Home » Education » What is the Difference Between Research and Project

What is the Difference Between Research and Project

The main difference between research and project is that research is the systematic investigation and study of materials and sources to establish facts and reach new conclusions, while a project is a specific and finite activity that gives a measurable and observable result under preset requirements.

Both research and projects use a systematic approach. We also sometimes use the term research project to refer to research studies.

Key Areas Covered

1.  What is Research       – Definition, Features 2. What is a Project      – Definition, Features 3.  Difference Between Research and Project      – Comparison of Key Differences

Research, Project

Difference Between Research and Project - Comparison Summary

What is Research

Research is a careful study a researcher conducts using a systematic approach and scientific methods. A research study typically involves several components: abstract, introduction ,  literature review ,  research design, and method , results and analysis, conclusion, bibliography. Researchers usually begin a formal research study with a hypothesis; then, they test this hypothesis rigorously. They also explore and analyze the literature already available on their research subject. This allows them to study the research subject from multiple perspectives, acknowledging different problems that need to be solved.

 Research vs Project

There are different types of research, the main two categories being quantitative research and qualitative research. Depending on their research method and design, we can also categorize research as descriptive research, exploratory research, longitudinal research, cross-sectional research, etc.

Furthermore, research should always be objective or unbiased. Moreover, if the research involves participants, for example, in surveys or interviews, the researcher should always make sure to obtain their written consent first.

What is a Project

A project is a collaborative or individual enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim. We can also describe it as a specific and finite activity that gives a measurable and observable result under preset requirements. This result can be tangible or intangible; for example, product, service, competitive advantage, etc. A project generally involves a series of connected tasks planned for execution over a fixed period of time and within certain limitations like quality and cost. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) defines a project as a “temporary endeavor with a beginning and an end, and it must be used to create a unique product, service or result.”

 Compare Research and Project - What's the difference?

Difference Between Research and Project

Research is a careful study conducted using a systematic approach and scientific methods, whereas a project is a collaborative or individual enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.

Research studies are mainly carried out in academia, while projects can be seen in a variety of contexts, including businesses.

The main aim of the research is to seek or revise facts, theories, or principles, while the main aim of a project is to achieve a tangible or intangible result; for example, product, service, competitive advantage, etc.

The main difference between research and project is that research is the systematic investigation and study of materials and sources to establish facts and reach new conclusions, while the project is a specific and finite activity that gives a measurable and observable result under preset requirements.

1. “ What Is a Project? – Definition, Lifecycle and Key Characteristics .” Your Guide to Project Management Best Practices .

Image Courtesy:

1. “ Research ” by Nick Youngson (CC BY-SA 3.0) via The Blue Diamond Gallery 2. “ Project-group-team-feedback ” (CC0) via Pixabay

' src=

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.

​You May Also Like These

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Research vs. Study

What's the difference.

Research and study are two essential components of the learning process, but they differ in their approach and purpose. Research involves a systematic investigation of a particular topic or issue, aiming to discover new knowledge or validate existing theories. It often involves collecting and analyzing data, conducting experiments, and drawing conclusions. On the other hand, study refers to the process of acquiring knowledge or understanding through reading, memorizing, and reviewing information. It is typically focused on a specific subject or discipline and aims to deepen one's understanding or mastery of that subject. While research is more exploratory and investigative, study is more focused on acquiring and retaining information. Both research and study are crucial for intellectual growth and expanding our knowledge base.


Further Detail


Research and study are two fundamental activities that play a crucial role in acquiring knowledge and understanding. While they share similarities, they also have distinct attributes that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of research and study, highlighting their differences and similarities.

Definition and Purpose

Research is a systematic investigation aimed at discovering new knowledge, expanding existing knowledge, or solving specific problems. It involves gathering and analyzing data, formulating hypotheses, and drawing conclusions based on evidence. Research is often conducted in a structured and scientific manner, employing various methodologies and techniques.

On the other hand, study refers to the process of acquiring knowledge through reading, memorizing, and understanding information. It involves examining and learning from existing materials, such as textbooks, articles, or lectures. The purpose of study is to gain a comprehensive understanding of a particular subject or topic.

Approach and Methodology

Research typically follows a systematic approach, involving the formulation of research questions or hypotheses, designing experiments or surveys, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions. It often requires a rigorous methodology, including literature review, data collection, statistical analysis, and peer review. Research can be qualitative or quantitative, depending on the nature of the investigation.

Study, on the other hand, does not necessarily follow a specific methodology. It can be more flexible and personalized, allowing individuals to choose their own approach to learning. Study often involves reading and analyzing existing materials, taking notes, summarizing information, and engaging in discussions or self-reflection. While study can be structured, it is generally less formalized compared to research.

Scope and Depth

Research tends to have a broader scope and aims to contribute to the overall body of knowledge in a particular field. It often involves exploring new areas, pushing boundaries, and generating original insights. Research can be interdisciplinary, involving multiple disciplines and perspectives. The depth of research is often extensive, requiring in-depth analysis, critical thinking, and the ability to synthesize complex information.

Study, on the other hand, is usually more focused and specific. It aims to gain a comprehensive understanding of a particular subject or topic within an existing body of knowledge. Study can be deep and detailed, but it is often limited to the available resources and materials. While study may not contribute directly to the advancement of knowledge, it plays a crucial role in building a solid foundation of understanding.

Application and Output

Research is often driven by the desire to solve real-world problems or contribute to practical applications. The output of research can take various forms, including scientific papers, patents, policy recommendations, or technological advancements. Research findings are typically shared with the academic community and the public, aiming to advance knowledge and improve society.

Study, on the other hand, focuses more on personal development and learning. The application of study is often seen in academic settings, where individuals acquire knowledge to excel in their studies or careers. The output of study is usually reflected in improved understanding, enhanced critical thinking skills, and the ability to apply knowledge in practical situations.

Limitations and Challenges

Research faces several challenges, including limited resources, time constraints, ethical considerations, and the potential for bias. Conducting research requires careful planning, data collection, and analysis, which can be time-consuming and costly. Researchers must also navigate ethical guidelines and ensure the validity and reliability of their findings.

Study, on the other hand, may face challenges such as information overload, lack of motivation, or difficulty in finding reliable sources. It requires self-discipline, time management, and the ability to filter and prioritize information. Without proper guidance or structure, study can sometimes lead to superficial understanding or misconceptions.

In conclusion, research and study are both essential activities in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding. While research focuses on generating new knowledge and solving problems through a systematic approach, study aims to acquire and comprehend existing information. Research tends to be more formalized, rigorous, and contributes to the advancement of knowledge, while study is often more flexible, personalized, and focused on individual learning. Both research and study have their unique attributes and challenges, but together they form the foundation for intellectual growth and development.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.

  • Privacy Policy

Buy Me a Coffee

Research Method

Home » Research Project – Definition, Writing Guide and Ideas

Research Project – Definition, Writing Guide and Ideas

Table of Contents

Research Project

Research Project

Definition :

Research Project is a planned and systematic investigation into a specific area of interest or problem, with the goal of generating new knowledge, insights, or solutions. It typically involves identifying a research question or hypothesis, designing a study to test it, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions based on the findings.

Types of Research Project

Types of Research Projects are as follows:

Basic Research

This type of research focuses on advancing knowledge and understanding of a subject area or phenomenon, without any specific application or practical use in mind. The primary goal is to expand scientific or theoretical knowledge in a particular field.

Applied Research

Applied research is aimed at solving practical problems or addressing specific issues. This type of research seeks to develop solutions or improve existing products, services or processes.

Action Research

Action research is conducted by practitioners and aimed at solving specific problems or improving practices in a particular context. It involves collaboration between researchers and practitioners, and often involves iterative cycles of data collection and analysis, with the goal of improving practices.

Quantitative Research

This type of research uses numerical data to investigate relationships between variables or to test hypotheses. It typically involves large-scale data collection through surveys, experiments, or secondary data analysis.

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research focuses on understanding and interpreting phenomena from the perspective of the people involved. It involves collecting and analyzing data in the form of text, images, or other non-numerical forms.

Mixed Methods Research

Mixed methods research combines elements of both quantitative and qualitative research, using multiple data sources and methods to gain a more comprehensive understanding of a phenomenon.

Longitudinal Research

This type of research involves studying a group of individuals or phenomena over an extended period of time, often years or decades. It is useful for understanding changes and developments over time.

Case Study Research

Case study research involves in-depth investigation of a particular case or phenomenon, often within a specific context. It is useful for understanding complex phenomena in their real-life settings.

Participatory Research

Participatory research involves active involvement of the people or communities being studied in the research process. It emphasizes collaboration, empowerment, and the co-production of knowledge.

Research Project Methodology

Research Project Methodology refers to the process of conducting research in an organized and systematic manner to answer a specific research question or to test a hypothesis. A well-designed research project methodology ensures that the research is rigorous, valid, and reliable, and that the findings are meaningful and can be used to inform decision-making.

There are several steps involved in research project methodology, which are described below:

Define the Research Question

The first step in any research project is to clearly define the research question or problem. This involves identifying the purpose of the research, the scope of the research, and the key variables that will be studied.

Develop a Research Plan

Once the research question has been defined, the next step is to develop a research plan. This plan outlines the methodology that will be used to collect and analyze data, including the research design, sampling strategy, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques.

Collect Data

The data collection phase involves gathering information through various methods, such as surveys, interviews, observations, experiments, or secondary data analysis. The data collected should be relevant to the research question and should be of sufficient quantity and quality to enable meaningful analysis.

Analyze Data

Once the data has been collected, it is analyzed using appropriate statistical techniques or other methods. The analysis should be guided by the research question and should aim to identify patterns, trends, relationships, or other insights that can inform the research findings.

Interpret and Report Findings

The final step in the research project methodology is to interpret the findings and report them in a clear and concise manner. This involves summarizing the results, discussing their implications, and drawing conclusions that can be used to inform decision-making.

Research Project Writing Guide

Here are some guidelines to help you in writing a successful research project:

  • Choose a topic: Choose a topic that you are interested in and that is relevant to your field of study. It is important to choose a topic that is specific and focused enough to allow for in-depth research and analysis.
  • Conduct a literature review : Conduct a thorough review of the existing research on your topic. This will help you to identify gaps in the literature and to develop a research question or hypothesis.
  • Develop a research question or hypothesis : Based on your literature review, develop a clear research question or hypothesis that you will investigate in your study.
  • Design your study: Choose an appropriate research design and methodology to answer your research question or test your hypothesis. This may include choosing a sample, selecting measures or instruments, and determining data collection methods.
  • Collect data: Collect data using your chosen methods and instruments. Be sure to follow ethical guidelines and obtain informed consent from participants if necessary.
  • Analyze data: Analyze your data using appropriate statistical or qualitative methods. Be sure to clearly report your findings and provide interpretations based on your research question or hypothesis.
  • Discuss your findings : Discuss your findings in the context of the existing literature and your research question or hypothesis. Identify any limitations or implications of your study and suggest directions for future research.
  • Write your project: Write your research project in a clear and organized manner, following the appropriate format and style guidelines for your field of study. Be sure to include an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion.
  • Revise and edit: Revise and edit your project for clarity, coherence, and accuracy. Be sure to proofread for spelling, grammar, and formatting errors.
  • Cite your sources: Cite your sources accurately and appropriately using the appropriate citation style for your field of study.

Examples of Research Projects

Some Examples of Research Projects are as follows:

  • Investigating the effects of a new medication on patients with a particular disease or condition.
  • Exploring the impact of exercise on mental health and well-being.
  • Studying the effectiveness of a new teaching method in improving student learning outcomes.
  • Examining the impact of social media on political participation and engagement.
  • Investigating the efficacy of a new therapy for a specific mental health disorder.
  • Exploring the use of renewable energy sources in reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change.
  • Studying the effects of a new agricultural technique on crop yields and environmental sustainability.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of a new technology in improving business productivity and efficiency.
  • Examining the impact of a new public policy on social inequality and access to resources.
  • Exploring the factors that influence consumer behavior in a specific market.

