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Organising your work

Research Skills required by PhD students C1: Organising your work...

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4 March 2010

C1: Apply effective project management through the setting of research goals, intermediate milestones and prioritisation of activities

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By the time students complete a PhD, they should be able to answer ‘Yes’ to most of these questions.

  • Can you set out an overall plan for your PhD research?
  • Can you explain the goals, strategies, and plan for one component of your research, such as the literature review, or one empirical study?
  • Can you identify the criteria for success?
  • Can you identify the threats to success?
  • Can you conduct a critical path analysis of your proposed research?
  • Can you identify specific obstacles you might encounter, such as attrition, messy data, emergent design flaws?
  • Can explain how you might address those obstacles should they arise?
  • Can you explain how you might balance competing demands on your time?
  • Can you list and prioritise your research goals for the next week? The next month? The next six months?
  • Can you manage your time efficiently?

Evidence of this skill

These are examples of documents you can collect. Each implies a piece or work, which may be a good way for you to develop this skill.

  • The workplan that forms the basis of your probation/annual report.
  • Record of meeting deadlines successfully.
  • Weekly workplan, annotated with accomplishments and their dates
  • Critical path analysis.

This cloud is based upon material produced by The Open University’s research school to support doctoral students.

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