This Research Plan (RP), version 2.41, must be completed and reviewed before taking steps to collect data and write the dissertation. In the School of Business and Technology, its satisfactory completion satisfies dissertation milestone 5, indicating that the RP proposal has passed the “scientific merit review,” part of the IRB process.
Before going any further, review carefully the Research Plan Instructions, v2.41, available on iGuide. It will be difficult to complete the RP without using the Instructions.
Specialization Chair’s Approval after Section 1
When you have completed Section 1 along with initial references in section 8, send the RP to your mentor for review. When your mentor considers it is ready, he or she sends it to Dissertation Support to forward to your specialization Chair. The Chair approves the topic as appropriate within your specialization. You then go on to complete the remaining sections of the RP.
Do’s and Don’ts
• Do use the correct form! This RP is for QUALITATIVE designs.
• Do prepare your answers in a separate Word document. Editing and revising will be easier.
o Set font formatting to Times New Roman, 11 point, regular style font Do set paragraph indentation (“Format” menu) for no indentation, no spacing.
• Do copy/paste items into the right-hand fields when they are ready.
• Don’t delete the descriptions in the left column!
• Don’t lock the form. That will stop you from editing and revising within the form.
• Do complete the “Learner Information” (A.) of the first table, and Section 1 first.
• Don’t skip items or sections. If an item does not apply to your study, type “NA” in its field.
• Do read the item descriptions and their respective Instructions carefully. Items request very specific information. Be sure you understand what is asked. (Good practice for IRB!)
• Do use primary sources to the greatest extent possible as references. Textbooks are not acceptable as the only references supporting methodological and design choices.
• Do submit a revised RP if, after approval, you change your design elements. It may not need a second review, but should be on file before your IRB application is submitted.
The following criteria will be used to establish scientific merit. The purpose of the review will be to evaluate if the study:
• Advances the scientific knowledge base.
• Makes a contribution to research theory.
• Demonstrates understanding of theories and approaches related to the selected research methodology.
Complete the following steps to request scientific merit approval (SMR) for your dissertation:
1. Develop topic and methodological approach:
• Talk with your mentor about your ideas for your dissertation topic and a possible methodological approach.
• Collaborate with your mentor to refine your topic into a specific educational research project that will add to the existing literature on your topic.
2. Complete Section 1 of the RP form.
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