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Research Time Management

Organize your research projects by learning new time management and project management skills. You will learn how to break down research projects, set up a schedule for time management, and create a step-by-step process with a timeline to get it done.

Get Organized

Get Organized

The first step in project management is getting organized. 

You can use the tips on this guide to organize your research projects in a variety of ways. 

You can organize your projects

  • by semester
    •  map out all research projects for all classes on a master calendar
  • by class
    •  make a plan for individual classes 
  • by project
    • whether a group or individual project
    • short projects or longer projects that span multiple semesters like a thesis or dissertation. 

Gather your materials together

Gather you planning materials 

The second step to organizing is to gather your planning materials.

You will want to refer to many different sources such as 

  • Class Syllabus which should indicate all research projects for a class.
  • Research assignment sheet which will have deadlines and expectations. 
  • Project expectations such as program requirements for a thesis or dissertation for example.
  • Group members. Identify your team whether a classmate, advisor, or instructor. 

Why do this? 

Bringing all project and class projects together will give you a better sense of what needs to be done and by when. You will be able to better map a research plan for one or multiple assignments and manage your time better.

Write a Project Summary

Write Individual Project Summaries 

For each class, review the syllabus  and assignment sheet if available and write a research project summary. 

Why do this? 

This will help you organize the scope and requirements for the research project. By looking through your syllabus and identify, you will get the the big picture aspects of your research projects all at once. You can then bring them all together in the next step when you are creating your project plans. 


Look a the sample project summary below. Then download the template on this page.

Any gaps?

If you don't know or can't find the answer to any aspect of the project, now is the time to ask your professor for clarification. Planning ahead  will reduce any surprises later on in the semester. 

Questions asked: class, project name, final due date, draft due date, length, style, number of sources needed, resources needed, other requirements.