Internship Research 101

The internship research project process begins early in September and continues throughout the 39 weeks of internship. Though much is anticipated in regards to the research project, you may feel as though you don’t know as much as you would like to. Fear not pre-interners, this is your one-stop-shop for all things research-related throughout your internship.

What is Descriptive Research?

Descriptive research is often the first "dip" into a new disease or area of inquiry. Descriptive studies are concerned with, and designed to, describe existing data without regard to causation or other hypotheses. Good descriptive research answers:

  • Who
    • Age, sex, race, occupation, recreational activities
  • What is the condition being studied
    • Development of clear, specific, and measurable case definition
  • When is the condition rare or common?
    • Time provides important clues about health events
  • Where does or does not the condition arise?
  • So what?
    • Is it a current condition? A timely one? Are large numbers involved
    • Has it been studied before?

9 Steps of Descriptive Research

Infographic developed by FNH 480 students

FNH 480 Descriptive Research Presentation (2016)


UBC Office of Research Ethics Education + Training provides a variety of instructional resources to help members of the UBC research community confidently engage in ethical research involving human subjects.

Who uses it:Interns submitting ethics approval to UBC CREB

Estimated start time: Prior to submitting ethics approval

Feel inspired by watching this video that highlights the importance of research in dietetics: