- Postgraduate researchers
- Premia- resources for disabled researchers
- Practicalities of completing a doctorate
- At the start
- Planning your research
- Practical tips on planning
Practical tips on planning
- prior to finalising your plan develop an outline plan, that contains sufficient details, to talk it through with your supervisor
- write down any questions or concerns you have about your plan as they arise so they can be addressed and resolved in meetings with your supervisor. This will particularly useful if you are new to the supervision process and/or find meeting protocol difficult.
- mind-mapping software can be a useful tool to set out your initial thoughts and provide a basis for discussion with your supervisor(s). However, they may be unused to the type of visual presentation of ideas
- fit your research within the timeframe you have been given for completion
- build in the time for supervision meetings. Identify any barriers you envisage for discussion with your supervisors
- consider, and if possible anticipate, if your plan will need to include a level flexibility to accommodate any fluctuations and/or changes in your impairment. You may wish to discuss this with your supervisor and/or disability adviser. Your university has a duty to provide reasonable adjustments to you.
- ensure that you are clear about the scope of your research to remain focused
- build in time to develop your research and professional skills, taking full advantage of programmes offered by the university and Vitae
- break down the large tasks into achievable chunks; if that presents difficulties, talk it through with your supervisor or a learning support tutor
- set very specific milestones and targets by which you can measure your progress. e.g. when you will have surveyed the literature; when you will have finished your data collection; when you will have completed the first chapter. This will help to alleviate anxiety or stress that can be associated with intensive independent study.
- include time away from your research. This will enable time for reflection and ensure you maintain a balance between your research, work and personal life.
- source and read other people's thesis to work out the standard within your discipline
There is a wealth of books which will help in the planning process. They include:
- Grix, J. (2001) Demystifying Postgraduate Research ,University of Birmingham Press
- Cryer, P. (2002)The Research Student's Guide to Success , Buckingham: Open University Press