American College of Clinical Pharmacy
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Rules and Regulations

Eligibility

Participation in the ACCP Clinical Research Challenge is voluntary. No entry fee is required. The competition will be open to those pharmacy students pursuing their first professional pharmacy degree from an accredited institution or one that has been granted candidate status. Students must be in their first or second professional year of their pharmacy degree program (P1 and P2 students for 4 year programs; P1 and P2 students for 3 year accelerated programs and the first two professional years of 0-6 or 0-7 year programs). Students are not required to be a member of ACCP to participate. Each team will consist of three (3) students from the same institution. There are no specific requirements with respect to the number of students who are in their first or second professional year who must represent a given team

Only one team per institution may enter the ACCP Clinical Research Challenge.
An institution is defined as one having a unique ACPE accreditation or candidate status designation. Institutions outside the United States are eligible to compete and must demonstrate accreditation or candidate status by the applicable governing body of their country.
(International participants should note that items used in the competition may refer to U.S.-based guidelines. Participants should be apprised of current U.S. guidelines by referring to www.guidelines.gov.


Local Competitions:

Each institution may determine the individual student participants who constitute its team. Should an institution have several student teams interested in competing, or if students from branch/satellite campuses are interested in competing, a local competition may be held.

ACCP will provide a written examination that institutions may use as a basis for their local competition, if they so desire. This examination will be available in early November of each competition year, and may be requested by the ACCP Faculty Liaison or registering faculty member via e-mail. Please address your e-mail request to Michelle Kucera, Pharm.D., BCPS, at mkucera@accp.com.

The ACCP Clinical Research Challenge Local Competition Exam and Key are Copyrighted Material. Institutions and faculty members administering the exam should hold the exam and key in confidence and the material contained therein should be used only for selecting a team to represent said institution. Any use of the Local Competition Exam Key or materials contained within the ACCP Clinical Research Challenge Portal or website, including the reproduction, modification, distribution, or republication, without the prior written consent of ACCP, is strictly prohibited.

Students should not be permitted to keep a written or virtual copy of the Local Competition Exam nor should the exam or key results be posted for public viewing prior to the competition registration deadline. Students and/or institutions found in violation of the above policies are subject to disqualification.

Each institution is responsible for setting the time schedule and determining the format in which the local competition will be made available to interested students. Institutions with more than one campus should collaborate when scheduling the local competition and designate a single best team to represent the entire institution.

The Local Competition Exam will be based on piece of drug literature chosen by the Oversight Panel. Faculty administering the Local Exam may release the reference to the chosen drug literature no more than 72 hours in advance of the date of their scheduled competition.

Each student participating in the Local Competition Exam is responsible for accessing the chosen literature and obeying all copyright constraints regarding said literature.

Each institution must complete its local competition and enter its team registration on or before the registration deadline, February 7, 2018.


Team Registration

The designated ACCP Faculty Liaison or other responsible faculty member from the participating school or college of pharmacy must complete the initial online registration form.

Each team will select a team leader. The names and e-mail addresses of each team member must be provided to ACCP by the registration deadline, February 7, 2018.

The registering faculty member must confirm the eligibility of all team members online before a team will be permitted to compete in the challenge. The registering faculty member must certify that each team member is enrolled in a full-time pharmacy degree program earning his or her first professional pharmacy degree from an accredited institution or one that has been granted candidate status. The faculty member must also certify that each team member is enrolled in the first or second professional year of their pharmacy degree program (P1 and P2 students for 4 year programs; P1 and P2 students for 3 year accelerated programs and the first two professional years of 0-6 or 0-7 year programs). Teams not meeting these criteria will be ineligible for the competition.

Format

The ACCP Clinical Research Challenge will be conducted virtually and consists of three Rounds:

  • Round 1 - Online Journal Club Examination
  • Round 2 –Letter of Intent Submission
  • Round 3 - Research Protocol Design

Please refer to the Competition Schedule for additional information

The Online Journal Club Examination portal will be open from 7:00 a.m. until midnight (EDT) on the scheduled day of competition. All eligible teams will compete in Round 1. Teams achieving the top 40 scores after Round 1 will advance to Round 2: Letter of Intent Submission. Teams achieving the top 20 scores after the LOI round will be advanced to Round 3 and invited to submit a complete research proposal. Teams will be notified regarding their status to participate in Round 3 via email.

Round 1 – Online Journal Club Examination

One team of three students selected from each school or college of pharmacy will be provided with a reference to a piece of drug literature (e.g. landmark trial, recently published study) and given approximately 72 hours to review the literature. Each team is responsible for accessing the chosen literature and obeying all copyright constraints regarding said literature. All teams will be reviewing the same trial/literature as selected by the Competition Oversight Committee.

