has high standards (one of the reasons I picked her to be my adviser).
  • Wednesday in the afternoon, Friend wrote to say that she met Adviser, and that Adviser "waxed eloquent about the superior quality of yours [proposal]." I took that as meaning Adviser does not require edits on my draft aside from her phone number. And so...
  • Wednesday in the afternoon, I emailed committee members a draft of my proposal and requested meeting dates and times.
  • Thursday in the afternoon (that is, right now), I am blogging about my proposal defense date. It has been set for 2 1/2 weeks from now.

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Proposal Progress

So, I've been up all night for 8 nights in a row, sleeping around 5-6am. When I awake (around 1pm), I work. And then, I eat. And then, I work some more. And I eat some more. And so on.

There was not a day night that I did not think I would be done with my proposal by the next night. But with each night that passes, something new arose and I had to spend hours editing and editing.

Did you know that adding up hours can turn into days?

Imagine that.

Tonight was IRB (Institutional Review Board, or Ethics Board). It took me 4 hours to go through the online training. Completely unexpected and frustrating to no end. Yet, it was good to learn, and it led me to further refine my methodology and write a more solid informed consent. Much better than the one I was trying to plagiarize from another dissertation. o . O


I didn't quit after the IRB. I pushed and I pushed and... ladies and gentlemen, "it is finished."

Okay, okay, I lied. I still have two appendices to edit and the references need to be filled in and APA'ed. But really, can you blame a guy who has been proposaling for six months for wanting to celebrate a little early?

I think not.

Here's how exhausted I am: I discovered a nice little reference to support my methodology, and then found myself laughing my head off when I noticed the author's last name was Dick.

Dick dick, dick dick dick dick dick.

I need to go to sleep.

Nite all. I mean, good morning.