Characteristics of Research Project

Here are some of the characteristics that are often associated with research projects:

  • Clear objective: A research project is designed to answer a specific question or solve a particular problem. The objective of the research should be clearly defined from the outset.
  • Systematic approach: A research project is typically carried out using a structured and systematic approach that involves careful planning, data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Rigorous methodology: A research project should employ a rigorous methodology that is appropriate for the research question being investigated. This may involve the use of statistical analysis, surveys, experiments, or other methods.
  • Data collection : A research project involves collecting data from a variety of sources, including primary sources (such as surveys or experiments) and secondary sources (such as published literature or databases).
  • Analysis and interpretation : Once the data has been collected, it needs to be analyzed and interpreted. This involves using statistical techniques or other methods to identify patterns or relationships in the data.
  • Conclusion and implications : A research project should lead to a clear conclusion that answers the research question. It should also identify the implications of the findings for future research or practice.
  • Communication: The results of the research project should be communicated clearly and effectively, using appropriate language and visual aids, to a range of audiences, including peers, stakeholders, and the wider public.

Importance of Research Project

Research projects are an essential part of the process of generating new knowledge and advancing our understanding of various fields of study. Here are some of the key reasons why research projects are important:

  • Advancing knowledge : Research projects are designed to generate new knowledge and insights into particular topics or questions. This knowledge can be used to inform policies, practices, and decision-making processes across a range of fields.
  • Solving problems: Research projects can help to identify solutions to real-world problems by providing a better understanding of the causes and effects of particular issues.
  • Developing new technologies: Research projects can lead to the development of new technologies or products that can improve people’s lives or address societal challenges.
  • Improving health outcomes: Research projects can contribute to improving health outcomes by identifying new treatments, diagnostic tools, or preventive strategies.
  • Enhancing education: Research projects can enhance education by providing new insights into teaching and learning methods, curriculum development, and student learning outcomes.
  • Informing public policy : Research projects can inform public policy by providing evidence-based recommendations and guidance on issues related to health, education, environment, social justice, and other areas.
  • Enhancing professional development : Research projects can enhance the professional development of researchers by providing opportunities to develop new skills, collaborate with colleagues, and share knowledge with others.

Research Project Ideas

Following are some Research Project Ideas:

Field: Psychology

  • Investigating the impact of social support on coping strategies among individuals with chronic illnesses.
  • Exploring the relationship between childhood trauma and adult attachment styles.
  • Examining the effects of exercise on cognitive function and brain health in older adults.
  • Investigating the impact of sleep deprivation on decision making and risk-taking behavior.
  • Exploring the relationship between personality traits and leadership styles in the workplace.
  • Examining the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for treating anxiety disorders.
  • Investigating the relationship between social comparison and body dissatisfaction in young women.
  • Exploring the impact of parenting styles on children’s emotional regulation and behavior.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions for treating depression.
  • Examining the relationship between childhood adversity and later-life health outcomes.

Field: Economics

  • Analyzing the impact of trade agreements on economic growth in developing countries.
  • Examining the effects of tax policy on income distribution and poverty reduction.
  • Investigating the relationship between foreign aid and economic development in low-income countries.
  • Exploring the impact of globalization on labor markets and job displacement.
  • Analyzing the impact of minimum wage laws on employment and income levels.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of monetary policy in managing inflation and unemployment.
  • Examining the relationship between economic freedom and entrepreneurship.
  • Analyzing the impact of income inequality on social mobility and economic opportunity.
  • Investigating the role of education in economic development.
  • Examining the effectiveness of different healthcare financing systems in promoting health equity.

Field: Sociology

  • Investigating the impact of social media on political polarization and civic engagement.
  • Examining the effects of neighborhood characteristics on health outcomes.
  • Analyzing the impact of immigration policies on social integration and cultural diversity.
  • Investigating the relationship between social support and mental health outcomes in older adults.
  • Exploring the impact of income inequality on social cohesion and trust.
  • Analyzing the effects of gender and race discrimination on career advancement and pay equity.
  • Investigating the relationship between social networks and health behaviors.
  • Examining the effectiveness of community-based interventions for reducing crime and violence.
  • Analyzing the impact of social class on cultural consumption and taste.
  • Investigating the relationship between religious affiliation and social attitudes.

Field: Computer Science

  • Developing an algorithm for detecting fake news on social media.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different machine learning algorithms for image recognition.
  • Developing a natural language processing tool for sentiment analysis of customer reviews.
  • Analyzing the security implications of blockchain technology for online transactions.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different recommendation algorithms for personalized advertising.
  • Developing an artificial intelligence chatbot for mental health counseling.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different algorithms for optimizing online advertising campaigns.
  • Developing a machine learning model for predicting consumer behavior in online marketplaces.
  • Analyzing the privacy implications of different data sharing policies for online platforms.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different algorithms for predicting stock market trends.

Field: Education

  • Investigating the impact of teacher-student relationships on academic achievement.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of different pedagogical approaches for promoting student engagement and motivation.
  • Examining the effects of school choice policies on academic achievement and social mobility.
  • Investigating the impact of technology on learning outcomes and academic achievement.
  • Analyzing the effects of school funding disparities on educational equity and achievement gaps.
  • Investigating the relationship between school climate and student mental health outcomes.
  • Examining the effectiveness of different teaching strategies for promoting critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Investigating the impact of social-emotional learning programs on student behavior and academic achievement.
  • Analyzing the effects of standardized testing on student motivation and academic achievement.

Field: Environmental Science

  • Investigating the impact of climate change on species distribution and biodiversity.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of different renewable energy technologies in reducing carbon emissions.
  • Examining the impact of air pollution on human health outcomes.
  • Investigating the relationship between urbanization and deforestation in developing countries.
  • Analyzing the effects of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • Investigating the impact of land use change on soil fertility and ecosystem services.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of different conservation policies and programs for protecting endangered species and habitats.
  • Investigating the relationship between climate change and water resources in arid regions.
  • Examining the impact of plastic pollution on marine ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • Investigating the effects of different agricultural practices on soil health and nutrient cycling.

Field: Linguistics

  • Analyzing the impact of language diversity on social integration and cultural identity.
  • Investigating the relationship between language and cognition in bilingual individuals.
  • Examining the effects of language contact and language change on linguistic diversity.
  • Investigating the role of language in shaping cultural norms and values.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of different language teaching methodologies for second language acquisition.
  • Investigating the relationship between language proficiency and academic achievement.
  • Examining the impact of language policy on language use and language attitudes.
  • Investigating the role of language in shaping gender and social identities.
  • Analyzing the effects of dialect contact on language variation and change.
  • Investigating the relationship between language and emotion expression.

Field: Political Science

  • Analyzing the impact of electoral systems on women’s political representation.
  • Investigating the relationship between political ideology and attitudes towards immigration.
  • Examining the effects of political polarization on democratic institutions and political stability.
  • Investigating the impact of social media on political participation and civic engagement.
  • Analyzing the effects of authoritarianism on human rights and civil liberties.
  • Investigating the relationship between public opinion and foreign policy decisions.
  • Examining the impact of international organizations on global governance and cooperation.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different conflict resolution strategies in resolving ethnic and religious conflicts.
  • Analyzing the effects of corruption on economic development and political stability.
  • Investigating the role of international law in regulating global governance and human rights.

Field: Medicine

  • Investigating the impact of lifestyle factors on chronic disease risk and prevention.
  • Examining the effectiveness of different treatment approaches for mental health disorders.
  • Investigating the relationship between genetics and disease susceptibility.
  • Analyzing the effects of social determinants of health on health outcomes and health disparities.
  • Investigating the impact of different healthcare delivery models on patient outcomes and cost effectiveness.
  • Examining the effectiveness of different prevention and treatment strategies for infectious diseases.
  • Investigating the relationship between healthcare provider communication skills and patient satisfaction and outcomes.
  • Analyzing the effects of medical error and patient safety on healthcare quality and outcomes.
  • Investigating the impact of different pharmaceutical pricing policies on access to essential medicines.
  • Examining the effectiveness of different rehabilitation approaches for improving function and quality of life in individuals with disabilities.

Field: Anthropology

  • Analyzing the impact of colonialism on indigenous cultures and identities.
  • Investigating the relationship between cultural practices and health outcomes in different populations.
  • Examining the effects of globalization on cultural diversity and cultural exchange.
  • Investigating the role of language in cultural transmission and preservation.
  • Analyzing the effects of cultural contact on cultural change and adaptation.
  • Investigating the impact of different migration policies on immigrant integration and acculturation.
  • Examining the role of gender and sexuality in cultural norms and values.
  • Investigating the impact of cultural heritage preservation on tourism and economic development.
  • Analyzing the effects of cultural revitalization movements on indigenous communities.

About the author

' src=

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

You may also like

Data collection

Data Collection – Methods Types and Examples


Delimitations in Research – Types, Examples and...

Research Process

Research Process – Steps, Examples and Tips

Research Design

Research Design – Types, Methods and Examples

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Institutional Review Board – Application Sample...

Evaluating Research

Evaluating Research – Process, Examples and...

Grad Coach

Research Design 101

Everything You Need To Get Started (With Examples)

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Reviewers: Eunice Rautenbach (DTech) & Kerryn Warren (PhD) | April 2023

Research design for qualitative and quantitative studies

Navigating the world of research can be daunting, especially if you’re a first-time researcher. One concept you’re bound to run into fairly early in your research journey is that of “ research design ”. Here, we’ll guide you through the basics using practical examples , so that you can approach your research with confidence.

Overview: Research Design 101

What is research design.

  • Research design types for quantitative studies
  • Video explainer : quantitative research design
  • Research design types for qualitative studies
  • Video explainer : qualitative research design
  • How to choose a research design
  • Key takeaways

Research design refers to the overall plan, structure or strategy that guides a research project , from its conception to the final data analysis. A good research design serves as the blueprint for how you, as the researcher, will collect and analyse data while ensuring consistency, reliability and validity throughout your study.

Understanding different types of research designs is essential as helps ensure that your approach is suitable  given your research aims, objectives and questions , as well as the resources you have available to you. Without a clear big-picture view of how you’ll design your research, you run the risk of potentially making misaligned choices in terms of your methodology – especially your sampling , data collection and data analysis decisions.

The problem with defining research design…

One of the reasons students struggle with a clear definition of research design is because the term is used very loosely across the internet, and even within academia.

Some sources claim that the three research design types are qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods , which isn’t quite accurate (these just refer to the type of data that you’ll collect and analyse). Other sources state that research design refers to the sum of all your design choices, suggesting it’s more like a research methodology . Others run off on other less common tangents. No wonder there’s confusion!

In this article, we’ll clear up the confusion. We’ll explain the most common research design types for both qualitative and quantitative research projects, whether that is for a full dissertation or thesis, or a smaller research paper or article.

Free Webinar: Research Methodology 101

Research Design: Quantitative Studies

Quantitative research involves collecting and analysing data in a numerical form. Broadly speaking, there are four types of quantitative research designs: descriptive , correlational , experimental , and quasi-experimental . 

Descriptive Research Design

As the name suggests, descriptive research design focuses on describing existing conditions, behaviours, or characteristics by systematically gathering information without manipulating any variables. In other words, there is no intervention on the researcher’s part – only data collection.

For example, if you’re studying smartphone addiction among adolescents in your community, you could deploy a survey to a sample of teens asking them to rate their agreement with certain statements that relate to smartphone addiction. The collected data would then provide insight regarding how widespread the issue may be – in other words, it would describe the situation.

The key defining attribute of this type of research design is that it purely describes the situation . In other words, descriptive research design does not explore potential relationships between different variables or the causes that may underlie those relationships. Therefore, descriptive research is useful for generating insight into a research problem by describing its characteristics . By doing so, it can provide valuable insights and is often used as a precursor to other research design types.

Correlational Research Design

Correlational design is a popular choice for researchers aiming to identify and measure the relationship between two or more variables without manipulating them . In other words, this type of research design is useful when you want to know whether a change in one thing tends to be accompanied by a change in another thing.

For example, if you wanted to explore the relationship between exercise frequency and overall health, you could use a correlational design to help you achieve this. In this case, you might gather data on participants’ exercise habits, as well as records of their health indicators like blood pressure, heart rate, or body mass index. Thereafter, you’d use a statistical test to assess whether there’s a relationship between the two variables (exercise frequency and health).