Teams will complete a set of online multiple choice and true/false questions based on the provided literature on the scheduled examination date under the supervision of their registering faculty member or his/her designee. Potential question topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Study Design/type of trial
  • Null hypothesis
  • Informed consent
  • Inclusion/exclusion criteria
  • Method(s) of randomization
  • Data collection methods
  • Definition and application of statistical tests
  • Statistical Calculations (NNT, NNH, ARR, RRR, etc.)
  • Duration of treatment/length of follow up
  • Primary and secondary outcome measures
  • Adverse Drug Events
  • Internal/External Validity
  • Power
  • Risk of Type I/ Type II Error
  • Study strengths
  • Potential bias/confounders
  • Study limitations
  • Impact on clinical practice

For a list of sample journal club items click here.

Teams may refer to the text and figures contained in the selected Online Journal Club literature and a non-programmable calculator only. If printed materials are used, only clean copies are permitted. Any documents with additional notations are prohibited. Again, each team is responsible for obtaining the chosen literature and obeying all copyright constraints. Only the three-member student team may confer and or discuss the item in formulating their answer. No student participant may use any additional outside text or electronic resource not previously specified and may not solicit input from any other individual. Students and/or institutions found in violation of this policy are subject to disqualification.

A team must complete all the questions in the time allotted (75 minutes). A team may not save their answers and return later to complete the questions. Teams may skip questions if desired. Teams will be presented with the entire list of examination items upon initial log in and may answer the items in the order they choose. Teams will NOT receive real time feedback if an answer to a given item is correct or incorrect. All items in the Online Round Journal Club are of equal value. Examinations will be scored by the percentage of items answered correctly.

Teams achieving the top 40 scores will advance to Round 2: Letter of Intent Submission. In the event of a tie, the top 40 scores will be determined by the time required to complete the online journal club exam. All examinations will be time stamped. Time spent viewing instructional pages will NOT count toward your total examination time.

Round 2 – Letter of Intent Submission

In order to allow a greater participation throughout the CRC, ACCP has added a Letter of Intent (LOI) Submission round. The LOI Submission round is intended to help students refine any future full proposal submission and allow the Review Panel the ability to select teams to submit full proposals based on their innovative and quality LOI submissions.

Each year, the Competition Oversight Panel will issue a request for proposal to address a clinically focused research question in a select pharmacotherapeutic topic or disease-state area (e.g. Nephrology, Infectious Disease, Hypertension, etc.) The first step in the process will be for eligible teams to submit a LOI based on the research question. Teams will be provided information regarding the research environment which will include a specified budget and timeline in which the proposed research must be completed. Eligible teams will have 2½ weeks to develop and submit a LOI online. All materials submitted online must be the original work of said team. Each team’s registering faculty member must submit a statement online certifying the independent and original nature of all materials submitted.


LOI Submission Process

The LOI should succinctly address each of the following sections and formatting requirements. Please label each section accordingly. LOI submissions must be uploaded to the online portal by 11:59 PM (CST) on 3/2/2018.

  • 1. Background and Rationale
  • 2. Hypothesis and Specific Aims
  • 3. Inovation
  • 4. Proposed Study Design and Methods (must address the following)
    • a. A basic description of the design and methods including mention of subject recruitment, inclusion/exclusion criteria, manner of data and statistical analyses, and acknowledgement of potential limitations.
    • b. The ability of the proposed design to be completed within the given research environment and budget frameworks as outlined in the research proposal question.
  • 5. Future Impact/Dissemination Plan

Formatting Requirements

Letters of Intent are to be submitted using the following criteria:

  • Font- Times New Roman, 12 point
  • Align text to left margin
  • Margins- 1 inch
  • Line Spacing 1.5
  • Total Page Limit – 3 pages
  • Do not include any identifying information in your proposal. This includes institution name, city, hospital or health care identity, faculty or student information.
  • Do not include any of the above identifying information in the title of the uploaded file containing your research proposal.

Evaluation of LOI

LOI submissions must be uploaded to the online portal by the registering faculty member by 11:59 PM (CST) on 3/2/18. The registering faculty member must indicate agreement to a statement online verifying the independent nature of the team’s work. Each eligible team’s proposal will be evaluated by 3 members of the Research Protocol Review Committee and will be assigned an overall impact score. ACCP staff will assign faculty reviewers to each submission. Reviewers who hold faculty positions and/or other professional appointments at any one or more institution would not be assigned to review a submission from teams representing said institution(s). All reviewers will be blinded to the names of the individuals submitting the LOI and to their home institution. All submitted LOIs will be kept confidential. The reviewers will apply the following criteria when evaluating each LOI:

  • Background and Rationale – 15%
  • Hypothesis and Specific Aims – 20%
  • Innovation- 15%
  • Proposed Study Design and Methods – 35%
  • Future Impact/Dissemination Plan- 10%
  • Adherence to Formatting Requirements – 5%

Teams achieving the top 20 scores after the LOI round will be advanced to Round 3 and invited to submit a complete research proposal. Teams will be notified regarding their status to participate in Round 3 via email by March 23, 2018.

