Group of Eight Australia
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Module 1: Research Strategy and Planning

Topic 1: Research strategy – an introduction

The need to plan your research project sounds obvious, but this is often the thing least well done in many projects. This topic is designed to help you begin to work out where you best fit in the research world – not the academic discipline per se, but strategically placing yourself in the best position to be adequately funded over a long period of time so that you can lead research projects about which you feel passionate.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this topic you should be able to:

  • identify the long-term external influences that can affect your research proposal;
  • better link into the critical mass of expertise that will support you in developing a sound body of work.

Topic content

Read the following notes.

1.1 National and institutional research strategies

1.2 Research strengths and critical mass

1.3 Your research strategy

1.4 Research teams


Complete these activities after you have worked through the subtopics.

Activity 1: Your university's strategic plan

If this is an activity you have not previously done, visit your university's strategic plan on the university website.

Are there ways you could better adapt your own research to fit those priorities?

What implications does the strategic plan have for your current and future research?

Activity 2: Your research strategy

A useful exercise is to review your own personal research strategy.  Prepare a one-page summary of your current research context, goals, and priorities. This can be of value when you wish to talk to key people about possible support or common interests.

  1. What do you wish to achieve in your research over the next 5 years?
  2. How can your current role assist you to get there?
  3. What are your main areas of interest?
  4. How would you assess your track record?  What are your strengths and areas needing building?
  5. Describe your research focus and how it links to the university’s and national priorities.
  6. What are your key priorities for development in the next 2 years?
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