I was talking with someone today about a research topic (that’s why I wrote this post). I noted some valuable information that may help me in the future.
This is the first entry I had for this topic. I think we’ll have more of this topic in coming days… If our research idea is worth pursuing, I guess we’ll endure the process of planning for our research.
A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.Brian Tracy
Planning a research can be a daunting task. It will be the start of countless tasks that will also lead to sleepless nights. Before those sleepless nights arrive, we can organize our concerns in a chronological manner so we worry less, save our brain cells, and work on it efficiently.
The top 3 concerns related to preparing a research plan can be categorized as follows:
- Technical Concerns are topics related to the actual research. I have come up with a short guide how to prepare concerns related to this. It can help us prepare a concrete proposed research plan.
- Proposed Research Title – a title that will encapsulate the idea and goal of the study
- Motivation for Research – in this part we’ll talk about why we want to do the study. This may include a short research about the existing technology in the field of study, and then identifying the lacking solutions in that field. That lacking part can be your motivation for doing that research.
- Significance of Research – in this part, we will lay-out all the reasons why the study is needed. We will offer solutions to the existing unsolved problems. This will be the part that will help us identify if the research study is worth pursuing. This is also the part where thesis adviser will judge if the study is feasible. In corporate/business world, it will be the selling part where someone will be willing to invest or fund the research study.
- Objectives – listing the target goal of the research study. These goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals. It will help us have a clear idea of what we want to achieve out of the research.
- Methods – specific details/steps how we can achieve the listed goals in number 4. This will serve as our map as we progress to the study.
- Time Concerns are topics related to the timeline of the research study. Before we start our research, we should be clear about the target end time of the study. This is crucial because, if we want to graduate on time or target a business goal, we should only put (attainable) activities that we can accomplish within the allotted timeline. We can make a Gantt Chart of activities for our research study so we will know if it’s feasible within the time frame. It will also serve as our guide for identifying limitations of our study. Proposed research must have a target date of completion because it will also serve as the guide for solving the third concern, cost.
- Cost Concern is the biggest part of a research study (in my opinion). The entire research will not be pursued if there’s no one to fund the study. During my undergraduate study, I have not realized that money plays a larger role in all aspect of a research (in life in general as well). This is the part where we list all the expected expenses in the entire duration of the research study. These expenses may include: personnel salary, office supplies, equipment, maintenance and operating expenses, etc… The budget for each expense must be calculated even before starting the research. This will help us define if our objectives can be attained with the given fund and available resources. This will also serve as our key to present if we’re looking for someone to invest in the research study.
Planning a research is the start of our research journey. It requires a lot of effort because this will serve as our foundation. The better the foundation, the better we will perform when we’re already implementing our research plan.