develop a research proposal

Develop a Research Proposal

 

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Planning the Methodology - Timeline

Timelines are important in evaluating the feasibility of your project.  Inexperienced researchers tend to underestimate the amount of time that the various stages of research will take. Be generous when working out time frames and check them with a more experienced researcher. 

In order to do this, you need to map out what you will do and when you will do it. Consider the overall amount of time you have been given to complete your study, from start date to final productGive an overview of when you are going to do each specific step of your project in order to collect your data.  This does not need to be a day-to-day list, but it should give an overview biweekly or monthly of how you will meet your goals and demonstrate progress.  Be sure to include time to review and synthesize your data or reflect on the overall study.  You should include time to prepare the final research product as well.

You may need to set up two different types of timelines for this part of your proposal:  one working timeline, the one that actually organizes you, and one proposal timeline, a more polished timeline that shows what you will be doing and when to a reviewer of your proposal.

Consider the following questions when setting up your schedule:

  • When will your research start and finish?
  • Are there particular stages to the research - e.g. piloting, then main research?  screening interviews, then a main study?  If there are stages, what are they?
  • What objectives have I set for this investigation?  Are they addressed in the timeline? 
  • Is the timetable realistic?
  • Is it influenced by external constraints or deadlines?
  • How will you provide regular updates and progress reports and to whom will you provide them?  How will you demonstrate progress?

Reviewing samples of other research investigation timelines can give ideas for what you would like to include in your own schedule and how you will budget your time.  You can look at the following examples to see how other researchers have organized their timelines.  

One way to organize yourself is to create a basic table in a Word document or do look at other templates.

There are also online calculators that will assist you in setting deadlines for phases of the research process.

The following web applications could also assist you in the creation of your timeline and help you to remind yourself of when deadlines are approaching.

Once you have created your timeline, it will need to be incorporated into your proposal document.  Copy-Paste your timeline into your Word file, if possible.  If you used an online application to assist you in your organization, create a document representing your timeline that can be placed into your proposal rough draft.

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