As you can see, correlational research design is useful when you want to explore potential relationships between variables that cannot be manipulated or controlled for ethical, practical, or logistical reasons. It is particularly helpful in terms of developing predictions , and given that it doesn’t involve the manipulation of variables, it can be implemented at a large scale more easily than experimental designs (which will look at next).

That said, it’s important to keep in mind that correlational research design has limitations – most notably that it cannot be used to establish causality . In other words, correlation does not equal causation . To establish causality, you’ll need to move into the realm of experimental design, coming up next…

Need a helping hand?

research study vs research project

Experimental Research Design

Experimental research design is used to determine if there is a causal relationship between two or more variables . With this type of research design, you, as the researcher, manipulate one variable (the independent variable) while controlling others (dependent variables). Doing so allows you to observe the effect of the former on the latter and draw conclusions about potential causality.

For example, if you wanted to measure if/how different types of fertiliser affect plant growth, you could set up several groups of plants, with each group receiving a different type of fertiliser, as well as one with no fertiliser at all. You could then measure how much each plant group grew (on average) over time and compare the results from the different groups to see which fertiliser was most effective.

Overall, experimental research design provides researchers with a powerful way to identify and measure causal relationships (and the direction of causality) between variables. However, developing a rigorous experimental design can be challenging as it’s not always easy to control all the variables in a study. This often results in smaller sample sizes , which can reduce the statistical power and generalisability of the results.

Moreover, experimental research design requires random assignment . This means that the researcher needs to assign participants to different groups or conditions in a way that each participant has an equal chance of being assigned to any group (note that this is not the same as random sampling ). Doing so helps reduce the potential for bias and confounding variables . This need for random assignment can lead to ethics-related issues . For example, withholding a potentially beneficial medical treatment from a control group may be considered unethical in certain situations.

Quasi-Experimental Research Design

Quasi-experimental research design is used when the research aims involve identifying causal relations , but one cannot (or doesn’t want to) randomly assign participants to different groups (for practical or ethical reasons). Instead, with a quasi-experimental research design, the researcher relies on existing groups or pre-existing conditions to form groups for comparison.

For example, if you were studying the effects of a new teaching method on student achievement in a particular school district, you may be unable to randomly assign students to either group and instead have to choose classes or schools that already use different teaching methods. This way, you still achieve separate groups, without having to assign participants to specific groups yourself.

Naturally, quasi-experimental research designs have limitations when compared to experimental designs. Given that participant assignment is not random, it’s more difficult to confidently establish causality between variables, and, as a researcher, you have less control over other variables that may impact findings.

All that said, quasi-experimental designs can still be valuable in research contexts where random assignment is not possible and can often be undertaken on a much larger scale than experimental research, thus increasing the statistical power of the results. What’s important is that you, as the researcher, understand the limitations of the design and conduct your quasi-experiment as rigorously as possible, paying careful attention to any potential confounding variables .

The four most common quantitative research design types are descriptive, correlational, experimental and quasi-experimental.

Research Design: Qualitative Studies

There are many different research design types when it comes to qualitative studies, but here we’ll narrow our focus to explore the “Big 4”. Specifically, we’ll look at phenomenological design, grounded theory design, ethnographic design, and case study design.

Phenomenological Research Design

Phenomenological design involves exploring the meaning of lived experiences and how they are perceived by individuals. This type of research design seeks to understand people’s perspectives , emotions, and behaviours in specific situations. Here, the aim for researchers is to uncover the essence of human experience without making any assumptions or imposing preconceived ideas on their subjects.

For example, you could adopt a phenomenological design to study why cancer survivors have such varied perceptions of their lives after overcoming their disease. This could be achieved by interviewing survivors and then analysing the data using a qualitative analysis method such as thematic analysis to identify commonalities and differences.

Phenomenological research design typically involves in-depth interviews or open-ended questionnaires to collect rich, detailed data about participants’ subjective experiences. This richness is one of the key strengths of phenomenological research design but, naturally, it also has limitations. These include potential biases in data collection and interpretation and the lack of generalisability of findings to broader populations.

Grounded Theory Research Design

Grounded theory (also referred to as “GT”) aims to develop theories by continuously and iteratively analysing and comparing data collected from a relatively large number of participants in a study. It takes an inductive (bottom-up) approach, with a focus on letting the data “speak for itself”, without being influenced by preexisting theories or the researcher’s preconceptions.

As an example, let’s assume your research aims involved understanding how people cope with chronic pain from a specific medical condition, with a view to developing a theory around this. In this case, grounded theory design would allow you to explore this concept thoroughly without preconceptions about what coping mechanisms might exist. You may find that some patients prefer cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) while others prefer to rely on herbal remedies. Based on multiple, iterative rounds of analysis, you could then develop a theory in this regard, derived directly from the data (as opposed to other preexisting theories and models).

Grounded theory typically involves collecting data through interviews or observations and then analysing it to identify patterns and themes that emerge from the data. These emerging ideas are then validated by collecting more data until a saturation point is reached (i.e., no new information can be squeezed from the data). From that base, a theory can then be developed .

As you can see, grounded theory is ideally suited to studies where the research aims involve theory generation , especially in under-researched areas. Keep in mind though that this type of research design can be quite time-intensive , given the need for multiple rounds of data collection and analysis.

research study vs research project

Ethnographic Research Design

Ethnographic design involves observing and studying a culture-sharing group of people in their natural setting to gain insight into their behaviours, beliefs, and values. The focus here is on observing participants in their natural environment (as opposed to a controlled environment). This typically involves the researcher spending an extended period of time with the participants in their environment, carefully observing and taking field notes .

All of this is not to say that ethnographic research design relies purely on observation. On the contrary, this design typically also involves in-depth interviews to explore participants’ views, beliefs, etc. However, unobtrusive observation is a core component of the ethnographic approach.

As an example, an ethnographer may study how different communities celebrate traditional festivals or how individuals from different generations interact with technology differently. This may involve a lengthy period of observation, combined with in-depth interviews to further explore specific areas of interest that emerge as a result of the observations that the researcher has made.

As you can probably imagine, ethnographic research design has the ability to provide rich, contextually embedded insights into the socio-cultural dynamics of human behaviour within a natural, uncontrived setting. Naturally, however, it does come with its own set of challenges, including researcher bias (since the researcher can become quite immersed in the group), participant confidentiality and, predictably, ethical complexities . All of these need to be carefully managed if you choose to adopt this type of research design.

Case Study Design

With case study research design, you, as the researcher, investigate a single individual (or a single group of individuals) to gain an in-depth understanding of their experiences, behaviours or outcomes. Unlike other research designs that are aimed at larger sample sizes, case studies offer a deep dive into the specific circumstances surrounding a person, group of people, event or phenomenon, generally within a bounded setting or context .

As an example, a case study design could be used to explore the factors influencing the success of a specific small business. This would involve diving deeply into the organisation to explore and understand what makes it tick – from marketing to HR to finance. In terms of data collection, this could include interviews with staff and management, review of policy documents and financial statements, surveying customers, etc.

While the above example is focused squarely on one organisation, it’s worth noting that case study research designs can have different variation s, including single-case, multiple-case and longitudinal designs. As you can see in the example, a single-case design involves intensely examining a single entity to understand its unique characteristics and complexities. Conversely, in a multiple-case design , multiple cases are compared and contrasted to identify patterns and commonalities. Lastly, in a longitudinal case design , a single case or multiple cases are studied over an extended period of time to understand how factors develop over time.

As you can see, a case study research design is particularly useful where a deep and contextualised understanding of a specific phenomenon or issue is desired. However, this strength is also its weakness. In other words, you can’t generalise the findings from a case study to the broader population. So, keep this in mind if you’re considering going the case study route.

Case study design often involves investigating an individual to gain an in-depth understanding of their experiences, behaviours or outcomes.

How To Choose A Research Design

Having worked through all of these potential research designs, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed and wondering, “ But how do I decide which research design to use? ”. While we could write an entire post covering that alone, here are a few factors to consider that will help you choose a suitable research design for your study.

Data type: The first determining factor is naturally the type of data you plan to be collecting – i.e., qualitative or quantitative. This may sound obvious, but we have to be clear about this – don’t try to use a quantitative research design on qualitative data (or vice versa)!

Research aim(s) and question(s): As with all methodological decisions, your research aim and research questions will heavily influence your research design. For example, if your research aims involve developing a theory from qualitative data, grounded theory would be a strong option. Similarly, if your research aims involve identifying and measuring relationships between variables, one of the experimental designs would likely be a better option.

Time: It’s essential that you consider any time constraints you have, as this will impact the type of research design you can choose. For example, if you’ve only got a month to complete your project, a lengthy design such as ethnography wouldn’t be a good fit.

Resources: Take into account the resources realistically available to you, as these need to factor into your research design choice. For example, if you require highly specialised lab equipment to execute an experimental design, you need to be sure that you’ll have access to that before you make a decision.

Keep in mind that when it comes to research, it’s important to manage your risks and play as conservatively as possible. If your entire project relies on you achieving a huge sample, having access to niche equipment or holding interviews with very difficult-to-reach participants, you’re creating risks that could kill your project. So, be sure to think through your choices carefully and make sure that you have backup plans for any existential risks. Remember that a relatively simple methodology executed well generally will typically earn better marks than a highly-complex methodology executed poorly.

research study vs research project

Recap: Key Takeaways

We’ve covered a lot of ground here. Let’s recap by looking at the key takeaways:

  • Research design refers to the overall plan, structure or strategy that guides a research project, from its conception to the final analysis of data.
  • Research designs for quantitative studies include descriptive , correlational , experimental and quasi-experimenta l designs.
  • Research designs for qualitative studies include phenomenological , grounded theory , ethnographic and case study designs.
  • When choosing a research design, you need to consider a variety of factors, including the type of data you’ll be working with, your research aims and questions, your time and the resources available to you.

If you need a helping hand with your research design (or any other aspect of your research), check out our private coaching services .

research study vs research project

Psst… there’s more (for free)

This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project. 

You Might Also Like:

Survey Design 101: The Basics

Is there any blog article explaining more on Case study research design? Is there a Case study write-up template? Thank you.

Solly Khan

Thanks this was quite valuable to clarify such an important concept.


Thanks for this simplified explanations. it is quite very helpful.


This was really helpful. thanks


Thank you for your explanation. I think case study research design and the use of secondary data in researches needs to be talked about more in your videos and articles because there a lot of case studies research design tailored projects out there.

Please is there any template for a case study research design whose data type is a secondary data on your repository?

Sam Msongole

This post is very clear, comprehensive and has been very helpful to me. It has cleared the confusion I had in regard to research design and methodology.

Robyn Pritchard

This post is helpful, easy to understand, and deconstructs what a research design is. Thanks


how to cite this page


Thank you very much for the post. It is wonderful and has cleared many worries in my mind regarding research designs. I really appreciate .

Submit a Comment Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

  • Print Friendly

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

  • Publications
  • Account settings

Preview improvements coming to the PMC website in October 2024. Learn More or Try it out now .

  • Advanced Search
  • Journal List
  • Int J Qual Health Care

Logo of intqhc

Research versus practice in quality improvement? Understanding how we can bridge the gap

Lisa r hirschhorn.

1 Department of Medical Social Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA

Rohit Ramaswamy

2 Department of Maternal and Child Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, 4107 McGavran-Greenberg Hall, CB #7469, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA

Mahesh Devnani

3 Department of Hospital Administration, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, OPD Block Sector 12, Chandigarh 160012, India

Abraham Wandersman

4 Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, 1512 pendleton st, Columbia, SC 29208, USA

Lisa A Simpson

5 AcademyHealth, 1666 K Street, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20006, USA

Ezequiel Garcia-Elorrio

6 Department of Health Care Quality and Patient Safety, Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy, Dr. Emilio Ravignani 2024 (C1414CPV), Buenos Aires, Argentina

The gap between implementers and researchers of quality improvement (QI) has hampered the degree and speed of change needed to reduce avoidable suffering and harm in health care. Underlying causes of this gap include differences in goals and incentives, preferred methodologies, level and types of evidence prioritized and targeted audiences. The Salzburg Global Seminar on ‘Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement?’ brought together researchers, policy makers, funders, implementers, evaluators from low-, middle- and high-income countries to explore how to increase the impact of QI. In this paper, we describe some of the reasons for this gap and offer suggestions to better bridge the chasm between researchers and implementers. Effectively bridging this gap can increase the generalizability of QI interventions, accelerate the spread of effective approaches while also strengthening the local work of implementers. Increasing the effectiveness of research and work in the field will support the knowledge translation needed to achieve quality Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.


