Available Until 5/18/2025

Research Skills Certificate

ACPE Numbers: various - see below
Release Date: 05/18/2022

Expiration Dates: 05/18/2025

Activity Type: Application-based
CE Credits: 17.25 contact hours


This self-guided, online learning activity will provide 17.25 hours of ACPE continuing education for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, incorporating recorded presentations and skill-focused activities.

This certificate is designed for participants to increase the knowledge and skills necessary to plan and conduct credible research. The certificate addresses the basic foundational skills needed to facilitate research including leadership, time management, and project management. The certificate further concentrates on all aspects of starting a research project, research study design, data management, statistical analysis, interpreting and disseminating research results, general principles of authorship, and effectively communicating outcomes including preparing a manuscript for journal submission. Upon completion of the eight modules, participants should be proficient in conceptualizing, conducting, analyzing, and subsequently communicating the outcomes from effective research projects.

Professional Certificate Requirement 

Once a learner has completed the educational curriculum, they will have the opportunity to complete an online comprehensive exam. Once the learner completes the exam (minimum 80% passing rate; unlimited attempts permitted), they will earn the professional certificate.


The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

This continuing pharmacy education activity is intended for pharmacists who wish to develop their knowledge and skills necessary to plan and conduct credible research.   

Module 1 – Introduction to Research

  • Discuss the importance of pharmaceutical research.
  • State the goals of the ASHP Research Certificate.
  • Describe key project management skills needed to lead a successful research project
  • Develop a research project timeline
  • Summarize the principles of effective time management skills
  • List fundamental strategies to lead successful meetings.
  • Apply leadership best practices to optimize research planning and team meetings

Module 2 – Starting a Research Project

  • Define the central connection of a well-defined research question to the other components of the research protocol.
  • Evaluate the essential characteristics of a well-formulated primary research question.
  • Choose sources that will address the research question comprehensively without introducing bias into the study.
  • Construct a search strategy including appropriate keywords, controlled vocabulary, and filters.
  • Differentiate between search strategies for original research and review articles.
  • Differentiate each individual component of a research protocol.
  • Identify possible pitfalls encountered in writing a research protocol.
  • Design supplementary tools to streamline the research process including a codebook or data dictionary and data tables.
  • Identify potential grant funding opportunities available for pharmacy investigators.
  • Describe the common primary components of grant applications.
  • Define the ethical tenants of the Belmont Report.
  • Describe the federal regulations for human subject research.
  • Explain privacy and confidentiality in the context of research.
  • List important considerations for patient recruitment.
  • Recommend effective strategies for obtaining informed consent.

Module 3 – Research Study Design

  • Differentiate the three most employed observational research study designs for biomedical research.
  • Recommend the most appropriate and efficient observational study design for a proposed primary research question.
  • Compare the strengths and weaknesses of the three most widely used observational study designs.
  • Differentiate the most common interventional research study designs.
  • Recommend the most appropriate interventional study design for a proposed primary research question.
  • Compare the strengths and weaknesses of the most widely used interventional study designs.
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of conducting written surveys and real-world data analyses.
  • Design a written survey with questions that clearly delineate the intended response.
  • Develop methodology for the application of real-world data for comparative effectiveness research.
  • Identify potential sources of bias in different study designs.
  • Evaluate methods of controlling for confounders in study design or analysis.
  • Use mitigation steps in retrospective study designs to minimize bias. 

Module 4 – Data Management

  • Differentiate between structured and unstructured data.
  • Summarize key elements of data documentation for a research database.
  • Apply strategies to minimize errors during data entry and manipulation.
  • Identify types of data that can be imported to Microsoft Excel and common transformations.
  • Explain how to format and modify data using tables and filters.
  • Discuss the purpose and application of common pharmacy data functions.
  • Summarize the function and advantages of utilizing pivot tables.
  • Apply filters, common data functions, and pivot tables to manipulate pharmacy data.

Module 5 – Statistical Analysis

  • Select the appropriate type of data, measure of central tendency, variability, and inferential statistical test for given variables.
  • Assess the distribution of data.
  • Construct a 2x2 contingency table.
  • Calculate measures of association including risk ratio and odds ratio.
  • Select the appropriate regression model for a given dependent variable.
  • Interpret the accuracy of the selected regression model. 

Module 6 – Interpreting Results

  • Describe the relationship between study design and the validity of inferences as it relates to various populations of interest.
  • Differentiate between odds and risk with a given set of results.
  • Interpret odds and risk with a given set of results.
  • Calculate the number needed to treat in a study case.
  • Evaluate the limitations on interpretations of odds and risk in the context of a larger study protocol.
  • Explain the purpose of hypothesis testing.
  • Develop a testable research question.
  • Distinguish between type I and type II errors.
  • interpret the results of a statistical tests using p-values or 95% confidence intervals.
  • Calculate the sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic tests used in medical literature.
  • Apply specificity and sensitivity properties of diagnostics tests to the positive or negative predictive value of the tests to identify disease presence or absence in patients. 

