A investigation project It is a methodological document that describes and explains in detail the procedures that it will undertake, the hypothesis that it pursues and the bibliographic support available for future exploration (research) in a specific area of knowledge, such as science, social science, the humanities, etc.
Research projects are frequent in the academic field and in the Technological scientist, in which a specialized jury must evaluate a researcher or group of them and confer a university degree or a financing fee (or both). In fact, degree theses are usually preceded by research projects in which it is made clear what it is that you intend to do and how.
Types of research
Since there are various ways to investigateResearch projects will be adapted to the requirements of their respective research, which may be of the following types, according to the nature of their objectives:
- It addresses a little-explored topic in a field of knowledge, which has not been previously addressed and therefore lacks strong previous references, which it seeks to establish for other future researchers.
- It aims to describe a given reality, that is, to detail its specific conditions and to elaborate a state of the matter also taking into account what has been described in previous investigations.
- It is proposed to measure the degree of remarkable relationship between two or more variables, two or more concepts or two or more entities studied.
- He is not content with describing the matter studied, but finding in it relationships of causality and consequence, that is, offering a detailed explanation of the matter. These can be of two types:
- Experimental. They rely on the reproduction of variables in a controlled environment to demonstrate their theories or test hypotheses.
- Documentary film. They do not carry out experiments, but read and analyze the previous material and the bibliography.
Parts of a research project
A standard research project should have most of the following inputs:
- Tentative title. A working title of the investigation that summarizes the topics to be addressed and that will be modified as the work progresses and greater certainties are obtained.
- Hypothesis or problem statement. In this section an introduction to the topic that will be addressed in the research is formulated, emphasizing the aspects of greatest interest to it and posing the questions that will be tried to answer.
- Background. A necessary review of the previous research that addressed the subject, as well as the aspects in which the current research is similar or different from them. It is of vital importance as it prevents what has already been investigated from being investigated.
- Justification. Closely linked to the background, it explains to what extent the research will contribute to the field of knowledge in which it is found and why it should be financed or taken into account academically.
- Theoretical framework. Here a relationship is established between the theoretical content and the research, detailing which will be the axes on which it will be supported, which theoretical sources will be used and why.
- objectives. In this section, the general objective of the research will be specified, that is, its primary purpose, as well as the specific, secondary objectives, each one linked to the stages of the research or the chapters of its development.
- Methodological framework. A list of the procedures to follow to successfully complete the investigation, as well as an explanation of the procedural choices for it, such as choosing one type of experiment over others, or establishing a detailed work schedule, a budget or everything necessary to explain how the research work will be carried out.
- Bibliographic references. Where the entire bibliographic content consulted is detailed, both the one that provided citations and key texts, and the one that only served to create a frame of reference.
Research project example
Experimental verification of the enzymatic effects of rattlesnake venom
Hundreds of people worldwide, especially in jungle or desert countries, perish each year from rattlesnake bites (Crotalus sp.), one of the most poisonous on the American continent. It is estimated that within a few hours after the bite, the neurotoxic effect of the snake ends the life of an adult male. Many local laboratories undertake the manufacture of antidotes, but it is expensive and time-consuming to produce. A more intensive study of the nature of these poisons would be the key to be able to undertake more effective short-term solutions to the bite of these snakes.
Various studies in the area of toxicology point to this problem, but from strictly social perspectives, leaving out the biochemical issue that we intend to delve into in this research. Teachers as Stidworthy et. to the. They have carried out extensive reconnaissance work on these animals, and their observations on the rapidity of the effect of these poisons is a good starting point for our research.
Poisons in nature are nothing more than enzymes modified for a defensive or predatory function. Snake venom, in that sense, is a digestive enzyme that makes its bite lethal, and that is why it can be studied as if it were any protein, and therefore respond to heat and pH as these compounds do. A biochemical analysis of this nature would allow to find exploitable weaknesses in the venom in the development of an antidote or alternative treatments for the bitten.
Apart from Stidworthy’s descriptive considerations, we will use Lennman’s biochemistry as a reference in the decomposition of proteins due to the effect of heat and pH, in order to check if the poison responds in the same way to these stimuli. We will also rely on the work on proteins by González and Martínez, whose observations will be useful in recognizing the results.
- General objective: Check that the rattlesnake venom is a protein and therefore can be neutralized through variations in temperature and pH, preventing its neurotoxic effect.
- Specific objectives:
- Demonstrate the similarity of reaction between rattlesnake venom and other well-known proteins.
- Demonstrate the effect of temperature variation on this poison, subjecting it to extreme heat and cold.
- Demonstrate the effect of pH variation on this poison by subjecting it to strong acids and bases.
- Obtain the relevant conclusions.
It will have a complete laboratory equipment, as well as the necessary reagents (bases and acids, rattlesnake venom in its pure state), as well as pH meters, thermometers, a lighter and dry ice. In addition, laboratory mice (12 approx) will be used for this.
The experiment will consist of injecting the venom into a first mouse (control) and measuring the time it takes to take effect. Then subject the poison to the action of an agent (temperature or pH) in different degrees and inject it into other mice and measure the effectiveness of the poison to take note of the variations (slowness or ineffectiveness).
This experiment will require an investment of USD 100,000 in total, broken down in the attached table (see Annex 1), and will take a total time of two days, during which the available schedule will proceed as indicated (see Annex 2).
González S. and Rodríguez P. 1980. Protein. Caracas: Monte Ávila Editores.
Lennman, R. 1999. All about biochemistry. Madrid: Saen editores.
Stidworthy J. 1974. Snakes of the world. Chicago: Dunlap Inc.
American Institute of Toxicology. 2004. Report on rattlesnake bite in America in 2003. VVAA. Panama: Gedisa.