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-Dr Gargi Roy Goswami

Let’s begin…

What is meant by the term research?

“Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes.” – Sydney University

This definition of research is consistent with a broad notion of research and experimental development (R&D) as consisting of creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture and society, and its use to devise new applications.

A robust plan defines the pathway for a defined work to obtain a fruitful outcome!

Agree? Or Agree?

Basically a research plan gives a principal investigator the opportunity to discuss the proposed idea, stating its importance and how it will be conducted.

In one sentence, I define a research plan as an opportunity to bring your ideas to reality.

4 questions that your research plan must address are:

1. What do you intend to do?
2. Why is the work important?
3. What has already been done?
4. How are you going to do the work?

10 Steps To Solve Your Research Problems

Now , here is your 10 Step Research Plan Blueprint! This blueprint will give you a clarity on how to start, execute and achieve success through a hassle free research journey with your amazing idea.

The 10 steps are:

  1. Specific Goals
  2. Research Strategy
  3. Resources
  4. Research Consultancy
  5. Writing a project description
  6. Preliminary Studies and Progress Reports
  7. SWOT Analysis
  8. Identifying suitable personnels
  9. Research Support
  10. Forming an estimated project budget

Step 1: Specific Goals

The purpose of this is to clearly and concisely describe what do you intend to accomplish through the project.

Step 2: Research Strategy

The Research Strategy should focus on:

  • Significance
  • Innovation
  • Approach

Step 3: Resources

Identify the facilities to be used (laboratory, clinical, animal, computer, office, other). If appropriate, indicate their capacities, pertinent capabilities, relative proximity and extent of availability to the project.

Step 4: Research Consultancy

Consultancy involves purchasing the skills and expertise of external agencies to work on a specific project. Consultancy may cover activities such as

  • expert opinion
  • analysis
  • testing services
  • product development and
  • process development

It can be usefully defined as professional services based on existing knowledge.

Step 5: Writing a Project Description

When writing a project description for external funding, always think of your audience. It is essential to use formal English, define your key terms and cite key international and easily accessible references wherever possible. Clarity is key.

Step 6: Preliminary Studies

The preliminary results section describes prior work by the investigators relevant to the proposed project. This help to establish the likelihood of success of the proposed project.

Step 7: SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a compilation of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis is a planning process that helps your project idea overcome challenges and determine what new leads to pursue.

The primary objective of a SWOT analysis is to help to develop a full awareness of all the factors involved in making a decision required for materialising your research idea or research project.

Step 8: Identifying suitable personnels

Consider price, quality of product or service and customer service while choosing a vendor. Take recommendations from others who have already hired or availed the services of a particular vendor.

Step 9: Research Support

List out all grant announcements from different agencies for healthcare research.

Step 10: Form an estimated project budget

A project without a budget is like a car without fuel. At first glance, the whole budget thing might seem intimidating, but eventually, you’ll realize that all you need is to iron out the plan.

What is project budgeting?

The budget for a project is the combined costs of all activities, tasks, and milestones that the project must fulfill. In short: it’s the total amount of money you’ll need to finish the project .

You start creating a project budget during the start phase of the project and continue monitoring it till the project reaches the finish line.

Planning project costs is an essential step in mapping out a project budget. To do so, you’ll need to create a list of timely line items that are relevant for the project.
To budget a project it is critical to have clarity on three points.

  • Project scope
  • Resource availability
  • Risks

Finally, it is important to have good control of the project plan so that deviations are fixed quickly and not to have a major impact on the final budget.

So, embark on your research journey without any hesitation by following my 10 Step Research Plan Blueprint!

Bonus!

Last and not the least…happily sharing with you all the Secret Principle that I believe and follow in my research journey:

"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." –Arthur Ashe

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Dr Gargi Roy Goswami
I am an interdisciplinary oral healthcare professional, a geneticist and general dentist by profession, an academician by passion and a scientist by heart. I guide science enthusiasts to plan their career pathway through healthcare research and love to help them to solve the challenges that come in the way.

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