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Preparing for Qualifying Exams in Biomedical Engineering

A collection of resources to assist graduate students to find and synthesize information in Biomedical Engineering

Research Project Management Document

Prior to the second seminar meeting, follow the steps below to prepare keywords on your literature review topic.

  1. Go to Click on the How do I get started? Tab.
  2. Click the link in the “Research Project Management Document” box.
  3. The file will open on Google Drive. Go to File>Make a Copy.  This will save a copy of the project management document to your personal Google Drive.
  4. For your literature review topic, select keywords (mostly nouns) describing the patient, population or problem that will be solved by the intervention described in your literature review.  Type them in under the P: Patient/Population/Problem heading.
  5. Select keywords (mostly nouns) that describe the intervention that is being used in the research.

Input the keywords under I:Intervention

  1. Select keywords (mostly nouns) that describe the comparison group, whether that be those subject to the intervention versus those without, or individuals who are natural comparison groups (men/women).  Input the keywords under C:Comparison.
  2. Select keywords (mostly nouns) that describe the outcome of the intervention. Input the keywords under O:Outcome.


If you have any questions about this exercise, please contact the subject specialist for more guidance. 

So you need to prepare for your qualifying exam...

To strategically carry out an information search process for you qualifying exam:

  • Determine your topic (See PICO tab for guidance)
  • Create keywords based on your search topic
  • Create search strings, combining keywords using boolean operators
  • Track search results 
  • Collect citations using citation managers
  • Evaluate search results to iterate search.