Practical Considerations

Practical Considerations

This module with discuss issues and potentials problems that should be considered when planning a research project.

Learning Objectives

  • To create a list of questions that may assist in identifying practical considerations for a research project.
  • To identify potential problems and issues relating to a particular research project.


When planning a research project, there are numerous issues and guidelines to consider. Regardless of the size, scope, or topic of the research project, it is important to consider potential issues relating to the project prior to finalizing the research plan. These issues may relate to the feasibility of the research, funding, resources, methodology, data analysis, and ethical concerns just to name a few. Following is a list of questions that may assist in recognizing potential problems:

  •  What is the timeline of the project? Can the objectives of the project be realistically completed within this timeline?
  • What are the financial resources that will be necessary for this project and are all expenses accounted for in the project budget?
    • Equipment? Software?
    • Personnel: labor, data analysis expertise, consulting, student assistance?
    • Are the objectives achievable within the budget?
    • What are the potential sources of funding?
    • Does the timeline for funding correspond with the timeline for completion of the project?
  • Is the appropriate personnel available for collecting, processing, and analyzing data?
  • Does the research need any ethical approval, such as IRB?
  • Will the methodology chosen to produce the right type of data to meet the project objectives?
  • Does the methodology control for potential biases?
  • Is there a potential audience that may be interested in the results?
  • Will the results contribute the field of study in a meaningful way?


These are just some examples of the types of issues that researchers should consider while planning a project.  Advance consideration of these questions will result in a project that is more likely to be completed on time with sufficient resources and reliable results. Many of these of these issues should be considered when initially selecting the topic of the research problem. The following video discusses this in further detail.


Some Considerations When Selecting a Research Problem


Suggested Readings:  

  • Cohen, M. D., Burkhart, R., Dosi, G., Egidi, M., Marengo, L., Warglien, M., & Winter, S. (1996). Routines and other recurring action patterns of organizations: contemporary research issues. Industrial and Corporate Change, 5(3), 653-698.
  • Devlin A. (2006)  Research Methods.  Thompson Wadsworth.
  • Dillon, W. R., & Goldstein, M. (1984). Multivariate analysis (pp. 394-429). New York: Wiley.
  • May, T. (2011). Social Research: Issues, Methods and Research. McGraw-Hill International.
  • Simonsen, B., Fairbanks, S., Briesch, A., Myers, D., & Sugai, G. (2008). Evidence-based practices in classroom management: Considerations for research to practice. Education and Treatment of Children, 31(3), 351-380.
  • Woodall, W. H., & Montgomery, D. C. (1999). Research issues and ideas in statistical process control. Journal of Quality Technology, 31(4).

Resource Links

Research Considerations for Sociological Methods - This website addresses theoretical, practical and ethical considerations that may come into play for sociological research methods as well as other types of research.

 Practical considerations in case study research: the relationship between methodology and research. - This site specifically discusses the particular challenges and issues to consider when using case study research methods.

 Bias:  Considerations for Research Practice - Researchers must consider the potential effects of bias on their research. This article discusses the impact that bias may have on a study and how to recognize it.

 What is Ethics in Research & Why is it Important - Ethical concerns must also be considered when designing a research project. The following website discusses common codes and policies regarding ethics in research.

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