Did you know that good surveys are written at a 6th grade level? 

Survey development is a true skill, and a poorly designed survey can throw even the best research projects off course. That’s why Advance-CTR offers complimentary services for survey development to Rhode Island investigators. 

Services Include: 

  • Planning Assistance: We’ll review any existing instruments you have to determine if they appear sound and if there are any caveats you might want to be aware of. If you have modified an existing survey to fit your needs, we’ll review and provide feedback about your changes.  

  • Survey Design: If you require a new survey for your project, we’ll work with you throughout each stage of this process. This includes developing good definitions of what you want to measure, item writing (below), item selection (to ensure you don’t over- or under-measure anything), and evaluation for a future survey and/or publication. 

  • Item Writing: We’ll help you write the items for your survey and select the appropriate responses to each item (i.e. education level and phrasing, and types of scales you can use to have participants respond to each item). 

  • Analytic Techniques: After you have your survey results, we’ll help you analyze the data to see how the scale worked with your population, whether the items are sound, and if there are any modifications that need to be made to measure what you are seeking. 

Schedule a consultation

Meet the Expert: Joe Fava, PhD




Joe Fava, PhD

Joe Fava, PhD, is a quantitative psychologist and research associate at Lifespan, and serves as Advance-CTR’s subject matter expert for survey-related research needs. Dr. Fava has 30 years of experience in psychometric research methods, and has helped investigators develop surveys along a wide range of research areas, which include: 

  • Stress management
  • Perceived stress and coping
  • Smoking cessation
  • Smoking policy
  • Dietary behavior
  • Exercise behavior
  • Alcohol abuse
  • User acceptability of interactive health technology 
  • Outcome expectations of yoga
  • Employee participation in worksite health programs
  • User sensory perceptions and experiences of microbicides, and other medical products, as well as devices for protection from HIV and STIs. 

Learn more about Dr. Fava’s work

What Investigators Have to Say

I had the pleasure to receive a complimentary consultation with Dr. Fava through the Advance-CTR program. He helped me develop a measure that could fill a niche gap in clinical service and research for patients with heart disease. I'll be able to incorporate this effort into an existing study, which maximizes my efforts and reduces participant burden. It's uncommon to have access to such expertise during a K award when funds are limited, so I am very grateful to Advance-CTR for connecting us.

​ ​ Carly Goldstein, PhD
Assistant Professor (Research) 
Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior 
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
The Miriam Hospital

Dr. Fava advised me on designing and piloting a survey for a cohort study that I am currently conducting overseas. He was very generous with his time; I met with him 2-3 times in person. Prior to each meeting, he had carefully reviewed the study documents that I emailed to him in preparation for the meeting. He then provided additional follow-up help over email, including reviewing the content of the survey

Silvia S. Chiang, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics 
Hasbro Children's Hospital
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Schedule a Consultation

Rhode Island investigators can schedule a consultation with Dr. Fava at any time via Advance-CTR’s Service Request Form. Service consultations are complimentary, but Advance-CTR’s Service Policy applies. Please email [email protected] with any questions.