After mixed results from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) strategy, the global agenda recognized the critical role of ensuring not just access but quality of health care delivery. As a result, quality and improvement have become a core focus within the Universal Health Coverage movement to achieve the goal of better population health and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)[ 1 – 3 ]. In low- and middle-income countries, quality improvement (QI) is used to identify performance gaps and implement improvement interventions to address these problems at the local, sub national and national levels. Methods used by these improvement interventions range from process improvements using incremental, cyclically implemented changes appropriate to the local context, to system-level interventions and policies to improve and sustain quality. Regardless of the scope of improvement efforts and methods employed, the impact and spread of QI has often fallen short. Causes of these lost opportunities include how decisions about improvement interventions are made, the methodology for measuring the effectiveness of the intervention, what data are collected and used and how the information on both the implementation and the intervention is communicated to drive spread and knowledge translation [ 4 , 5 ]. Practitioners engaged in improvement in their organizations are frustrated by research reviews which often show a lack of conclusiveness about the effectiveness of QI when many of them see the local benefits from their work. Researchers complain about the lack of rigor in the application of QI methods in practice sittings and about poor documentation of the implementation process [ 6 ].

There is a growing realization of the need for common ground between implementers and researchers that promotes use of more systematic and rigorous methods to assess the improvement intervention effectiveness when appropriate but does not demand that all QI implementations be subject to the experimental methods commonly considered to be the gold standard of evidence. To explore the causes of this gap and address how to bridge the gap and better engage the targeted consumers of generated knowledge, including communities, governments and funders, a session ‘Better Health Care: How do we learn about improvement?’ was organized by Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS) [ 7 ]. The session brought together experts from a range of fields and organizations, including researchers, improvement implementers from the field, policy makers, and representatives from countries and international organizations.

For a partnership between researchers and implementers to become more consistent in improvement projects and studies, the incentives and priorities of each of these groups need to be better aligned in QI work and its evaluation. In this paper, we build on the Salzburg discussions, existing literature, and our own experience to explore the barriers to collaboration and offer suggestions on how to start to address these barriers. In the spirit of quality improvement, we hope that these recommendations are adopted and tried by groups interested in advancing the research and the practice of QI.

Why the gap exists

Both groups use data to evaluate whether improvements have taken place and are interested in the question of ‘did it work’. However, these gaps have occurred in part because of differences in goals, evidence needs and methods used and incentives for results and dissemination.

As we consider the major differences between researchers and implementers, we should recognize that there is not a clearly defined dichotomy between these two groups. Rather, those who are focused on in improvement are part of a continuum and are driven by a range of goals from driving and demonstrating local improvements to a focus on attributing these improvements to QI methods that can be generalized and spread, as illustrated in Table ​ Table1, 1 , which also describes differences in incentives, discussed further below. Organization-based implementers focus on quality improvement projects, where the primary goal is driving change to a local problem to improve care. Policy and decision makers' goals are broader improvement, needing evidence for current and future decision on what methods and implementation strategies to use. Researchers have a goal of developing new and generalizable knowledge about the effectiveness of QI methods.

Selected participants and stakeholders in quality improvement work and research and their incentives and goals

Incentives for results and dissemination

The differences in goals and evidence are related to often competing incentives. Implementers are incentivized to improve quality and meet the demands of stakeholders, whether local communities, government or funders. Researchers are rewarded through dissemination of evidence in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, research grants and academic promotions. Policy makers are rewarded by timely response to gaps with broad visible changes in their populations. Timeframes of these incentives are also often different, with the most rigorous studies taking years to measure impact, followed by careful analysis and dissemination. Implementers and policy makers, however, are often under pressure to show short-term change and respond to new and emerging issues even as they continue with existing improvement work.

The goals of documentation and dissemination of projects can also differ between researchers and implementers and their stakeholders. There is a strong recognition that the evidence generated by even the best QI efforts is not effectively translated into further spread and adoption [ 8 ]. This is because implementers working on QI interventions in their organizations are incentivized by improvement and do not usually have a demand to document their work beyond communication with organizational leaders. While there are growing venues for sharing of case reports through learning collaboratives and local meetings designed to facilitate peer learning, this documentation typically involves a description of the process of implementation, but not at a level of detail or rigor of value to researchers and the broader community. There are a number of disincentives for implementers to increase the rigor and detail of their local work including competing demands to deliver services and ongoing improvement, and the paucity of journals interested in publishing even well- documented local results because they prioritize rigorous results of evaluations with strong designs involving carefully constructed QI research studies. Researchers are incentivized by more academic dissemination through these peer-reviewed journals and presentation at conferences. This nonalignment results in practitioners being deprived of access to broader venues to disseminate their work and researchers losing rich contextual data that is critically important to evaluate the effectiveness of QI.

Evidence needed and methods prioritized

The differences in the goals and incentives of different stakeholders lead to differences in the amount of evidence that is considered adequate and the methods used to generate this evidence. Implementers are interested in the evidence of change in their local projects, with less emphasis on transferring or generalizing what they did for use in other settings. They may rely on a combination of pre-and-post intervention data, QI statistical methods such as run charts and tacit organizational knowledge to assess the evidence of change in their projects. Policy makers have an interest in evidence which is robust enough from the QI to inform resource allocation, but may still have a focus on a specific geography rather than generalizability at scale. They are interested in generalizable knowledge about successful QI methods, but are sensitive to the burden and costs and time of requiring rigorous research methods on implementing groups.

Researchers aim for evidence which is robust enough to provide globally relevant conclusions with limited threats to internal validity. This group is most supportive of the use of rigorous experimental research designs to generate the highest possible standards of evidence. Traditionally, this had been limited to a small set of rigid experimental designs with appropriate controls or comparison groups driven in part by research funders and academic standards to be able to attribute change to the improvement interventions. This set of designs has been expanding in the past few years as better understanding of the value of quasi-experimental methods has emerged. [ 9 , 10 ]

Why better alignment is needed

QI interventions differ from many fixed clinical or public health interventions [ 11 ]. In this supplement, Ramaswamy and others describe QI interventions as complex (multi-pronged and context-specific) interventions in complex systems (non-linear pathways and emergent behaviors). For better learning from QI, implementers, policy makers and researchers both need to know not just effectiveness (the focus of local measurement, outcomes research and impact evaluation) but also 'how and why' the change happened (implementation), cost and sustainability ensuring that the evidence produced will be more relevant to the stakeholders at the local and broader level. Therefore, finding a common ground through ‘development of a culture of partnership’ [ 12 ] to co-identify appropriate methods and data collection to understand and disseminate implementation strategies is critical to inform how to how to create the different knowledge products: generalizable evidence for dissemination (researchers), insights into how to scale (policy makers) and how to sustain the improvements (implementers) [ 13 ]. A well-known and commonly cited example is the Surgical Safety Checklist, which was found to improve adherence to evidence-based practices and save lives across a range of settings [ 14 ]. However, attempts to replicate these successes were not always effective since capturing generalizable knowledge on how to introduce and support the implementation of this intervention with fidelity was not part of the original research dissemination, [ 15 ] a lesson understood by the original researchers and addressed through accompanying toolkits [ 16 ].

Another important area where collaboration between implementers and researchers is needed to improve learning from QI in understanding the impact of different contextual factors to identify which aspects of an improvement intervention are generalizable, which are context-specific and which are critical to address when planning replication. During the seminar, a study of antenatal corticosteroids (ANCS), an intervention found in higher income settings to reduce death among premature infants, was discussed to identify how contextual factors can be better addressed through local knowledge to inform implementation [ 17 ]. The randomized controlled trial showed that implementation of ANCS in low-resource settings resulted in increased mortality among some of the infants who were given steroids; the published conclusion was that ANCS was not a recommended improvement intervention in these settings. The group identified the gap in the translation of ANCS use from resource richer settings did not consider the different contextual factors which required adaption such as the lack of capacity to accurately determine prematurity needed to determine eligibility for the steroids.

Starting the work to bridge the gap

Based on the reasons for the gaps identified above, we recommend a number of initial steps to better bridge the gap between researchers and implementers:

  • Aligning project goals and joint planning : Before QI projects get launched, the initial work must start with implementers and researchers discussing and agreeing on the goals and objectives of the work including and beyond local improvement. In addition to alignment of improvement goals, all stakeholders must be engaged at the start of the QI project to agree on the purposes and uses of the results, local learning or broader dissemination or both. This work needs to happen at the design phase and continue with ongoing planned communication throughout the work. This will ensure that all stakeholders are jointly engaged in identifying the most appropriate research questions and the most appropriate methods to answer them.

The need to understand both process and context in the evaluation and study of QI interventions also cannot be accomplished without engaging both researchers and practitioners in the process [ 13 ]. The knowledge about how the project was implemented, and what was relevant to the context often resides with those responsible for implementation. However, as mentioned previously, the implementers often have neither the incentives nor the support to systematically document and disseminate this knowledge in a way that makes it available for general use. Researchers can play a key role in influencing the QI research integration by supporting systematic documentation of the implementation process in addition to an evaluation of outcomes and by partnering with implementers to make this happen. Introduction of adaptive designs such as SMART trials into improvement research may also offer a common ground where improvement implementers and researchers can collaborate introducing use of data to make mid-course changes to the implementation design.

  • Building implementer research capacity. Building capacity of implementers as potential producers of and better consumers of research and evaluation results in another important approach to bridge the gap. For example, empowerment evaluation is designed to increase the likelihood that programs will achieve results by increasing the capacity of program stakeholders to plan, implement and evaluate their own program [ 19 ]. Building capacity within implementing organizations through technical support provided by researchers for interested implementers can establish a viable infrastructure for practitioners and researchers to work together more effectively. For example, multi-year research practice partnerships in facilities in Kenya has led to sustainable QI programs with dissemination of methods and results through co-authored peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations [ 20 ] Similar results were seen for research capacity building targeting implementers in the Africa Health Initiative in five countries in Africa [ 21 ]. Support for practice-based researchers to build their capacity in QI and in process evaluation using implementation science methods can also increase the potential of improvement projects to produce the knowledge needed about the implementation to spread learning within and beyond their organization.
  • Aligning incentives to drive collaboration : Creating areas of shared incentives will require initiatives from funders and universities to appreciate the higher value of co-produced research, reward capacity building of researchers in the field and fund innovative models of embedded research where researchers are part of or embedded into the implementing organization [ 22 ]. In addition, offering opportunities for meaningful participation in research and building capacity for this work among implementers has also been associated with better improvement and dissemination [ 23 ].
  • Simplifying documentation for dissemination of learning : As mentioned earlier, it is useful for both implementers and researchers if documenting the implementation of QI programs becomes part of routine practice. However, this will not happen without simplifying documentation standards. SQUIRE and TiDieR guidelines are very helpful for academic publications. However, they are not always a good fit for projects whose primary purpose is not research but who have the potential to add to the knowledge needed to improve QI [ 24 , 25 ]. Researchers could partner with implementers to develop simpler, practice-based research guidelines and to create other venues such as through existing organizations focused on quality and improvement where methods and results could be posted using these guidelines without a formal peer-review process. Templates and examples could be provided to improve the quality of documentation as well as editorial staff to assist with structure and formatting. The incentive for implementers is to get their stories told, and at the same time provide an opportunity for researchers to get data on where to focus further research. In addition, there are growing options to share knowledge and research findings such as the WHO Global Learning Lab for Quality UHC which provides a forum for implementers to disseminate work available to broader community [ 26 ].

