Project Delivery

This section will make researchers aware of the various processes associated with managing a research project.  Researchers should be managing their projects effectively from the initial stages of defining the project through to the project completion and beyond.

The following should be considered:


Conducting the Research

There are so many aspects of good practice that it would be very difficult to draw up a complete list. However, a few basic rules are;

  1. All research staff (and students involved in research) should be familiar with the legal and ethical requirements relating to human participants, animals and personal information.  An ethics checklist should be completed or ethical approval sought from one of the University Research Ethics Committees (RECs) prior to the commencement of research.  For more information, visit the Research Integrity: Governance and Ethics pages.
  2. The University relies on the academic Faculties to ensure everyone is made aware of new developments in guidelines, regulations and ethical issues.
  3. We must always ensure that the highest quality data is collected, by using appropriate methodologies and properly calibrated and maintained equipment. Any change in established methods should be documented
  4. If you are performing experiments or handling materials which are potentially hazardous to health/ the environment, you must consult the University’s health and safety regulations(including training) and current legislation
  5. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) should be in place for research methods and equipment. Individuals who are new to a particular procedure should ensure that they request and receive the proper training before starting.

Research Outputs & Data

Training

Training on academic writing is available on the Researcher Development programme of events. 

Legislation

Research outputs and data are subject to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act and the Data Protection Act.

Research Data

You need to consider how best to use the data produced by yourself, and other University members, in order to:

  • use the data to best effect
  • make best use of the committed resources

Good data storage, which includes information on the data collection process, is essential to support future research. Having proper systems in place will allow you to:

  • Use data from incomplete/ unfinished work (in the case of staff leaving before completion of the research) to enhance data for your publication
  • Pool findings from related research to enhance your research output

For this you require the agreement of all the researchers/authors/ contributors involved and their acknowledgement.

Once you have completed the research, completed datasets can be deposited in the University's Data Repository.  

For more information on the University's data management policy, see here.

Publications

Research results should be published in an appropriate form, usually as papers in refereed journals or monographs/books. You should take Open Access into account when thinking about publications.  Publications can be deposited to STORRE (Stirling Online Research Repository) by entering the publication information to our Research Management System.  Find out more about publishing your research here.  

Authorship

Authorship of articles and other original works is a primary basis on which you will be evaluated at all stages of your career.

In academic publishing, authorship of a work is claimed by those making an intellectual contribution to the research described in the work. It can mean more than just writing the article. Collaboration is very common, and authorship issues can be complex & controversial.

Anyone listed as an author should accept responsibility for ensuring that he/she is familiar with the contents of the work and can identify his/her contribution to it.  

Peer review

Academic colleagues may act as reviewers for your work, such as grant applications and manuscripts for publication. They may also publish reviews of your work in journals.

Peer reviewers are asked to comment critically, adhering to the highest professional standards and avoiding any conflict of interest.

Should you be asked to provide peer review, we would encourage you to do so.  It will provide you with valuable insights and raises Stirling's profile.

Acknowledging collaborators and other participants

Contributions made by collaborators, and anyone else who helps or supports your research, must be fully acknowledged.


Responsible Research

Research involving animals, vulnerable adults and children

It is important that researchers act responsibly manner when involved in research with animals or vulnerable participants.  This includes the communication of that research.   

For more guidance please see the pages on Integrity, Governance and Ethics.

This includes compliance with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act and the Data Protection Act.

Handling the media

If you are communicating research outputs to the public or to the media, we advise you to contact the Communications, Marketing and Public Engagement Office for advice, in the first instance.  Further media advice available here.  Training on media and communication is also available Training on the Researcher Development programme of events.   


Fieldwork

The University expects all staff and students conducting research outside the University’s premises to act with the highest professional standards. This applies to;

  • Fieldwork
  • Research visits to research organisations, institutes or universities
  • Industrial and public sector placements

Host organisations

Staff and students must comply with the host organisation’s requirements for ethics, governance and good practice as well as local legislation which may affect research activities. Such matters (including health & safety) should be addressed and resolved at the contract negotiation stage (i.e. before the research starts).

Working abroad

When researchers and research students undertake fieldwork, in particular abroad, the same principles apply. The highest standards of heath and safety must be applied and risk assessments should be carried out. Academic schools that are involved in such activities have safety handbooks available and regulations/guidelines provided must be followed.

You are advised to check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for advice on the destination. If you are carrying out research activities outdoors, or abroad, do not put yourself in any unnecessary danger. You need to make sure that you’re familiar with;

  • The area you are visiting
  • The equipment you might need to use
  • Any emergency procedures

New Researchers & Career Development

The University recognises and supports the training needs of researchers at the beginning of their research careers. We also promote career development for established researchers.

Researchers are recommended to undertake appropriate training at a Faculty/Institutional level e.g. in:

  • research design
  • regulatory and ethics approvals
  • equipment use and Health & Safety regulations
  • informed consent and confidentiality
  • data management and analysis
  • record keeping
  • data protection
  • Home Office training to gain licences when using animals in medical research
  • management of intellectual property
  • involvement of patients and consumers
  • NHS research governance requirements for those working with NHS patients and staff
  • conduct of clinical trials

Induction days are arranged for both Research staff and Research Postgraduates.  If you are a member of staff, see our Researcher Development Pages for more information.  If you are a Postgraduate student, contact the Graduate School.


Financial Management

It is essential that the project finances are managed appropriately.  The funder will expect Principal Investigators of the project to be actively monitoring the expenditure of the research project to ensure the budget is spent according to the terms and conditions of the award.  You can monitor the budget by accessing the finance management system - Agresso Web via My Portal.  If you have any queries in relation to your project budget, please contact the relevant Accountancy Assistant.

Need help?  Your contact in the Research Policy Team can advise you on any of the above.


Stirling Researcher Resources

Find out more information here‌‌                                                                        

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