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How to: Designing a Research Project to Leverage Your Work as a Fellow and Create Impact

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Importance of a Research Project

Deciding to jumpstart your entrepreneurial career with a research project is a   great way to get hands on experience with innovation. There are a number of lessons and skills that can be learned from managing a project. It is also helpful to conduct research and get exposed to interacting with people and identifying the most common problems throughout your community. You can’t solve a problem if you don’t know it exists!

Pose Questions

When designing a research project, you want to pose questions because it helps expose a variety of potential answers. Questioning the world around you will help you think creatively and divergently. The more questions, the more possible solutions. It is especially important to question your solution; this will eliminate any errors or imperfections in your design or prototype.


Each research project will have a unique format. Set deadlines and checkpoints during your timeline to ensure successful completion of the project. Set short term and long-term goals to help keep you motivated and on track. Its also a good idea to account for potential error, by giving yourself some extra time when you are making your timeline.

Consider Cost

Cost is essential to designing a research project. If one lacks the funds he or she will have lack of exposure to the resources that can aid during experimentation and solutions. When looking for funding, look to school resource centers and public research centers that help provide individuals with research funding.

Gather Resources 

Resources are the core of a research project it is what allows one to gain different perspectives of the problem and solutions. One should gather resources from interviewing individuals, reviewing comparative case studies, and reading books relevant to the research topic.

Deadline to set for the research project

Setting deadlines for each step of an individual’s research is a good way to manage time and develop goals. There should be a deadline for reaching out to resources, seeking funds, asking and answering questions etc...

Bounce back from setbacks 

No research project is complete without a few bumps in the road. Be sure to keep a positive attitude and talk to others who have hit similar roadblocks. Find a creative space, whether it’s your bed, the kitchen floor, or the shower, and think of ways to rework the problem. Don’t forget to allot time for these setbacks when planning and structuring your timeline.

Delegate work if needed 

Delegation of work is needed occasionally. When assigning work assure any team member(s) have a clear understanding of the project and the goals. Be willing to share responsibility and allow each individual(s) to present ideas. Walk them through the task beforehand to make sure they are comfortable and treat them well and make sure they feel valued and important.

By: Alberto Garcia & Jag Ashcraft