To improve learning from and effectiveness of QI work requires involvement and collaboration between both researchers and practitioners. Researchers can advance the field by creating generalizable knowledge on the effectiveness of interventions and on implementation strategies and practitioners improve outcomes on the ground by implementing QI interventions. By increasing the collaboration, more systematic evaluations of interventions in local contexts and better design of research will result in production of the generalizable knowledge needed to increase the impact of QI. In order for this to take place, there needs to be an intentional effort to address the gaps that challenge researchers and practitioners working together. This can occur by aligning incentives, increasing the value and utility of produced research to implementers, and as a shared community developing new guidance to bring these different groups to more effective collaboration. The growing experience in QI and improvement science offers many opportunities for better collaboration between researchers and implementers to increase the value of this partnership to accelerating progress toward quality Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.

M.D. received financial support from SGS to attend this seminar.

Study Site Homepage

  • Request new password
  • Create a new account

The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project

Student resources.

Examples of Student Research Projects

research study vs research project

  • Aims and Objectives – A Guide for Academic Writing
  • Doing a PhD

One of the most important aspects of a thesis, dissertation or research paper is the correct formulation of the aims and objectives. This is because your aims and objectives will establish the scope, depth and direction that your research will ultimately take. An effective set of aims and objectives will give your research focus and your reader clarity, with your aims indicating what is to be achieved, and your objectives indicating how it will be achieved.


There is no getting away from the importance of the aims and objectives in determining the success of your research project. Unfortunately, however, it is an aspect that many students struggle with, and ultimately end up doing poorly. Given their importance, if you suspect that there is even the smallest possibility that you belong to this group of students, we strongly recommend you read this page in full.

This page describes what research aims and objectives are, how they differ from each other, how to write them correctly, and the common mistakes students make and how to avoid them. An example of a good aim and objectives from a past thesis has also been deconstructed to help your understanding.

What Are Aims and Objectives?

Research aims.

A research aim describes the main goal or the overarching purpose of your research project.

In doing so, it acts as a focal point for your research and provides your readers with clarity as to what your study is all about. Because of this, research aims are almost always located within its own subsection under the introduction section of a research document, regardless of whether it’s a thesis , a dissertation, or a research paper .

A research aim is usually formulated as a broad statement of the main goal of the research and can range in length from a single sentence to a short paragraph. Although the exact format may vary according to preference, they should all describe why your research is needed (i.e. the context), what it sets out to accomplish (the actual aim) and, briefly, how it intends to accomplish it (overview of your objectives).

To give an example, we have extracted the following research aim from a real PhD thesis:

Example of a Research Aim

The role of diametrical cup deformation as a factor to unsatisfactory implant performance has not been widely reported. The aim of this thesis was to gain an understanding of the diametrical deformation behaviour of acetabular cups and shells following impaction into the reamed acetabulum. The influence of a range of factors on deformation was investigated to ascertain if cup and shell deformation may be high enough to potentially contribute to early failure and high wear rates in metal-on-metal implants.

Note: Extracted with permission from thesis titled “T he Impact And Deformation Of Press-Fit Metal Acetabular Components ” produced by Dr H Hothi of previously Queen Mary University of London.

Research Objectives

Where a research aim specifies what your study will answer, research objectives specify how your study will answer it.

They divide your research aim into several smaller parts, each of which represents a key section of your research project. As a result, almost all research objectives take the form of a numbered list, with each item usually receiving its own chapter in a dissertation or thesis.

Following the example of the research aim shared above, here are it’s real research objectives as an example:

Example of a Research Objective

  • Develop finite element models using explicit dynamics to mimic mallet blows during cup/shell insertion, initially using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum.
  • Investigate the number, velocity and position of impacts needed to insert a cup.
  • Determine the relationship between the size of interference between the cup and cavity and deformation for different cup types.
  • Investigate the influence of non-uniform cup support and varying the orientation of the component in the cavity on deformation.
  • Examine the influence of errors during reaming of the acetabulum which introduce ovality to the cavity.
  • Determine the relationship between changes in the geometry of the component and deformation for different cup designs.
  • Develop three dimensional pelvis models with non-uniform bone material properties from a range of patients with varying bone quality.
  • Use the key parameters that influence deformation, as identified in the foam models to determine the range of deformations that may occur clinically using the anatomic models and if these deformations are clinically significant.

It’s worth noting that researchers sometimes use research questions instead of research objectives, or in other cases both. From a high-level perspective, research questions and research objectives make the same statements, but just in different formats.

Taking the first three research objectives as an example, they can be restructured into research questions as follows:

Restructuring Research Objectives as Research Questions

  • Can finite element models using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum together with explicit dynamics be used to mimic mallet blows during cup/shell insertion?
  • What is the number, velocity and position of impacts needed to insert a cup?
  • What is the relationship between the size of interference between the cup and cavity and deformation for different cup types?

Difference Between Aims and Objectives

Hopefully the above explanations make clear the differences between aims and objectives, but to clarify:

  • The research aim focus on what the research project is intended to achieve; research objectives focus on how the aim will be achieved.
  • Research aims are relatively broad; research objectives are specific.
  • Research aims focus on a project’s long-term outcomes; research objectives focus on its immediate, short-term outcomes.
  • A research aim can be written in a single sentence or short paragraph; research objectives should be written as a numbered list.

How to Write Aims and Objectives

Before we discuss how to write a clear set of research aims and objectives, we should make it clear that there is no single way they must be written. Each researcher will approach their aims and objectives slightly differently, and often your supervisor will influence the formulation of yours on the basis of their own preferences.

Regardless, there are some basic principles that you should observe for good practice; these principles are described below.

Your aim should be made up of three parts that answer the below questions:

  • Why is this research required?
  • What is this research about?
  • How are you going to do it?

The easiest way to achieve this would be to address each question in its own sentence, although it does not matter whether you combine them or write multiple sentences for each, the key is to address each one.

The first question, why , provides context to your research project, the second question, what , describes the aim of your research, and the last question, how , acts as an introduction to your objectives which will immediately follow.

Scroll through the image set below to see the ‘why, what and how’ associated with our research aim example.

Explaining aims vs objectives

Note: Your research aims need not be limited to one. Some individuals per to define one broad ‘overarching aim’ of a project and then adopt two or three specific research aims for their thesis or dissertation. Remember, however, that in order for your assessors to consider your research project complete, you will need to prove you have fulfilled all of the aims you set out to achieve. Therefore, while having more than one research aim is not necessarily disadvantageous, consider whether a single overarching one will do.

Research Objectives

Each of your research objectives should be SMART :

  • Specific – is there any ambiguity in the action you are going to undertake, or is it focused and well-defined?
  • Measurable – how will you measure progress and determine when you have achieved the action?
  • Achievable – do you have the support, resources and facilities required to carry out the action?
  • Relevant – is the action essential to the achievement of your research aim?
  • Timebound – can you realistically complete the action in the available time alongside your other research tasks?

In addition to being SMART, your research objectives should start with a verb that helps communicate your intent. Common research verbs include:

Table of Research Verbs to Use in Aims and Objectives

Last, format your objectives into a numbered list. This is because when you write your thesis or dissertation, you will at times need to make reference to a specific research objective; structuring your research objectives in a numbered list will provide a clear way of doing this.

To bring all this together, let’s compare the first research objective in the previous example with the above guidance:

Checking Research Objective Example Against Recommended Approach

Research Objective:

1. Develop finite element models using explicit dynamics to mimic mallet blows during cup/shell insertion, initially using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum.

Checking Against Recommended Approach:

Q: Is it specific? A: Yes, it is clear what the student intends to do (produce a finite element model), why they intend to do it (mimic cup/shell blows) and their parameters have been well-defined ( using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum ).

Q: Is it measurable? A: Yes, it is clear that the research objective will be achieved once the finite element model is complete.

Q: Is it achievable? A: Yes, provided the student has access to a computer lab, modelling software and laboratory data.

Q: Is it relevant? A: Yes, mimicking impacts to a cup/shell is fundamental to the overall aim of understanding how they deform when impacted upon.

Q: Is it timebound? A: Yes, it is possible to create a limited-scope finite element model in a relatively short time, especially if you already have experience in modelling.

Q: Does it start with a verb? A: Yes, it starts with ‘develop’, which makes the intent of the objective immediately clear.

Q: Is it a numbered list? A: Yes, it is the first research objective in a list of eight.

Mistakes in Writing Research Aims and Objectives

1. making your research aim too broad.

Having a research aim too broad becomes very difficult to achieve. Normally, this occurs when a student develops their research aim before they have a good understanding of what they want to research. Remember that at the end of your project and during your viva defence , you will have to prove that you have achieved your research aims; if they are too broad, this will be an almost impossible task. In the early stages of your research project, your priority should be to narrow your study to a specific area. A good way to do this is to take the time to study existing literature, question their current approaches, findings and limitations, and consider whether there are any recurring gaps that could be investigated .

Note: Achieving a set of aims does not necessarily mean proving or disproving a theory or hypothesis, even if your research aim was to, but having done enough work to provide a useful and original insight into the principles that underlie your research aim.

2. Making Your Research Objectives Too Ambitious

Be realistic about what you can achieve in the time you have available. It is natural to want to set ambitious research objectives that require sophisticated data collection and analysis, but only completing this with six months before the end of your PhD registration period is not a worthwhile trade-off.

3. Formulating Repetitive Research Objectives

Each research objective should have its own purpose and distinct measurable outcome. To this effect, a common mistake is to form research objectives which have large amounts of overlap. This makes it difficult to determine when an objective is truly complete, and also presents challenges in estimating the duration of objectives when creating your project timeline. It also makes it difficult to structure your thesis into unique chapters, making it more challenging for you to write and for your audience to read.

Fortunately, this oversight can be easily avoided by using SMART objectives.

Hopefully, you now have a good idea of how to create an effective set of aims and objectives for your research project, whether it be a thesis, dissertation or research paper. While it may be tempting to dive directly into your research, spending time on getting your aims and objectives right will give your research clear direction. This won’t only reduce the likelihood of problems arising later down the line, but will also lead to a more thorough and coherent research project.

Finding a PhD has never been this easy – search for a PhD by keyword, location or academic area of interest.

Browse PhDs Now

Join thousands of students.

Join thousands of other students and stay up to date with the latest PhD programmes, funding opportunities and advice.

Letpub, Scientific Editing Services, Manuscript Editing Service

  •      Language Editing     For Manuscripts    For Response Letter new    For LaTeX    For Annual Review and Tenure    For Books new
  •      Scientific Editing     For Manuscripts    For Response Letter new
  •      Grant Editing 
  •      Translation 
  • Publication Support  Journal Recommendation  Manuscript Formatting  Figure Formatting  Data Analysis new  Plagiarism Check  Conference Poster  Plain Language Summary
  • Scientific Illustration  Journal Cover Design  Graphical Abstract  Infographic  Custom Illustration
  • Scientific Videos  Video Abstract  Explainer Video  Scientific Animation
  • Ethics and Confidentiality
  • Editorial Certificate
  • Testimonials
  • Design Gallery
  • Institutional Provider
  • Publisher Portal
  • Brand Localization
  • Journal Selector Tool
  • Learning Nexus

Research vs. study

The confusion about these words is that they can both be either nouns or verbs. If you ask someone, "Does 'studies' mean the same as 'researches'?" you may hear "Yes," but it is only true if they are used as verbs. As nouns, they have subtly different meanings.

"This team has done a lot of good research. I just read their latest study, which they wrote about calcium in germinating soybeans. It described several interesting experiments."

research 1. to perform a systematic investigation

1. "What kind of scientist is he? He's a botanist. He researches plants."

study 1. to perform a systematic investigation; 2. to actively learn or memorize academic material

1. "What kind of scientist is he? He's a botanist. He studies plants."

2. "Mindy studies every day. That is why she gets such excellent grades. She wants to go to college to study math."

Some authors say "research" when they mean "study." "Research," as a verb, means "to perform a study or studies," but "research" as a noun refers to the sum of many studies. "Chemical research" means the sum of all chemical studies. If you find yourself writing "a research" or "in this research," change it to "a study" or "in this study."

research The act of performing research. Also, the results of research. Note that "research" is a mass noun. It is already plural in meaning but grammatically singular. If you want to indicate more than one type, say "bodies of research" or "pieces of research," not "researches."

