20/08/2018 – Post by Senior Student Projects Officer Jenna Barker

So, you’ve been funded… now what? Maybe you’ve started your Master To Do List, maybe you haven’t. If not, start reading here to get ahead and kickstart your GLARP project!

But, if you’ve already started, you’re probably facing the challenge of balancing your GLARP commitments with all the assignments that are pouring in (Week 5 already, yikes!). But even though each GLARP project will be different, it’s important that you dedicate enough time towards your project to get the most out of the experience and support your team mates.

Each GLARP project will have different aims, objectives and dissemination, however, whether your project involves a symposium, an ICUR presentation, or other events, effectively managing any GLARP project beyond the funding application deadline is crucial. As you can see below, it requires planning, being realistic and communication.

1. Identify checkpoints.

Use your Master To Do List to break down your project into small chunks that you consistently chip away at. This makes it more manageable and less stressful. You also feel like you are constantly making progress, rather trying to spend a few huge chunks of times while also stressing about that assignment that’s due in a few days!

2. Be Realistic.

Being realistic about the deadlines you set yourself will help keep stress levels down. Look ahead and incorporate upcoming assignments, social events, work and other commitments so you can plan around them. Discuss your commitments openly with your group and plan around everyone’s commitments. This brings us to our final, and possibly the most important point… Don’t forget to communicate!

3. Communicate!

The success of your GLARP project really relies on your ability to communicate effectively with your team. Be honest with your team about your commitments and what you can realistically get done for the project. Make sure you stay in regular contact and be there to support each other when things go wrong. Try to communicate both positive outcomes as well as frustrations. You should all be equally contributing to the research project so be willing to speak up if you feel someone isn’t pulling their weight. HOWEVER, treat them with care, there may be other reasons that they have stopped contributing to the extent they said they would. Try to understand why they are acting like they are but don’t be afraid to clearly and calmly state your own needs. Remember, you’re all in this together! When things get difficult, clear communication is key!

It will be hard, it will probably be stressful, but what you will learn throughout the process will be priceless!

This also gives you a real taste of what it’s like to go down the research path and whether you would like to pursue a career in research or whether it’s just not for you. Navigating interdisciplinary research as an undergraduate is a feat within itself, so congratulations on taking on this task! After your project is complete, you will be better prepared for the future, whether it be pursing a career in research, academia or in industry.

So, as the November 30th deadline looms, make sure you set aside the time to tick off all the tasks in the Master To Do List and don’t forget to enjoy the process. This may be the first of many successful research projects you undertake!