Research Project

For students enrolled in IDEA9302 Research Project (12 cp) OR the combined IDEA9302 Research Project + IDEA9303 Research Dissertation (24 cp).

All students need to decide on a research topic well before Week 1 of semester.

You can initiate your own project topic OR select from a list of topics provided by Design Lab staff. The available project topics create exciting opportunities for students to participate in and contribute to new and existing research projects led by Design Lab staff. http://mideablog.wordpress.com/capstone-project/research-project/potential-topics/

View previous student projects.

Guidelines

Option 2 – Research Project only

The majority of projects will take the form of an individual design project (similar to the design studio projects), although there is flexibility for what you can do.

  1. Negotiate topic with supervisor [student-initiated project OR supervisors provide topics linked to their research]
  2. Submit 500 word topic proposal [outlining the area of inquiry, the problem or research questions, how you will approach the research (what kind of methods/methodology), the significance and expected outcomes]
  3. Get approval to enrol from MIDEA program director / supervisor
  4. Start writing Project Proposal [research aims/objectives, scope/intended outcomes, initial literature review, methodology, timeline, ethics risk analysis (if applicable)]
  5. Submit written Project Proposal of at least 2000 words. [Week 4 - email Word doc to supervisor/coordinator]
  6. Present Project Proposal in Research Studio session. See here for presentation info. [Week 4 - TBC]
  7. Work on project (Students are encouraged to regularly document their progress on a blog/website).
  8. Document project (Students must submit documentation of their design work and built artefacts produced during the research. The designed/built artefacts will be assessed on the merits of their underlying design rationale or original conceptual thinking, and their implementation in the form of software, hardware, theoretical discourse or other physical manifestation. High quality audio/visual documentation (e.g., images/sound/video) is expected.)
  9. Public presentation of project outcomes. See here for presentation info. [Week 13 – date/time TBC]
  10. Submit the following deliverables for examination [due end Week 14, email to supervisor and MIDEA program director]
    1. A written report describing the research aims/objectives, scope/intended outcomes, literature review, research/design methodology, design concept, rationale, the development structure, and an evaluation of the design work produced (of at least 5000 words); and
    2. Mixed media documentation of design work [zipfile of digital media and/or video URLs]

Option 3 – Combined Research Project/Dissertation

  1. Negotiate topic with supervisor [student-initiated project OR supervisors provide topics linked to their research]
  2. Submit 500 word topic proposal [outlining the area of inquiry, the problem or research questions, how you will approach the research (what kind of methods/methodology), the significance and expected outcomes]
  3. Get approval to enrol from MIDEA program director / supervisor
  4. Start writing Project Proposal [research aims/objectives, scope/intended outcomes, initial literature review, methodology, timeline, ethics risk analysis (if applicable)]
  5. Submit written Project Proposal of at least 2000 words. [Week 4 - email Word doc to supervisor/coordinator]
  6. Present Project Proposal in Research Studio session. See here for presentation info. [Week 4 - TBC]
  7. Work on project
  8. Write dissertation [allow 2 weeks full-time for this]
  9. Public presentation of project outcomes. See here for presentation info. [Week 13 – date/time TBC]
  10. Submit the following deliverables for examination  [due end Week 15, email to supervisor and MIDEA program director]
    1. Written Dissertation
    2. Mixed media documentation (if applicable, e.g., high quality images, video)

Project Proposal

This section provides a recommended structure for the research proposal. The  expected word count for the proposal is a minimum of 2,000 words.

INTRODUCTION

This section introduces the problem and context of the research, the research aims/objectives or questions or hypotheses, the scope/intended outcomes and the significance of the research.

INITIAL LITERATURE REVIEW

This section positions the research within related work. The research may seek to extend existing work and/or to identify a limitation and propose an alternative way of thinking. Note that your background research can also include precedent art, design, software/hardware examples.

You can start this as an Annotated Bibliography, and then evolve it into a Literature Review.

METHODOLOGY

The type of research being conducted is briefly described, with details and justification of the research methods applied.

TIMELINE

A week-by-week schedule of the primary activities, with milestones.

RISK ANALYSIS

A table identifying and analysing the risks to the project. Types of risk include technical, data, human resources, your skill level or unfamiliarity with a specific technology, etc. The following steps are taken from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/fundingopportunities/projectmanagement/planning/risks.aspx

  1. List the potential risks
  2. Assign a probability to each risk (1 is low, 5 is high)
  3. Assess the severity should the risk occur (1 is low, 5 is high)
  4. Give each risk a score (probability times severity)
  5. Plan how you will prevent risks happening (or manage them if they occur). The highest scoring risks need to be considered and planned for in more detail.

Useful References

This guide provides a helpful overview of how to write a research proposal, with questions to prompt and guide your thinking about your topic, the purpose of the research, its relation to previous work in the field and appropriate methods to answer your research questions or hypotheses.

Research Dissertation Template

This section provides a recommended structure for the research dissertation. The general structure can be adapted to reflect the nature of the actual research project, in consultation with your supervisor.

Given the timeframe for the research project is one semester, the expected word count for the dissertation is 8,000 – 10,000 words, roughly equivalent to a long conference/journal paper. This word count applies to the sections from the Introduction to the Conclusion (Note the Abstract, TOC, References, Appendix are additional to the count).

ABSTRACT

300-word summary of research problem, aims, methodology, key findings, outcomes and significance.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

This section introduces the problem and context of the research, the research aims/questions, the significance of the research and the outcomes/contributions to knowledge.

LITERATURE REVIEW

This section positions the research within related work. The research may seek to extend existing work and/or to identify a limitation and propose an alternative way of thinking.

METHODOLOGY

The type of research being conducted is briefly described, with details and justification of the research methods applied.

FOUNDATION WORK (Optional)

If the research is practice-based, then previous work of the student that is being built upon in this project should be briefly described within the framework of the dissertation.

STUDIES

The actual research studies are described in detail.

RESULTS

The results of the studies are presented, with a critical discussion of the key findings.

CONCLUSIONS

The research questions are revisited with a summary of the major outcomes of the research, highlighting the specific contributions to knowledge. Directions for future work are outlined.

REFERENCES

APPENDIX

Evidence of research conducted can be included in the appendix, e.g., transcripts of interviews, survey questions, field notes, design sketches, user evaluation data, ethics approval, etc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s