Skip to main content

Faculty News

Quality Research in a Crunch

New Handbook by UHCOP, UMiss Educators Offers Guidance on Practice-based Research Projects to Pharmacy Students, Postgraduates

August 17 — A new book edited by faculty members at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy (UHCOP) and the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy (UMSOP) aims to help pharmacy students, residents and fellows overcome the challenges of limited time and resources in conducting practice-based research as part of a capstone course or independent project.

Image used with permission 
© McGraw-Hill

The new textbook, "Student Handbook for Pharmacy Practice Research" (McGraw-Hill, 2022), was coedited by UHCOP’s Rajender R. Aparasu, Ph.D., FAPhA, Mustafa & Sanober Lokhandwala Endowed Professor; and UM’s John P. Bentley, R.Ph., Ph.D., FAPhA, FNAP, professor of pharmacy administration, and Adam N. Pate, Pharm.D., BCPS, clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice.

UHCOP faculty members contributing chapters to the book were Douglas Thornton, Ph.D., BCPS; Divya Varkey, Pharm.D., M.S.; Matthew Wanat, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCCCP, FCCM; and Elisabeth Wang, Pharm.D., BCCP.

More Evidence-based Projects

The book specifically targets learners in pharmacy schools and residency/fellowship programs, which are increasingly integrating evidence-based research components into their curricula or completion requirements based on evolving accreditation standards, expanded roles for practitioners, and ultimately to improve patient health outcomes and quality of life.

"It is often challenging for pharmacy students and residents to initiate and complete research during their training," said Aparasu, who also chairs the college’s Department of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy. "We specifically developed this handbook for pharmacy students to provide a practical and comprehensive framework to conduct practice-based research using their existing institutional resources and research infrastructure."

The new publication focuses on practical approaches with an intentional emphasis on learner-involved research, highlighting research concept application using learner-led examples. Divided into three sections, it covers the elements in planning practice-based research, practicalities of conducting this research in pharmacy settings, and a framework for presenting and disseminating practice-based research in pharmacy.

The new handbook was developed as a companion to Aparasu and Bentley’s previous collaboration, "Principles of Research Design and Drug Literature Evaluation," first published in 2015 and now in its second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2020).

Rajender Aparasu

Recognized Researchers, Mentors 

With over 25 years' experience in teaching and conducting pharmaceutical health outcomes and research, Aparasu has published more than 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts, delivered 250-plus presentations at national and international meetings and received continuous federal funding for his work focusing on medication safety in older adults. In addition, he has been honored as a Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), received an appointment to the Fulbright Specialist Roster and, most recently, recognized with the 2022 Paul R. Dawson Award for Excellence in Patient Care Research by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

In addition to his faculty appointment in UMSOP, Bentley has a joint appointment in the UM School of Business Administration, and has served on the M.S. or Ph.D. committees of over 170 students from various disciplines. A Fellow of both APhA and the National Academies of Practice, Bentley is a recipient of the UMSOP Faculty Research Award, the Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Award from UM Graduate School, the UM Faculty Achievement Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship, the UM Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Outstanding Article of the Year Award for a paper published in Quality of Life Research.

Pate has practiced pharmacy and conducted research in internal medicine and ambulatory care settings, as well as mentored multiple pharmacy students and residents in research advisor and preceptor roles, including serving as a mentor in the AACP Walmart Scholars Program. In 2019, Pate was named both No. 1 Reviewer for the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and an AACP Emerging Teaching Scholar. Pate is actively involved in AACP, including recently serving as AACP Pharmacy Practice Section Chair along with other committee service. Pate is also a longtime member of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy – North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) Review Committee.

The editors said they enjoyed their collaboration and are grateful for the opportunity to work with each other as well as the other talented individuals who contributed chapters to the book.

"It was a distinct pleasure working with Raj and Adam on this project," said Bentley, who also serves as the director of UM’s Center for Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management. "Our skill sets are complementary and this led to an end result that we hope many will find useful as they start and continue on their research journeys."