We are delighted to release the fourth issue of the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (PPCR – ISSN 2378- 1890).
This issue is marked by the publication of five mock grant proposals that were developed as a group project activity in our global clinical research course, the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (ppcr.org). In this activity, groups of students of a variety of backgrounds worked in collaboration in order to integrate theoretical concepts into practice. More specifically, students were asked to write a randomized clinical trial proposal in a period of four months. They worked through key elements of a good study plan, from the development of a solid research question and hypothesis to the proper selection of study design and analysis. In addition, the project contemplated strategic aspects of a grant proposal, since students were required to develop a feasible, significant and innovative project with solid methodology.
We believe this activity is fundamental for the consolidation of course content by students. The integration and application of theory into a mock proposal help students to connect the concepts learned during the course, which is in line with the adult learning theory (Knowles, 1984). According to this theory, adults are task-centered and need to foresee the application of theoretical concepts in real life situations in order to become ready and motivated to learn. This way, mock grant proposals are a valuable source of information connection and may turn the learning experience more effective.