Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you should:

  • Be familiar with basic project management terminology, techniques and frameworks and how to apply them within a research project
  • Understand that project management techniques can be effectively applied to research projects in any discipline, from doctoral level onwards
  • Understand the stages in a research project's lifecycle, from early-stage planning through to carrying out the project, external review, and closing-down activities
  • Be able to identify the different individuals and groups involved in the project, the types of roles performed by them and the responsibilities associated with each role
  • Understand how to construct a project plan to help you carry out your project and avoid/handle common stumbling blocks at any stage
  • Understand the importance of clearly documenting the progress of a project, and be aware of the many different forms documentation may take
  • Be aware of strategies to assist you in managing your time and common project stumbling blocks
  • Understand the importance of reviewing and revising your plan as your research project develops.

Using the module

Welcome to Managing Your Research Project. This course is designed to help you organise your approach to undertaking, leading or helping to lead a research project.

If this is the first time you have accessed Managing Your Research Project course, or if you need a brief reminder, here is some information on how the screens are organised, and some of the tools and features that are used throughout:


Content

  • The centre of each screen contains the core content for each course, presented either as text, interactive activities, graphics, videos or animations
  • Text highlighted in a box preceded by an arrow contains instructions on how to navigate the activities that follow
  • Note that your responses to the note-making and text entry activities (where you type responses in the space provided) can be printed and used as part of your ongoing work
  • At the top of each screen you will see an indication of the approximate time it will take to complete the core content. These estimates include time to watch videos and complete activities in the central section, but not to complete the 'Optional activities'.

Poll questions

The poll questions, used periodically throughout this course, are designed to help you:

  • Think about your own situation and attitudes
  • Compare your situation and attitudes with those of others taking this course.

If you have any concerns about your situation or find that you have an outlying perspective, you should talk with a mentor or trusted colleague to get advice.


Pods

Throughout this course, you will see additional learning opportunities in 'pods'. The pods in this course contain useful links to further resources and sources of guidance, as well as additional information expanding on the material in the main part of the screen. Exploring the information provided in the pods will enrich the learning experience.


Quiz

At the very end of each module, you have the opportunity to test your learning further with a multiple-choice quiz. This consists of five questions and can be taken more than once (a new set of questions will appear).

The Managing Your Research Project course is designed to gradually build up your understanding and skills. We recommend that you complete the modules in the order given, but they have been designed so you can access each of them independently according to your own requirements and those of your institution.

Expert panel

Authors

Second Edition

Katherine Fletcher

Katherine Fletcher

Katherine Fletcher is a senior project manager at the University of Oxford. She has worked on academic research projects of all sizes, funded by UK Research Councils, JISC, the European Commission, industry, charities and other bodies. She is currently Project Manager of the JISC-funded DataFlow project (developing open-source software, 2011–12) the UK Government-funded Corporate Insider Threat Detection project (2012–15, combining academics and industry), and the EC Framework 7 Virtual Physiological Human Network of Excellence (2008–13, 14 core academic partners). She was also Project Coordinator for preDiCT project (computational modelling of physiology, 2008–11, nine academic and industrial partners).

Prior to working for the University of Oxford, she was Programme Officer at the Europaeum (an academic networking body), a research assistant for Imp-Act (microfinance impact assessment), Associate Director of Programs for Envision E.M.I. (developing programmes and curricula for American high school students), and a research associate at The Microcredit Summit (managing a large-scale project collecting and analysing data on microfinance practices around the world).

She received a BA in International Relations from William Jewell College (Liberty, Missouri, USA) and an MA in Global Political Economy from the University of Sussex (UK).


First Edition

Declan Cunningham

Declan Cunningham

Declan Cunningham has been affiliated with the Centre for Project Management at the University of Limerick for a number of years. He continues as a tutor for their Master's degree in Project Management and supervises students completing their theses. He is also involved in developing and presenting in-company customised project management courses to improve organisational performance. In addition, Declan works with a number of other teaching institutes and universities in the UK and Ireland on programme and project management subject matter. He is involved in business projects in challenging environments, and has been directly responsible for the initiation of investment ventures, company turnarounds, and people development programmes through to their successful completion.


First Edition

Andrey Timoshkin

Andrey Timoshkin

Andrey Timoshkin is Head of Statistics and Modelling at the Health Authority Abu Dhabi. He has 12 years of research and consultation experience in the areas of health systems analysis, strategic planning, design and the implementation of health sector development projects. Previous projects include the design of a £12-million programme for the UK Department for International Development aiming to scale up HIV prevention in the Russian Federation; consulting to the Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust on planning tools to support business strategy development; the development of strategy and an implementation plan for a nationwide health monitoring system for the Cyprus Ministry of Health and the design of information systems projects for the World Bank health sector development programmes in several countries around the Central Asian region.


Reviewer

First Edition

Professor Christofer Toumazou

Professor Christofer Toumazou

AChristofer Toumazou is Chief Scientist of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Chair in Biomedical Circuit Design and Director of the Centre for Bio-Inspired Technology at Imperial College London, as well as the Founder, Chairman and CEO of three successful medical device companies. He has published over 750 research papers and holds over 50 patents.

Professor Toumazou is an advisor to many healthcare panels, including the Singapore Government, in the field of medical devices. In 2010, he received the Times Higher Education Innovation Award for his founding of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College, and in 2011, he received the JJ Thompson IET Achievement Award for major contributions to the low power medical electronics industry.


First Edition

Professor Michael Orren

Professor Michael Orren

Michael Orren has held professorial posts at the Universities of Ireland, Galway and Cape Town, taught at five other international universities, and researched at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He was also the Head of the Marine Chemistry and Biology Division at the National Research Institute for Oceanology, South Africa. Specialising in ultra-trace elements, Professor Orren has analysed marine samples from the tropics to Antarctica and researched coastal and estuarine pollution, as well as coastal zone management. He has also been Irish delegate to six international scientific bodies and is a founder director of the Board of the Irish National Marine Institute. In addition to being a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and holding a CChem, he is a member of several international oceanographic societies.


Accessibility advisor

Second Edition

Wilma Alexander

Wilma Alexander

Wilma Alexander is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with Master's degrees in Human-Computer Interaction, Linguistics and Information Science. She has over 15 years of experience as a manager with the online learning team at the University of Edinburgh, where she specialised in usable and accessible digital practice, tutored on the groundbreaking Master's degree in Digital Education and developed online staff training on accessible e-learning and online tutoring skills. Since retiring from the University at the end of 2015, Wilma has provided consultancy services on all aspects of online learning, with a special focus on accessibility and usability issues.


Developed in conjunction with:

The Research Skills programme has been developed in conjunction with the following institutions:

  • Cardiff University
  • City University London
  • Cranfield University
  • Durham University
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Imperial College London
  • King's College London
  • Lancaster University
  • London Metropolitan University
  • Loughborough University
  • University College Dublin
  • University College London
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Bath
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Limerick
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Reading
  • University of Strathclyde