Design Tool: The SRM Research Project Planner

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MethodSpace will explore phases of the research process throughout 2021. In the first quarter will explore design steps, starting with a January focus on research questions. Find the unfolding series here.

If your academic library has SAGE Research Methods, you have access to the Research Project Planner

You can find the Project Planner in the drop-down menu on the front page of SAGE Research Methods. Project Planner materials will also appear in site search results. (If you do not have access, explore SAGE Research Methods with a free trial.)

You might imagine that a Research Project planner is some kind of spreadsheet or scheduling template. While those kinds of tools might be helpful at some point, if you don’t know where you’re going it is hard to know how to map the journey.  The SAGE Project Planner is set of materials designed to help you see what needs to be included in a research planning process. The Project Planner is a flexible set of materials you can use in conjunction with other proposal documents.

Project Planner topics

When you open your Project Planner you will see a menu on the left-hand side of the screen. These buttons correspond to important stages of research design.

Within each topic area you will find clear  explanations, definitions of important terms, key questions, practical steps, links to other resources, and a checklist. Each section can be read online or downloaded in a PDF format.

Checklist questions can help to focus meetings with your thesis or dissertation supervisor, or provide the basis for discussions with research clients or research collaborators.


The sections about defining a topic, reviewing literature, and developing a research question are useful for new or student researchers– or for experienced researchers looking for a fresh beginning.

Learn more about SRM with: A Primer on Getting the Most out of SAGE Research Methods. Learn about other specialized features to help researchers, including  Methods Maps, Reading Lists and navigation tools that invite you to explore within your discipline or across disciplines. To find additional dissertation and thesis guides and materials on SAGE Research Methods, see this Reading List. 

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