Appendix A - What is a Research Agenda?

A personal Research Agenda is a statement of one’s research interests and plans to pursue those interests. This is contrasted with other kinds of Research Agendas. For example, organizations may write Research Agendas for their institution, and researchers may publish a Research Agenda for exploration of a particular field. What is meant in this instance is a personal Research Agenda – a document that describes and maps out a research area and the studies to be conducted within that area. 


  • Describe the topical area of interest.
    • Might include how you became interested in this topic, what work you’ve already accomplished in this topic, and why it is significant, relevant, or timely at this moment.


  • Describe the problem statement(s) that relate to this topical area
    • Why should others care about this topic or these issues? What problems are you interested in investigating?


  • Describe the methods that are relevant to your topic area.
    • Approach your topic area with multiple methods; or pick an interesting method, and apply that method to different domains.


  • Describe the studies that you intend to carry out related to the topical area.
    • What studies are you proposing? How do they connect? Include research questions when possible, along with a summary of the methods you plan to employee to pursue those questions. If you know of collaborators with whom you intend to work, name those partners.


  • Include ideas that could sustain you for 2‐5 years.
    • List benchmarks for each year covered in the Research Agenda


  • If there are appropriate funding opportunities that would support research in this area, the Agenda should describe the grants to which you will seek support.
    • What timetables must you be mindful of in terms of grant deadlines?


  • Your agenda might include scholarly communication outlets you might pursue with each study.

Conferences at which you might present the work, journals you might pursue to submit papers, or book ideas that might result from your investigations The