Round 3 – Research Protocol Development

The eligible teams advancing to Round 3 will be given the opportunity to submit a fully developed research proposal. Teams will be requested to submit the research proposal to address the given criterion selected by the Competition Oversight Panel. The completed proposals must be uploaded by the registering faculty member by 11:59 PM (CST) on 4/20/18. The registering faculty member must indicate agreement to a statement online verifying the independent nature of the team’s work.

Request for Proposals: Each year, the Competition Oversight Panel will issue a request for proposals to address a clinically focused research question in a select pharmacotherapeutic topic or disease-state area (e.g. Nephrology, Infectious Disease, Hypertension, etc.) The request for proposal will include a specified budget and timeline in which the proposed research must be completed. Eligible teams will have 4 weeks to develop and submit a research proposal online. All materials submitted online must be the original work of said team. Each team’s registering faculty member must submit a statement online certifying the independent and original nature of all materials submitted.

Required Components of Proposal

  • Background and Rationale Statement
  • Study Design/Justification
  • Specific Aims
  • Innovation
  • Study Significance
  • Hypothesis with literature review and justification
  • Methods
    • Sample size and power calculation
    • Inclusion and exclusion criteria
    • Primary and Secondary Outcomes
    • Statistical Analyses
  • Budget Allocation
  • Study timeline/period of follow up
  • Study Feasibility
  • Future Impact
  • Dissemination Plan
  • Justification for Human Subject Involvement –IRB process (as applicable)
    • Recruitment and Informed Consent Process
    • Data Integrity Management
Evaluation of Submitted Proposals

Each eligible team’s proposal will be evaluated by 3 members of the Research Protocol Review Committee and will be assigned an overall impact score. ACCP staff will assign faculty reviewers to each submission. Reviewers who hold faculty positions and/or other professional appointments at any one or more institution would not be assigned to review a submission from teams representing said institution(s). All reviewers will be blinded to the names of the individuals submitting the proposal and their home institution. All submitted proposals will be kept confidential. The reviewers will consider the following criteria when evaluating the required components of the proposal:

  • Background, Rationale, and Innovation- 20%
  • Hypothesis and Specific Aims -15%
  • Design and Methods – 40%
  • Timeline and Budget Adherence – 10%
  • Future Impact/Dissemination Plan -10%
  • Overall Document Construction – 5%

Those teams achieving a rating in the top third of submissions will be forwarded to the Competition Oversight Panel for final review and consideration for the top four awards. Winners will be announced on June 11, 2018.

Competition Schedule
November 6, 2017 Local Journal Club Competition Exam Released
November 2017-February 2018 Local Competitions Held at Individual Institutions
February 7, 2018 Team Registration Deadline
February 9, 2018 Article Title of Round 1: Online Journal Club Released
February 12, 2018 Round 1: Online Journal Club Competition(Exam portal open 7AM – midnight Eastern time)
February 14, 2018 Top 40 Teams advancing to Round 2: Letter of Intent(LOI) announced and given access to LOI Development Portal
March 2, 2018 LOI Submission Due. Deadline (11:59 PM CST) for eligible teams to post documents to LOI Development Portal
March 2-23, 2018 Review of LOI Proposals by CRC Research Protocol Committee
March 23, 2018 Top 20 Teams advancing to Round 3: Research Protocol Development (RPD) announced and given access to RPD portal
March 23-April 20, 2018 Top 20 teams draft full proposals
April 20, 2018 Deadline for Proposal Submissions 11:59 PM CST
April 20 -June 8, 2018 Review of CRC Proposals by Research Protocol Review Committee and Competition Oversight Panel
June 11, 2018 Winners Announced
Prize Structure*

Winning Team 3 Complimentary Full Student 2017 Annual Meeting Registrations Request to Present their Research Design at 2017 Annual Meeting Poster Session $1500 team cash prize ($500 each) Individual Plaques and Team Trophy
Runner Up Team 3 Complimentary Full Student 2017 Annual Meeting Registrations Request to Present their Research Design at 2017 Annual Meeting Poster Session $750 team cash prize ($250 each) Individual Certificates suitable for framing
Third Place Team 3 Complimentary Full Student 2017 Annual Meeting Registrations Request to Present their Research Design at 2017 Annual Meeting Poster Session $125 ACCP Gift Certificate for each team member Individual Certificates suitable for framing
Fourth Place Team $125 ACCP Gift Certificate for each team member Individual Certificates suitable for framing

*IRS regulations require ACCP to provide a Form 1099 to the winners of $600 or more in cash and complimentary services.