The Research Plan

The Research Plan Before you embark on a research agenda, you must be trying to address some Open Research Questions.

The research plan is a very important part of your proposal. It is needed for a thesis, a senior project, an independent study, etc. Typically, this is listed under approach and consists of a time-line with mile-stones.

For example: I plan to implement algorithm A in N weeks, algorithm B in b weeks and algorithm C in c weeks.

By week W I will begin to conduct experiments and by week E I will start to summarize my results.

A first draft of the thesis will be ready by the midterm of the second term of my thesis and there will be two more drafts presented before finals weeks of that term.

We must summarize what you plan to do in order to finish. Some people like to make use of fancy charts for the task. This is not a requirement...but it may help you.

A proper study requires several experiments. Establish a research agenda that will enable you to arrive at a conclusion.

A research agenda includes a list of experiments that you intend to perform, equipment needed to perform the experiments and the data you expect to gather.

A research agenda can be based on literature, but a literature survey is not normally listed as a part of the research agenda. That is taken as a given. It is typical to cite the literature, where appropriate, in the research agenda (particularly if you are following another persons' approach).

Clearly state the questions to be answered. Subdivide the effort into manageable pieces. How will you validate your approach? Keep a research notebook where you can jot down ideas for later consideration.