Understanding the Research Cycle

The following is a visual presentation of a research process adapted from NHS (www.norfolk.nhs.uk/research-process).  Steps listed are those typically involved in a scientific or medical research.  The research cycle in different disciplines may have slight variations.

Step 1. Research question formulation
Definition of the research question and issue

Step 2. Literature review
Overview of current knowledge in the area of intended research

Step 3. Research design and methodology
Strategy or methodological approach to achieve the objectives of research

Step 4. Research proposal
Plan and present the project addressing sponsor issues, time scales & milestones

Step 5. Funding opportunities
Identify sources of funding, institutional support, employment, & expenses

Step 6. Ethics of research
Adheres to codes of conduct, standards, & legislation in conducting research

Step 7. Data collection, analysis & reflection
Data management, quantitative/qualitative analysis, relating findings with current knowledge

Step 8. Dissemination
Writing-up, report and communicate the research results