Module 7 – Dissemination of Results

  • Compose essential elements of a research project within an abstract outline.
  • Develop language that it is clear, concise, precise, and balanced.
  • Explain each domain and associated components required for a successful presentation.
  • Differentiate between poster and platform presentations.
  • Construct tables and figures that answer the study question(s).
  • Apply universal guidelines and conventions in constructing tables and figures.
  • Compare advantages and disadvantages of common types of figures.

Module 8 – Authorship and Journal Submission

  • Design the roles and responsibilities for research team members to optimize productivity and collaboration.
  • Explain the components and section contents required for every manuscript.
  • Summarize the use of checklists to ensure appropriate manuscript components are included.
  • Recommend strategies for collaborative manuscript writing with coinvestigators.
  • Select an optimal journal given the target audience, scope, and other journal specific factors.
  • Interpret journal bibliometric measures.
  • Apply key requirements to prepare a manuscript for journal submission.
  • List common components of the peer review process.
  • Apply strategies for responding to peer review feedback.

Learning Activity

ACPE Number

Contact Hours

Introduction to Research 0204-0000-22-805-H04-P&T  1.25
Starting a Research Project  0204-0000-22-806-H04-P&T  3
Research Study Design 0204-0000-22-807-H04-P&T  2.5
Data Management  0204-0000-22-808-H04-P&T  2.5
Statistical Analysis 0204-0000-22-809-H04-P&T  1
Interpreting Results 0204-0000-22-810-H04-P&T  2.25
Dissemination of Results 0204-0000-22-811-H04-P&T  1.5
Authorship and Journal Submission 0204-0000-22-812-H04-P&T  3.25

  →  Final Assessment (80% passing score required)

Nicole M. Acquisto, PharmD, BCCCP, FASHP, FCCM, FCCP
Clinical Research Pharmacist, Department of Pharmacy
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, New York

Mark Bounthavong, PharmD, PhD
Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy
Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of California, San Diego
San Diego, California 

Mandy Brown, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, DPLA
Residency Program Director
UCSF Medical Center
San Francisco, California 

Katrina Derry, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP
Pharmacy Specialist, Medication Use Policy
UC San Diego Health
San Diego, California 

Jeremiah Duby, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, FCCM
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Critical Care
Residency Program Director, Critical Care
UC Davis Medical Center
Davis, California
Associate Clinical Professor
Touro University, College of Pharmacy
Vallejo, California 

Curtis E. Haas, PharmD, FCCP
Chief Pharmacy Officer
University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, New York 

Robert MacLaren, PharmD, MPH, FCCM, FCCP
University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Critical Care Pharmacist
University of Colorado Hospital
Aurora, Colorado 

Jennifer Melaragno, PharmD, BCPS, FAST, FCCP
Abdominal Transplant Clinical Pharmacy Specialist
University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, New York

Scott T. Micek, PharmD, BCCCP, FCCP
University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy
Clinical Specialist, Medical Intensive Care Unit
Barnes-Jewish Hospital
St. Louis, Missouri 

Benjamin Michaels, PharmD
Data Science Pharmacist
University of California – San Francisco
San Francisco, California 

Kelley O'Donoghue, MPH, CIP
Associate Vice President for Human Subject Protection
University of Rochester
Rochester, New York 

Michelle Price, MLS, MA
Science, Health Science and Special Collections Librarian
Lavery Library
St. John Fisher College
Rochester, New York 

Stephen Rappaport, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist - Surgical Critical Care
University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, New York 

Kyle Weant, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, FCCP
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy
Columbia, South Carolina 

Erin Weeda, PharmD, BCPS
Assistant Professor
Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences
Medical University of South Carolina
Research Health Scientist
Charleston Health Equity and Rural Outrech Center (HEROIC)
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Charleston, South Carolina

In accordance with our accreditor’s Standards of Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, ASHP requires that all individuals in control of content disclose all financial relationships with ineligible companies. An individual has a relevant financial relationship if they have had a financial relationship with ineligible company in any dollar amount in the past 24 months and the educational content that the individual controls is related to the business lines or products of the ineligible company.

An ineligible company is any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. The presence or absence of relevant financial relationships will be disclosed to the activity audience.

No one in control of the content of this activity has a relevant financial relationship (RFR) with an ineligible company.

As defined by the Standards of Integrity and Independence definition of ineligible company. All relevant financial relationships have been mitigated prior to the CPE activity.

This online activity consists of a combined total of 8 learning modules. Pharmacists are eligible to receive a total of 17.25 hours of continuing education credit by completing all 8 modules within this certificate.

Participants must participate in the entire activity, complete the evaluation and all required components to claim continuing pharmacy education credit online at ASHP Learning Center. Follow the prompts to claim credit and view your statement of credit within 60 days of completing the activity.

Important Note – ACPE 60 Day Deadline:

Per ACPE requirements, CPE credit must be claimed within 60 days of being earned. To verify that you have completed the required steps and to ensure your credits have been reported to CPE Monitor, check your NABP eProfile account to validate that your credits were transferred successfully before the ACPE 60-day deadline.   After the 60 day deadline, ASHP will no longer be able to award credit for this activity.