Research paper, how to do it?
The research project must be perfect since the competition for economic funds is very high and the execution of the research depends on its being financed, evaluated positively by the reviewers or evaluators and approved by the committee that decides.
- It should be clear from the beginning what the research question is. The evaluators read fast and above, therefore, from the beginning they should know what the objective-research question is, what we want to discover or find out. How to formulate a research question. Placing the question as a project title helps to clearly present the objective of the research.
- The research question must be innovative. New ideas create a climate of expectation in the reader that leads them to evaluate the project in a positive way. Innovation is proposing ideas outside of the established (out-of-the-box). The important thing is not the issue (immigration, cancer, social networks, terrorism …) but the question. Projects are not financed or approved because of the issue or the problem, but because of the novelty of the research question. We can make a paper without having a research question, but we can not present a project without a research question.
- The project should highlight the social impacts of research and the impacts on the discipline. The impacts are the consequences after the development of the research and the applicability of the knowledge obtained. Point out what research is for society and science generates in the evaluator the feeling that its positive evaluation can contribute to the improvement of society and the development of science. It is very important that the impacts indicated are consistent and coherent with the objectives to be sought and the methods applied, but the evaluator has the feeling that the researcher exaggerates and lies.
- Make a conceptual map to check if your project is consistent. The main error in research projects is the lack of cohesion between problem-objectives-methods-impacts-budget. The entire project must be sewn without at any time anyone can ask “and this for what?” Or “Why is this saying now?”. Making a conceptual map with arrows and all parts of the project for ourselves can help us in the writing and identification of errors.
- The experience of the researcher must be consistent with the research project. It is convenient (though not decisive) for the researcher to show in the project how his previous research in the form of publications, papers, previous projects, or work with groups contribute to achieving the objectives proposed in the project. If you want to investigate the social impacts of entrepreneurship in Colombia through an analysis of social networks, the applicant or researcher must show that they have worked on this subject at some time, even if it is elsewhere, and that they know the research method to apply.
- The draft research project must be read by several people before submitting it to a call. Never send a project if at least 4 people have not reviewed it before. The most convenient thing is to present it in a seminar to expect criticism and suggestions. This practice to identify errors in the writing, to know if our question is clear, innovative and relevant, to know if the project is coherent and especially if it is “understandable” by people who are not necessarily experts in our field or topic. We must be careful with the circulation
uncontrolled of our project to avoid theft of ideas and plagiarism, but the world of research is open and social, so we can always find old classmates, teachers, colleagues of the research group or colleagues willing to read our project and review it. Sometimes we think that we can annoy other colleagues by sending them our project or that it is a burden to read another’s project on a subject that we do not like, but these readings and reviews reinforce our academic networks and create reciprocity.
- Include our academic networks in the project. Show your important contacts in the academic and professional world in the form of collaborations, co-investigators, or in the description of your experience. Social capital (relations) is as valid as human or intellectual capital (knowledge) when it comes to winning a call. The applicant researcher must present the people who will collaborate or help the development of the project. It can be in the form of scientific meetings, in the form of preparing a paper, or as an integral part of the project. Although it depends a lot on the terms of the call, the research projects that include collaborations (if they are international better) and promote the construction of academic networks are usually better seen by the evaluators. In case of concerns, do not hesitate to write to the contact person of the call. They solve any doubt.
- Show the possible problems that you will find during the investigation and indicate how you will solve them. If you make clear what possible problems may arise during your research in data collection, interviews with experts or actors, the design of the instrument, the availability of information, the presentation of results, the withdrawal of a research assistant, etc. and you mention how you will solve the samples to the evaluator that you know the field to investigate, that you have recursion, you anticipate their evaluation and you show that you are highly prepared to carry out the research and lead it.