"Dr. Lee was a prolific scientist. She performed a great deal of research over her long career."

study A single research project or paper.

"Dr. Lee was a prolific scientist. She performed a great many studies over her long career."

The noun "study" refers to a single paper or project. You can replace "paper" with "study" in almost all cases (but not always the other way around), to the point where you can say "I wrote a study." The noun "research" means more like a whole body of research including many individual studies: The research of a field. The lifetime achievements of a scientist or research team.

Quick Links

  • Language Editing Service
  • Expert Scientific Editing Service
  • Professional Translation Service
  • Formatting Service
  • Figure Preparation Service

Intentional Space Tag

Contact us  

Your name *

Your email *

Your message *

Please fill in all fields and provide a valid email.

research study vs research project

© 2010-2024  ACCDON LLC 400 5 th Ave, Suite 530, Waltham, MA 02451, USA Privacy • Terms of Service

© 2010-2024 United States: ACCDON LLC Tel: 1-781-202-9968 Email: [email protected]

Address: 400 5 th Ave, Suite 530, Waltham, Massachusetts 02451, United States

research study vs research project

Please log in to save materials. Log in

What'S The Difference Between A Project And A Research Project?

What'S The Difference Between A Project And A Research Project?

Be sure to read previous customer reviews and compare prices before making your decision. You can check the services offered, pricing policy, terms, reviews and guarantees. In addition, you can use the provided lists of the best services to get detailed information on guarantees, pricing policy, quality of documents, as well as see real reviews and reviews.    It is always important to work with legal services that can guarantee maximum confidentiality and no plagiarism in documents. To get a perfectly written online document, you need to hire the best online writing assistance company. There are many great online services to help you write your essay quickly and efficiently. Start by reading reviews and find several article writing websites to check them out.

best essay writing service reviews 2022

However, the main difference is that while an academic research proposal is for a specific line of research, a project proposal is for approval of a relatively smaller enterprise or scientific scheme; most often, project proposals are written with the intent of obtaining support in the form of budget penalties and permission to devote time and effort to the chosen project. Here it must be remembered that the forms, procedures and principles of academic research proposals are much more rigorous than for project proposals; it goes without saying that even the standard is much more demanding than in the project proposals. 

While format, length, and content may vary, the overall goal of academic research proposals and project proposals remains the same: approval by supervisors, academic committees, or reviews . This article will discuss the complexities of academic research proposals and project proposals, thereby helping readers understand the differences between the two. The following steps describe a simple and effective research paper writing strategy.  You will most likely start your research with a working, preliminary, or preliminary thesis, which you will refine until you are sure where the evidence leads. The thesis says what you believe and what you are going to prove. Good thesis statement distinguishes a thoughtful research project from a mere review of the facts. A good experimental thesis will help you focus your search for information. 

Before embarking on serious research, do some preliminary research to determine if there is enough information for your needs and to set the context for your research. Now that the direction of your research is clear to you, you can start searching for material on your topic. Choose a topic on which you can find an acceptable amount of information.  People wishing to publish the results of a quality assurance project should read this guide. Worksheets for assessing whether a quality assurance activity is also exploratory The following are two worksheets to help researchers determine whether to consult with the IRB before starting a quality assurance project. 

The main similarity between a thesis and a research project is that both can be inserted as academic papers. To understand the difference between a thesis and a research project, it is necessary to understand the similarities between the two terms. A dissertation is much more thorough than a research project; is a collection of various studies carried out in the field of study, which includes a critical analysis of their results. It aims to present and justify the necessity and importance of conducting research, as well as to present practical ways of conducting research. In addition, he should discuss the main issues and questions that the researcher will raise during the course of the study. Take on a topic that can be adequately covered in the given project format. A strong thesis is provocative; takes a stand and justifies the discussion you present. 

It contains the introduction, problematic hypothesis, objectives, hypothesis, methodology, rationale, and implications of the research project. The information collected during the study culminates in an application document such as policy recommendations, curriculum development, or program evaluation. The purpose of a design study is to collect information that will help solve an identifiable problem in a specific context. The purpose of design research is not to add to our understanding of research on a topic. The key difference between design research and a dissertation is that design research does not start from a research problem. The main difference between a terminating project and a thesis is that a terminating project addresses a specific problem, problem, or problem in your field of study, while a dissertation attempts to create new knowledge. The final project focuses on a narrow and specific topic, while the dissertation addresses a broader and more general issue. 

The main difference between projects and programs is usually that projects are designed to produce results while programs are designed to achieve business results. Obviously, there are some similarities between projects and programs, namely that they are both interested in change, i.e., in creating something new, and both require the use of a team to achieve a goal. To make the difference between project and programme more concrete, let's look at a practical example of the difference between project and programme. But to understand the difference, you need to start by understanding the definitions of projects and programmes. In a project portfolio, each project is responsible for managing multiple projects. The figure also highlights the differences between the project management level and the program and portfolio. 

Program Managers Project Managers Program Managers create the overall plans that are used to manage projects. Project management has a defined timeline with a defined deliverable that determines the end date. The program manager defines the vision, which is especially important when he oversees several projects at the same time. Program managers need to think strategically, especially as they often have to negotiate between different organizations and sometimes between multiple projects interacting over a program. Indeed, some of these projects can be so large and complex that they are programs in their own right. Thus, our software projects will only be one of the projects controlled by the program. Project Report Research Report Mainly focuses on achieving the desired outcome of the project. The focus is on providing information derived from data and problem analysis. A project report, as the name suggests, is simply a report that provides useful and important information to make better business decisions and also helps in project management. 

Conversely, a research report defines what is being sought, sources of data collection, how data is collected (for example, a research report focuses on the results of a completed research work. The research proposal has been submitted, evaluated, taking into account a number of factors, such as the associated costs , potential impact, soundness of the project implementation plan This is usually a request for research funding on the subject of study.  Instead, the research report is prepared after the project is completed. The research proposal is written in the future, the time used in the research report is past because it is written in the third person. Research proposals are approximately 4-10 pages in length. On the other hand, research consists of proving the main thesis backed up by evidence and data. Originality and personal research are important components of a dissertation. This dissertation engages the student in stimulating or provocative research and shows a level of thinking that opens up new horizons. Researching and writing an article will be more enjoyable if you are writing about something interesting. 


Office of Research Wordmark

  • HRP Staff Directory
  • Office Hours
  • Quality Improvement Project vs. Research
  • Self Exempt & UROP
  • Case Reports
  • Commercial IRB Reliance Agreements
  • National Cancer Institute Central IRB (CIRB) Independent Review Process
  • UCI as the Reviewing IRB
  • Submitting the Application
  • Lead Researcher Eligibility
  • Training & Education
  • Ethical Guidelines, Regulations and Statutes
  • Other Institutional Requirements
  • Department of Defense Research Requirements
  • Levels of Review
  • Data Security
  • Protected Health Information (HIPAA)
  • European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR)
  • China’s Personal Information Protection Law
  • Required Elements of Informed Consent
  • Drafting the Informed Consent Form
  • Consent and Non-English or Disabled Subjects
  • Use Of Surrogate Consent In Research
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Data and Safety Monitoring for Clinical Research
  • Placebo-Controlled Studies
  • Expanded Access to Unapproved Drugs or Biologics
  • Right to Try: Unapproved Drugs or Biologics
  • Use of Controlled Substances
  • Expanded Access to Unapproved Medical Devices
  • Humanitarian Use Devices
  • Human Gene Transfer Research
  • How To Register and Update Your Study
  • Post-Review Responsibilities

Quality Improvement Projects vs  Quality Improvement Research Activities

In general, a quality improvement (QI) project does not need to be submitted to the IRB. The comparison chart below is intended to help you determine whether an activity is a "Project or "Research"

EQUIP TIPS Additional Guidance:

Qi project vs. qi research , definitions.


An activity that is specifically initiated with a goal of improving the performance of institutional practices in relationship to an established standard.

However, if a project was originally initiated as a local QI project but the findings are of interest and the project investigator chooses to expand the findings into a research study, IRB review would be required at that time.

QI Research

An activity that is initiated with a goal of improving the performance of institutional practices in relationship to an established standard , with the intent to contribute to generalizable knowledge (“widely applicable”)

Meets the definition of Human Subjects Research :

  • Human Subjects

Core Elements

Core  Elements

HIPAA Rule:   the following activities are considered “ healthcare operations ” (they are not considered “research” ):

  • Conducting quality assessment and improvement activities, including outcomes evaluation and development of clinical guidelines, if the obtaining of generalizable knowledge is not the primary purpose of studies resulting from the activities
  • Population-based activities relating to improving health or reducing healthcare costs
  • [Clinical] protocol development, case management and care coordination


  • HIPAA Rule does not require a covered entity to secure individual authorization (nor a waiver) for use or disclosure of PHI for these activities, as long as the covered entity describes the activities in its Notice of Privacy Practices
  • “Release to” section:  UCI faculty/resident name
  • “Purpose” section:  QI activity publication
  • the signed authorization should be uploaded and maintained in the patient’s record; note, the patient has the right to ask for a copy of the signed authorization form
  • translated HIPAA Authorizations

Privacy and confidentiality:  A QI activity retains the standard for ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of the population and data being accessed and studied; also, review the above note regarding HIPAA Authorization

Intent:  generate generalizable results

Additional risk or burden:  the project includes risks or burdens beyond the standard of practice to make the results generalizable

Design:  involves randomization or an element that may be considered less (or more) than standard of care

HIPAA Rule:  requirements for waiving informed consent and/or waiving the requirements for documentation of informed consent must be met




  • Journals and conference platforms typically ask whether your project received an IRB review
  • Recommendation: submission of a NHSR determination request and maintain the IRB email determination for the life of the project
  • Submit a non-human subject research (NHSR) determination request via Kuali Research (KR) Protocols .


  • Publications must describe the activity as a “project” and NOT use the term "research" ; also, review the above note regarding HIPAA Authorization

IRB review:  activities that meet the definition of Human Subjects Research require IRB review

  • How to apply  

Additonal Resources

  • EQUIP-TIPS Quality Improvement Project vs. Research Guidance
  • 45 CFR 46. 102(e)(1) :  Federal Policy’s definition of Human Subject (v 2018)
  • 45 CFR 46. 102(l) :  Federal Policy’s definition of Research (v 2018)
  • 45 CFR 46 (v 2018):  Preamble for Quality Improvement Activities
  • IRB Ethics & Human Research, Vol 39(3), May-June 2017, Pages 1-10
  • 45 CFR 164.506 (2013):  Definition of Health Care Operations
  • IRB Ethics & Human Research, Vol 35(5), September-October 2013, Pages 1-8
  • Research Compliance Professional’s Handbook, 2nd Edition, 2013, Chapter 8, Page 79
  • OHRP Quality Improvement Activities FAQ (2010)
  • Institutional Review Board, Management and Function, 2nd Edition, 2006, Chapter 4-3, Pages 102-103
  • 2005 California Senate Bill 13 (SB 13) (*when applicable)
  • Example of a published QI Project

Office of Compliance

  • Occupational Safety
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Programs and Policies
  • False Claims Act
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • News & Announcements
  • OUHSC Institutional Review Board
  • Norman Campus Institutional Review Board
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Study Participants
  • Accessibility and Disability Resource Center
  • Compliance Quality Assurance
  • HIPAA Compliance Office
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Meeting Dates
  • Additional Resources
  • OU Norman IBC
  • Institutional Review Board
  • EHSO Safety Training
  • HIPAA Training

Quality Improvement (QI) Projects vs. Research

This guidance is intended to help investigators understand the overall difference between research activities and non-research QI activities, and it is not represented as official policy. Additionally, there may be other activities or characteristics not described below that may or may not meet the definition of research involving human subjects. Please refer to the regulatory definitions for "research" and "human subject" as well as other resources provided below. Anyone requiring an official determination about a project should submit the Determination of Human Research Worksheet in iRIS for IRB review .

QI Projects and IRB Review

Determining if a proposed project is a non-research quality improvement (QI) activity or research involving human subjects is challenging. Federal regulations define research as "a systematic investigation , including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge ".

