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Models are used to guide research and help researchers to interpret findings and contribute to the science. Once you have selected, combined and/or adapted a D&I model, you need to use the model in several parts of your study (from planning a study to carrying out a project). The earliest use of a model is often when a grant proposal is being written. It is crucial to introduce your model early in your grant application, generally in the Aims page. “Using the model” means that your protocol is based on the concepts, terminology, and processes described. A common limitation of a grant application is that a model is mentioned in one section, but is not fully integrated across all parts of the proposal. Later, when conducting your study, it is helpful to continually return to your model to ensure that measures and data collection procedures align with the model and its key constructs. There are several general issues to be considered when using a D&I model.

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+/-When should a model be selected and/or adapted?

As early as possible, preferably in the planning and designing of a study.

+/-Across what stages of a research study should D&I models be used?

Across all stages. Your model should be apparent in your design, aims, study activities, selections of measures, evaluation, analyses, and the interpretation and dissemination of findings.

As noted in the Adapt section of this tool, models commonly need to be adapted to fit the context of your study.

+/-How can D&I models support the selection of measures and evaluation of a study?

Use of a model implies the conversion of the model into measurable components and constructs. This allows you to conceptualize and quantify dependent and independent variables as well as mediators and moderators.

Quantitative measures are often lacking for specific D&I constructs and we need to use qualitative methods to describe them. There is also a lack of reliability and validity evidence for many constructs. However, the Measures section of this website provides links to measurement resources, where available.

The combination of quantitative and qualitative methods are often best suited to capture the essence of a D&I construct. This tool allows one to identify relevant constructs and begin to determine how each construct contributes to study evaluation. This tool also provides a description of each construct and affiliated measures in the Measures section of this website.


You can view an example here.

Use Case example

You can use the fillable PDF on this page that will walk you through this process.

Use Worksheet.