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The early phase of research

Getting Under way

The early phase of the research should contain all or most of the following:

• Expansion of the initial proposal into a detailed written proposal. This should include specific aims and target dates for the various stages of the research, and it should be discussed with the supervisors(s). Agreement should be reached as to whether or not the aims are realistic and achievable with the resources available within an appropriate period of time. Thorough planning at this stage will help ensure that the work is completed within the desired time-frame.

• A thorough initial search of the relevant literature.

• Monitoring of the research student’s progress by the supervisor(s). This will usually require the holding of regular meetings – weekly or fortnightly.

• Formal presentation of the work to a larger audience, perhaps through research seminars.

• Preparation of a financial budget for the research.

• It is important, however, that planning remain flexible and be able to accommodate unexpected events that may have an effect on the progress and direction of the research.

• Students are strongly encouraged to begin writing up as early as possible, while still engaged in planning, data gathering and/or data analysis.

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