The planning phase happens immediately before commencing your data collection. During this phase, you should revise your work plan with the most recent information and expand it to include more details. For example, under the main task of “collect primary data” you might want to add activities and dates to include:
- Design sample selection according to inclusion and exclusion criteria
- Recruit participants
- Staff and train filed assistants / translators
- Translate research protocols into local language
Often for each major activity in the high level plan you created during the initiation phase, there are a series of sub-tasks that may need to be completed in support of the main activity. Be sure to think about the supporting tasks needed to complete all high level activities. Consult your thesis supervisor for assistance.
During this phase, you should also review your budget and revise with any new information. Often the initial budget reflects an informed estimate and actual figures for labour and research materials will differ from this early version as details emerge when your data collection period approaches. If traveling out of your county of study to collect data, be sure to check that exchange rates haven’t changed significantly since you first created a budget for your thesis research.
Learn how to make a data management plan in the following