Research strategy and planning

Effective research must be carefully planned to achieve the best outcomes for the researcher/s, the university and the furthering of knowledge. This module explores the initial stage of research project management: designing and costing the project as well as operating within the broader research and political context. This module is suited to any researcher who is developing a new grant proposal or project area.

Successful researchers develop their body of work taking into account the strategic priorities of their university, the funding bodies and the critical mass of expertise around them. They also adopt an effective approach to planning that strategically places them in the best position to be adequately funded over a long period of time in research projects about which they feel passionate.


This module aims to provide you with some guidance on how to create a research project concept and proposal, and an introduction to the process of planning and managing the research project to its successful completion.

Learning outcomes

After completing this module you should be able to:

  • identify the strategic pressures affecting research in your university and how to take advantage of them
  • identify key steps in scoping your project proposal, including building an effective grant funding approach
  • implement a basic research project management process
  • develop a work breakdown structure
  • prepare a research project plan

Content overview

The module comprises the following topics:

Topic 1: Research strategy – an introduction
This topic identifies factors in the research context that influence the choice of research direction.

Topic 2: Research planning – scope and concept
This topic discusses the key components to consider when scoping the concept.

Topic 3: Project funding – grant seeking
This topic provides an introduction to the granting bodies and the issues to consider in framing your proposal.

Topic 4: Basic research project management principles
This topic introduces to project management tools that assist you to effectively plan and then manage the research project.

Workshop details

The 4-hour Workshop is designed to draw together the key themes covered in the online content for Module 1. This session provides you with an opportunity to network with other colleagues, to compare experiences and to consolidate the learning that has occurred through completion of the practical activities. Since the program draws on the practical activities, you are required to have completed the online module prior to attending the Workshop.


  • Professor Cassandra Pybus, School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
  • Professor Stephen Simpson, School of Biological Sciences
  • Dr Andrew Black, Research Development


Darlington Centre - Conference Rooms 1 and 2


9.00am - 1.30pm


For more information or to enrol via CareerPath, click here.