By design, many QI projects are systematic in nature. Most QI projects do not meet the definition of research though because they are not designed to be generalizable. Research studies are intended to create new knowledge that can be generalizable to other populations and settings, while QI in healthcare uses existing knowledge to improve health care outcomes within a local health care institution or setting.

It is important to note that some QI projects may also be research ( systematic and generalizable) and therefore require IRB approval. The table below illustrates some of the key differences between research and (non-research) QI.

*Adapted in part from VCU Research vs. Quality Improvement Comparison and CHOP IRB: Is this Quality Improvement?


Quality Improvement: an activity that is specifically initiated with a goal of improving the performance of institutional practices in relationship to an established standard.  

Research: a systematic investigation , including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge .

  • Systematic Investigation: an activity that involves a prospective plan that incorporates data collection, either quantitative or qualitative, and data analysis to answer a question.  
  • Results that are applicable to a larger population beyond the site of data collection or the specific subjects studied.
  • Results that are intended to be used to develop, test, or support theories, principles, and statements of relationships, or to inform policy beyond the study or internal program.  

Human Subject: a living individual about whom an investigator conducting research:

  • Obtains information or biospecimens through intervention or interaction with the individual, and uses, studies, or analyzes the information or biospecimens; or
  • Obtains, uses, studies, analyzes, or generates identifiable private information or identifiable biospecimens.

FAQs about QI Projects and Research

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about QI Projects are provided below. These FAQs come from the Office for Human Research Protection's (OHRP) website. Click here to view the full list of FAQs.

Do QI activities fall under the regulations for protecting human subjects in research if their purposes are limited to: a) delivering healthcare, and b) measuring and reporting provider performance data for clinical, practical, or administrative uses?

No. Such QI activities do not meet the regulatory definition of "research". Therefore, the federal regulations for protecting human subjects in research do not apply and there is no regulatory requirement for such activities to undergo review by the IRB.

Examples of clinical, practical, or administrative uses for performance measurements and reporting could include: 

  • Helping the public make more informed choices regarding health care providers by communicating data regarding physician-specific surgical recovery or infection rates.  
  • Enabling insurance companies to make higher performing sites preferred providers, or to allow other third parties to create incentives rewarding better performance.  

Do QI activities fall under the regulations for protecting human subjects in research if their purposes are limited to: a) implementing a practice to improve the quality of patient care, and b) collecting patient or provider data regarding the implementation of practice for clinical, practical, or administrative purposes?

No. Such activities do not meet the regulatory definition of "research". Therefore, the federal regulations for protecting human subjects in research do not apply and there is no regulatory requirement for such activities to undergo review by the IRB.

Examples of implementing a practice and collecting patient or provider data for non-research clinical or administrative purposes include:

  • A radiology clinic uses a database to help monitor and forecast radiation dosimetry. This practice has been demonstrated to reduce over-exposure incidents in patients having multiple procedures. Patient data are collected from medical records and entered into the database. The database is later analyzed to determine if over-exposures have decreased as expected.  
  • A hospital pharmacy implements an evidence-based approach to reduce pharmacy prescription error rates and collects prescription information by medical chart review. Adherence to this approach and medication error rates are evaluated by chart review after implementation to determine whether medication error rates have decreased as expected.  
  • A clinic that has seen an increase in geriatric patients implements a widely accepted capacity assessment as part of routine standard of care in order to identify patients requiring special services and staff expertise. The clinic expects to audit patient changes in order to see if the assessments are being performed with appropriate patients, and will implement additional in-service training of clinic staff if the audit finds that assessments are not being administered routinely.  

Are there types of QI activities that are considered to be research that is subject to the human subject regulations?

Yes. In certain cases, a QI project may constitute human subjects research that is also considered "non-exempt". This means that the research does not meet one of the exempt categories defined in the regulations at 45 CFR 46.104.

Note: At OUHSC, the IRB reviews all research involving human subjects, including research that meets one of the exempt categories defined in the regulations at 45 CFR 46.104.

Examples of QI projects that may also be human subjects research:

  • Introducing an untested clinical intervention for for purposes that not only include improving the quality of care but also include collecting information about patient outcomes for the purposes of establishing scientific evidence to determine how well the intervention achieves the intended results.  
  • Surgical group practice in a non-academic health system uses two standard techniques for hernia repair. The practice would like to determine which repair method is best. The proposed study would randomly assign patients to one technique or the other and patients will sign consent form for regular treatment. While the practice intends to improve patient care, non-research activities do not usually include randomization. Further, the results may yield generalizable knowledge that expands knowledge of a scientific discipline and may be applicable beyond the patients studied.

If I plan to publish the results of a QI project, does the intent to publish qualify as research?

No. The intent to publish is an insufficient criterion for determining whether a QI activity involves research. Planning to publish an account of a QI project does not necessarily mean that the project fits the definition of research. People seek to publish descriptions of non-research activities for a variety of reasons, including, for example, if they believe others may be interested in learning about those activities. On the other hand, a QI project may involve research even if there is no intent to publish the results.

Important note: it is possible that a QI project may involve research even if there is no intent to publish the results. Refer to the definition of "research" and "generalizable knowledge". Individuals may also request an official determination from the IRB by submitting a Determination of Human Research Worksheet in iRIS.

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • Starting the research process
  • Research Objectives | Definition & Examples

Research Objectives | Definition & Examples

Published on July 12, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan . Revised on November 20, 2023.

Research objectives describe what your research is trying to achieve and explain why you are pursuing it. They summarize the approach and purpose of your project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement . They should:

  • Establish the scope and depth of your project
  • Contribute to your research design
  • Indicate how your project will contribute to existing knowledge

Table of contents

What is a research objective, why are research objectives important, how to write research aims and objectives, smart research objectives, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research objectives.

Research objectives describe what your research project intends to accomplish. They should guide every step of the research process , including how you collect data , build your argument , and develop your conclusions .

Your research objectives may evolve slightly as your research progresses, but they should always line up with the research carried out and the actual content of your paper.

Research aims

A distinction is often made between research objectives and research aims.

A research aim typically refers to a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear at the end of your problem statement, before your research objectives.

Your research objectives are more specific than your research aim and indicate the particular focus and approach of your project. Though you will only have one research aim, you will likely have several research objectives.

Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

  • Academic style
  • Vague sentences
  • Style consistency

See an example

research study vs research project

Research objectives are important because they:

  • Establish the scope and depth of your project: This helps you avoid unnecessary research. It also means that your research methods and conclusions can easily be evaluated .
  • Contribute to your research design: When you know what your objectives are, you have a clearer idea of what methods are most appropriate for your research.
  • Indicate how your project will contribute to extant research: They allow you to display your knowledge of up-to-date research, employ or build on current research methods, and attempt to contribute to recent debates.

Once you’ve established a research problem you want to address, you need to decide how you will address it. This is where your research aim and objectives come in.

Step 1: Decide on a general aim

Your research aim should reflect your research problem and should be relatively broad.

Step 2: Decide on specific objectives

Break down your aim into a limited number of steps that will help you resolve your research problem. What specific aspects of the problem do you want to examine or understand?

Step 3: Formulate your aims and objectives

Once you’ve established your research aim and objectives, you need to explain them clearly and concisely to the reader.

You’ll lay out your aims and objectives at the end of your problem statement, which appears in your introduction. Frame them as clear declarative statements, and use appropriate verbs to accurately characterize the work that you will carry out.

The acronym “SMART” is commonly used in relation to research objectives. It states that your objectives should be:

  • Specific: Make sure your objectives aren’t overly vague. Your research needs to be clearly defined in order to get useful results.
  • Measurable: Know how you’ll measure whether your objectives have been achieved.
  • Achievable: Your objectives may be challenging, but they should be feasible. Make sure that relevant groundwork has been done on your topic or that relevant primary or secondary sources exist. Also ensure that you have access to relevant research facilities (labs, library resources , research databases , etc.).
  • Relevant: Make sure that they directly address the research problem you want to work on and that they contribute to the current state of research in your field.
  • Time-based: Set clear deadlines for objectives to ensure that the project stays on track.

If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.


  • Sampling methods
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • Likert scales
  • Reproducibility


  • Null hypothesis
  • Statistical power
  • Probability distribution
  • Effect size
  • Poisson distribution

Research bias

  • Optimism bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Implicit bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Anchoring bias
  • Explicit bias

Research objectives describe what you intend your research project to accomplish.

They summarize the approach and purpose of the project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement .

Your research objectives indicate how you’ll try to address your research problem and should be specific:

Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .

Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.

I will compare …

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

Scope of research is determined at the beginning of your research process , prior to the data collection stage. Sometimes called “scope of study,” your scope delineates what will and will not be covered in your project. It helps you focus your work and your time, ensuring that you’ll be able to achieve your goals and outcomes.

Defining a scope can be very useful in any research project, from a research proposal to a thesis or dissertation . A scope is needed for all types of research: quantitative , qualitative , and mixed methods .

To define your scope of research, consider the following:

  • Budget constraints or any specifics of grant funding
  • Your proposed timeline and duration
  • Specifics about your population of study, your proposed sample size , and the research methodology you’ll pursue
  • Any inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Any anticipated control , extraneous , or confounding variables that could bias your research if not accounted for properly.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Ryan, E. (2023, November 20). Research Objectives | Definition & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved April 9, 2024, from

Is this article helpful?

Eoghan Ryan

Eoghan Ryan

Other students also liked, writing strong research questions | criteria & examples, how to write a problem statement | guide & examples, unlimited academic ai-proofreading.

✔ Document error-free in 5minutes ✔ Unlimited document corrections ✔ Specialized in correcting academic texts

April 2, 2024

Eclipse Psychology: When the Sun and Moon Align, So Do We

How a total solar eclipse creates connection, unity and caring among the people watching

By Katie Weeman

Three women wearing eye protective glasses looking up at the sun.

Students observing a partial solar eclipse on June 21, 2020, in Lhokseumawe, Aceh Province, Indonesia.

NurPhoto/Getty Images

This article is part of a special report on the total solar eclipse that will be visible from parts of the U.S., Mexico and Canada on April 8, 2024.

It was 11:45 A.M. on August 21, 2017. I was in a grassy field in Glendo, Wyo., where I was surrounded by strangers turned friends, more than I could count—and far more people than had ever flocked to this town, population 210 or so. Golden sunlight blanketed thousands of cars parked in haphazard rows all over the rolling hills. The shadows were quickly growing longer, the air was still, and all of our faces pointed to the sky. As the moon progressively covered the sun, the light melted away, the sky blackened, and the temperature dropped. At the moment of totality, when the moon completely covered the sun , some people around me suddenly gasped. Some cheered; some cried; others laughed in disbelief.

Exactly 53 minutes later, in a downtown park in Greenville, S.C., the person who edited this story and the many individuals around him reacted in exactly the same ways.

On supporting science journalism

If you're enjoying this article, consider supporting our award-winning journalism by subscribing . By purchasing a subscription you are helping to ensure the future of impactful stories about the discoveries and ideas shaping our world today.

When a total solar eclipse descends—as one will across Mexico, the U.S. and Canada on April 8—everyone and everything in the path of totality are engulfed by deep shadow. Unlike the New Year’s Eve countdown that lurches across the globe one blocky time zone after another, the shadow of totality is a dark spot on Earth that measures about 100 miles wide and cruises steadily along a path, covering several thousand miles in four to five hours. The human experiences along that path are not isolated events any more than individual dominoes are isolated pillars in a formation. Once that first domino is tipped, we are all linked into something bigger—and unstoppable. We all experience the momentum and the awe together.

When this phenomenon progresses from Mexico through Texas, the Great Lakes and Canada on April 8, many observers will describe the event as life-changing, well beyond expectations. “You feel a sense of wrongness in those moments before totality , when your surroundings change so rapidly,” says Kate Russo, an author, psychologist and eclipse chaser. “Our initial response is to ask ourselves, ‘Is this an opportunity or a threat?’ When the light changes and the temperature drops, that triggers primal fear. When we have that threat response, our whole body is tuned in to taking in as much information as possible.”

