5. Design a research plan apposite to a particular research question

Refers to project management skills, the ability to plan, and manage time.

5 March 2015: Meeting with Louise. So, every now and then you meet someone amazing. They have ideas, energy and are a little crazy which matches your crazy in just a perfect way. Louise is one of these. She is an expert networker and ideas woman. We met in a tutorial session for this unit and we had a meeting where she came up with the best idea of creating a study group. It will have a range of disciplines and people working in this unit so we get the most out of the sessions we attend and hopefully build a support network. This fits this learning outcome as it’s about using resources you have around you in an effective way.

19 March 2015: Hugh Kearns from Thinkwell and Flinders University on how to plan your PhD. I went to this session at 5pm having started the work day at 6am. Needless to say I wasn’t really in the zone and then when Hugh went into (at the end) how you should only do a PhD full time with no job and on scholarship to do it justice I have to say I was in full agreement. However, since then I’ve regrouped and even used his techniques with great affect! I’m not going to say how ground breaking his advice was or how it made me rethink the world. After all I’m a project manager, GANNT charts are nothing new. What it was, was a timely reminder and it actually made me sit down and do a plan (Plan for 9311 publication) that I can now discuss with my supervisor and see how sensible I’m being. It also made me do a daily plan. Well, today I started working at 11.30 and I’m scheduled to finish at 4pm and it’s actually made me more effective and less panicky. So well worth the time even if I was nearly asleep.

21 April 2015: Discussed my current planning approach with David. He is satisfied with the approach but we have added conferences I should consider attending.

25 April 2015: At breakfast with a friend we discussed planning and the challenges I am facing. He outlined an approach he is using at work and is emailing the document to copy. Sounds exactly like something I need.

30 April 2015: Shara from the PLC attended a session on ethics that I was unable to attend and provided these summary notes (Ethics 30 April). Using the PLC in this way is useful as we are able to gain a greater understanding of what is out there and how to move forward. It is also a quicker way to gain information as we are able to synthesis for each other what is relevant as we know what each of us are ready to know. That is, we are all still learning and by having someone at our ‘level’ synthesis for us it omits the more complex material, but still provides the content we need.

24 May 2015: An important of project planning is resourcing. To achieve a PhD I must have a range of research skills and this unit is about identification of skill gaps and approaches for rectification (9311 Portfolio Unit – Skills Audit). This document is part of the process. It is a living document and something I may not use in the future, instead relying more heavily on my overall planner (research plan 9311 final). I will continue to attend workshops and training as well as liaise with experts. I will reflect this in my blog and landmark events such as conferences will be included in my planner.

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