Lesson 1: Project Initiation

Your research work plan at this point should include a list of the main activities to be undertaken in support of your thesis followed by a start and end date for each activity.  For example, if you plan to conduct primary data collection in a location away from your home university your high level work plan may look something like this:

Activity Start Date End Date
Identify Research Topic and General Location  Ex.: October 1, 2012  Ex.: October 31, 2012
Formulate Problem Statement  Ex.: November 1, 2012  Ex.: November 15, 2012
Draft Research Objectives
Identify Field Site
Identify Supporting Institution Near Field Site to Support Research
Receive Supervisor Input and Sign Off on Objectives
Draft Research Protocols
Receive Supervisor Input and Sign Off on Research Protocols
Apply for Research Funding
Apply for Ethical Clearance if Necessary
Obtain Travel Visas
Field Test Research Protocols
Revise Research Protocols
Collect Primary Data
Analyse Primary Data
Draft Thesis
Receive Supervisor Input on Thesis Draft
Revise Thesis Draft
Submit Final Thesis


Note that the above work plan does not include a detailed listing of all the activities you should undertake when completing your thesis research. A detailed work plan will be completed during Phase 2 of the research management process.

Project Resource Planning
During the initiation phase, it is also important to identify the resources you will need to complete your thesis research. Resources are generally of two types:

Material Resources – Resources of this type include all necessary research equipment and materials.

Human Resources – Resources of this type include filed assistants, laboratory assistants, medical assistants, translators, transcribers, and drivers. Prior to arrival in your country of research, make sure that you can adequately secure the necessary human resources by discussing your needs with the local institution with whom you have partnered.

Make a list of all the resources needed based on your research objectives, study type and field site. Indicate on your list whether or not you already possess the research equipment or if it needs to be purchased in advance. It is also useful to note which items will be purchased in your country of study and which will be purchased when you arrive in your country of research. If purchasing materials in your country of research, make sure to investigate their availability locally before you arrive.


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