Project Initiation Checklist


  • Why are you doing the research (background)?
  • What are the arguments you would like to be able to make (aims)?
  • What exact questions do you want to be able to answer (what hypothesis are you disproving)?
  • Is it actually possible to do well?


  • What research method(s) are you planning to use?
  • How are you going to collect/structure the data?
  • What analysis is required from the data (will it be robust enough)?
  • What end products do you hope to produce?
  • Have you thought through the ethics of doing the research (ethics approval required)?


  • Who is undertaking the research (do you have all skills/knowledge required)?
  • What is your population/target group?
  • How are you going to sample that population (access)?
  • How representative will that sample be (are there biases/selection issues)?
  • Do you need a control group for comparison?
  • How willing will sample be to share data/opinions (response rates)?


  • What are the deadlines for publication (timeline)?
  • Do you need trend data (if so are there changes in methods/legislation that impact this)?
  • How long does this give for field research?
  • Are there any issues around timing in terms of access to people/data/etc (e.g. financial records)?
  • Are the timelines realistic or do you need to rethink above?