Project management

Managing your research project includes practical strategies for managing your time whilst doing research (including work-life-study-research balance); organising your research documentation and data; planning the different phases of your research; getting the best from your supervisors and meeting research deadlines.

A couple of simple strategies and ideas are included below but we have kept these resources brief to enable you to get back to your writing and avoid procrastination!


Academic skills at the University of Melbourne has a range of resources about managing the research (and coursework) process.

Silvia, P. J. (2007). How to write a lot: A practical guide to productive academic writing. Washington, DC, USA: American Psychological Association.

In his book, Paul Silvia raises and then suggests solutions for three 'specious barriers' or common barriers to 'getting research and writing done':

Specious barrier one

"I can't find time to write" or (I would write more if I could just find blocks of time).

SOLUTION: Don't 'look' for time to write as it won't appear - Instead ALLOT time to write and stick to it!

Specious barrier two

"I need to do some more analyses first" or (I need to read a few more articles).

SOLUTION: use your allotted writing time to any 'writing task' associated with completing an assignment or section of your thesis and this may include reading summary articles.

Specious barrier three

"To write a lot, I need a new computer" or (a laser printer, nice chair, better desk, clean office/house).

SOLUTION: equipment or place will never help you write a lot; only making a schedule and sticking to it will you a productive writer.

Another practical tip is to plan out your research using either a chart idea (see below) or a printable calendar.

Literature review X X           
Develop interview schedule; ethics application   X X          
Pilot interview schedule    X          
Analyse pilot data     X X        
Refine interview schedule      X        
Conduct interviews       X X X X    
Transcribe interviews        X X X X   
Analyse data        X X X X   
Publication of findings           X X X
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