Russo, who has witnessed 13 total eclipses and counting, has interviewed eclipse viewers from around the world. She continues to notice the same emotions felt by all. They begin with that sense of wrongness and primal fear as totality approaches. When totality starts, we feel powerful awe and connection to the world around us. A sense of euphoria develops as we continue watching, and when it’s over, we have a strong desire to seek out the next eclipse.

“The awe we feel during a total eclipse makes us think outside our sense of self. It makes you more attuned to things outside of you,” says Sean Goldy, a postdoctoral fellow at the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

Goldy and his team analyzed Twitter data from nearly 2.9 million people during the 2017 total solar eclipse. They found that people within the path of totality were more likely to use not only language that expressed awe but also language that conveyed being unified and affiliated with others. That meant using more “we” words (“us” instead of “me”) and more humble words (“maybe” instead of “always”).

“During an eclipse, people have a broader, more collective focus,” Goldy says. “We also found that the more people expressed awe, the more likely they were to use those ‘we’ words, indicating that people who experience this emotion feel more connected with others.”

This connectivity ties into a sociological concept known as “collective effervescence,” Russo and Goldy say. When groups of humans come together over a shared experience, the energy is greater than the sum of its parts. If you’ve ever been to a large concert or sporting event, you’ve felt the electricity generated by a hive of humans. It magnifies our emotions.

I felt exactly that unified feeling in the open field in Glendo, as if thousands of us were breathing as one. But that’s not the only way people can experience a total eclipse.

During the 2008 total eclipse in Mongolia “I was up on a peak,” Russo recounts. “I was with only my husband and a close friend. We had left the rest of our 25-person tour group at the bottom of the hill. From that vantage point, when the shadow came sweeping in, there was not one man-made thing I could see: no power lines, no buildings or structures. Nothing tethered me to time: It could have been thousands of years ago or long into the future. In that moment, it was as if time didn’t exist.”

Giving us the ability to unhitch ourselves from time—to stop dwelling on time is a unique superpower of a total eclipse. In Russo’s work as a clinical psychologist, she notices patterns in our modern-day mentality. “People with anxiety tend to spend a lot of time in the future. And people with depression spend a lot of time in the past,” she says. An eclipse, time and time again, has the ability to snap us back into the present, at least for a few minutes. “And when you’re less anxious and worried, it opens you up to be more attuned to other people, feel more connected, care for others and be more compassionate,” Goldy says.

Russo, who founded Being in the Shadow , an organization that provides information about total solar eclipses and organizes eclipse events around the world, has experienced this firsthand. Venue managers regularly tell her that eclipse crowds are among the most polite and humble: they follow the rules; they pick up their garbage—they care.

Eclipses remind us that we are part of something bigger, that we are connected with something vast. In the hours before and after totality you have to wear protective glasses to look at the sun, to prevent damage to your eyes. But during the brief time when the moon blocks the last of the sun’s rays, you can finally lower your glasses and look directly at the eclipse. It’s like making eye contact with the universe.

“In my practice, usually if someone says, ‘I feel insignificant,’ that’s a negative thing. But the meaning shifts during an eclipse,” Russo says. To feel insignificant in the moon’s shadow instead means that your sense of self shrinks, that your ego shrinks, she says.

The scale of our “big picture” often changes after witnessing the awe of totality, too. “When you zoom out—really zoom out—it blows away our differences,” Goldy says. When you sit in the shadow of a celestial rock blocking the light of a star 400 times its size that burns at 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit on its surface, suddenly that argument with your partner, that bill sitting on your counter or even the differences among people’s beliefs, origins or politics feel insignificant. When we shift our perspective, connection becomes boundless.

You don’t need to wait for the next eclipse to feel this way. As we travel through life, we lose our relationship with everyday awe. Remember what that feels like? It’s the way a dog looks at a treat or the way my toddler points to the “blue sky!” outside his car window in the middle of rush hour traffic. To find awe, we have to surrender our full attention to the beauty around us. During an eclipse, that comes easily. In everyday life, we may need to be more intentional.

“Totality kick-starts our ability to experience wonder,” Russo says. And with that kick start, maybe we can all use our wonderment faculties more—whether that means pausing for a moment during a morning walk, a hug or a random sunset on a Tuesday. In the continental U.S., we won’t experience another total eclipse until 2044. Let’s not wait until then to seek awe and connection.

Research Project Lead for Studies of Postsecondary and Labor Market Outcomes

How to apply.

To apply for this position, please upload [1] a cover letter, [2] your CV, [3] one or more writing samples demonstrating your research skills (e.g., job market paper, dissertation chapter, recent publication that you sole authored or for which you are first author), [4] evidence of significant experience preparing data for analysis using Stata (e.g.,two or more substantial samples of individually written, carefully commented code that demonstrate your skills with cleaning, coding, organizing, merging, and otherwise preparing data for analysis), and [5] contact information for at least three individuals who are willing and able to serve as references for you. The cover letter should address in detail your fit for the position and the ways in which you meet the required and desirable qualifications for the position, listed below, as well as your professional commitment to diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity. If the writing sample is a co-authored paper, include in your cover letter a detailed explanation of your particular role in the work. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Applications received by April 28, 2024, will receive full consideration.

The Research Project Lead takes substantial responsibility for the day-to-day organization and execution of one or more assigned research projects addressing postsecondary students' educational and labor market outcomes, and policies and practices that influence student success and labor market outcomes. The Research Project Lead also collaborates in and provides support to other original research projects and funding proposals led by other team members. The position is part of a research team under the direction of Peter Riley Bahr, Associate Professor in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, who will determine the scope of work. This is a one-year position with the likelihood of renewal depending on funding. The position may be filled as full-time or part-time, and requests for a flexible schedule will be considered.


We are seeking skilled individuals who can take initiative and bring creativity in using administrative data to answer research questions and produce actionable findings for colleges, systems, and states.

A person taking on the role of Research Project Lead is responsible for the following:

  • Interpret the objectives and research questions of assigned projects
  • Make methodologically sound, defensible decisions about data cleaning, defining key terms conceptually and operationalizing them as variables, specifying an appropriate sample and unit of analysis, adjudicating between and selecting analytic approaches based on relevant literature, and sharing results in an accessible format
  • Clean, code, organize, merge, and otherwise prepare and manage complex longitudinal data sets for analysis using Stata
  • Perform data quality assurance checks and identify potential problems with data and the sources of the problems
  • Write carefully commented and well-organized Stata syntax
  • Design and refine methodologies to meet project objectives and answer project research questions
  • Conduct advanced statistical analyses
  • Prepare data tables, figures, and other visualizations to present research findings for internal team review and external dissemination
  • Thoroughly document methodological and operational decisions of data preparation and analysis
  • Prepare data codebooks
  • Conduct literature reviews
  • Write manuscripts, reports, briefs, and funding proposals
  • Prepare and deliver presentations
  • Collaborate in research activities with other team members
  • Participate in and contribute to team meetings
  • Guide the work of graduate student research team members, assign tasks, set timelines, ascertain the quality and completeness of work products, and ensure that deadlines are met
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications*

  • M.A. (Ph.D. preferred) in Higher Education, Public Policy, Sociology, Economics, or a related field
  • Extensive experience with advanced quantitative research methods
  • Extensive experience preparing complex longitudinal datasets for analysis, including cleaning, coding, organizing, merging, and managing data using Stata
  • Extensive experience analyzing data and displaying results in tabular and graphical form using Stata
  • Experience writing manuscripts for peer-reviewed scholarly journals
  • Experience translating research findings for presentation to scholarly audiences, such as at research conferences
  • Extensive, in-depth knowledge of one or more areas of higher education research
  • Familiarity with contemporary research and policy discourse on community colleges and other open-access postsecondary institutions
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and meet deadlines
  • Demonstrated ability to work well with others, including both receiving direction and providing direction
  • Demonstrated ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously while maintaining exceptional attention to detail
  • Experience with project planning and leadership
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Desired Qualifications*

  • Ph.D. in Higher Education, Public Policy, Sociology, Economics, or a related field
  • Experience working with administrative course-level, student-level, and institution-level education data
  • Experience writing research grant proposals
  • Experience writing research reports or research briefs for policymakers and/or practitioners
  • Experience translating research findings for presentation to policymakers and/or practitioners
  • Experience working in state or national higher education organizations

Additional Information

The School of Education is located at 610 E. University, Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is a 100% remote position, but an on-campus office is available if preferred. The position may be filled as full-time or part-time, and requests for a flexible schedule will be considered. 

Statement on Diversity:

We respect and value individuals from all races, ethnic backgrounds, ages, genders, religions, sexual orientations, disabilities, economic or veteran status, and other diverse perspectives and individual differences. Further, we are committed to tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect everywhere within our community and we affirm our promise to make the School of Education a welcoming place for all.  In seeking new staff members, we are committed to hiring those who share in our reverence and expectation for diversity.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

25 Questions (and Answers!) About the Great North American Eclipse

The McDonald Observatory’s guide to one of nature’s most beautiful and astounding events: What you might see, how to view it safely, how astronomers will study it, how animals might react, and some of the mythology and superstitions about the Sun’s great disappearing act.


1. What’s happening?

The Moon will cross directly between Earth and the Sun, temporarily blocking the Sun from view along a narrow path across Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Viewers across the rest of the United States will see a partial eclipse, with the Moon covering only part of the Sun’s disk.

2. When will it happen?

The eclipse takes place on April 8. It will get underway at 10:42 a.m. CDT, when the Moon’s shadow first touches Earth’s surface, creating a partial eclipse. The Big Show—totality—begins at about 11:39 a.m., over the south-central Pacific Ocean. The shadow will first touch North America an hour and a half later, on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Moving at more than 1,600 miles (2,575 km) per hour, the path of totality will enter the United States at Eagle Pass, Texas, at 1:27 p.m. CDT. The lunar shadow will exit the United States and enter the Canadian province of New Brunswick near Houlton, Maine, at 2:35 p.m. (3:35 p.m. EDT).

3. How long will totality last?

The exact timing depends on your location. The maximum length is 4 minutes, 27 seconds near Torreon, Mexico. In the United States, several towns in southwestern Texas will see 4 minutes, 24 seconds of totality. The closer a location is to the centerline of the path of totality, the longer the eclipse will last.

4. What will it look like?

Eclipse veterans say there’s nothing quite like a total solar eclipse. In the last moments before the Sun disappears behind the Moon, bits of sunlight filter through the lunar mountains and canyons, forming bright points of light known as Baily’s beads. The last of the beads provides a brief blaze known as a diamond ring effect. When it fades away, the sky turns dark and the corona comes into view— million-degree plasma expelled from the Sun’s surface. It forms silvery filaments that radiate away from the Sun. Solar prominences, which are fountains of gas from the surface, form smaller, redder streamers on the rim of the Sun’s disk.

5. What safety precautions do I need to take?

It’s perfectly safe to look at the total phase of the eclipse with your eyes alone. In fact, experts say it’s the best way to enjoy the spectacle. The corona, which surrounds the intervening Moon with silvery tendrils of light, is only about as bright as a full Moon.

During the partial phases of the eclipse, however, including the final moments before and first moments after totality, your eyes need protection from the Sun’s blinding light. Even a 99-percent-eclipsed Sun is thousands of times brighter than a full Moon, so even a tiny sliver of direct sunlight can be dangerous!

To stay safe, use commercially available eclipse viewers, which can look like eyeglasses or can be embedded in a flat sheet that you hold in front of your face. Make sure your viewer meets the proper safety standards, and inspect it before you use it to make sure there are no scratches to let in unfiltered sunlight.

You also can view the eclipse through a piece of welder’s glass (No. 14 or darker), or stand under a leafy tree and look at the ground; the gaps between leaves act as lenses, projecting a view of the eclipse on the ground. With an especially leafy tree you can see hundreds of images of the eclipse at once. (You can also use a colander or similar piece of gear to create the same effect.)

One final mode of eclipse watching is with a pinhole camera. You can make one by poking a small hole in an index card, file folder, or piece of stiff cardboard. Let the Sun shine through the hole onto the ground or a piece of paper, but don’t look at the Sun through the hole! The hole projects an image of the eclipsed Sun, allowing you to follow the entire sequence, from the moment of first contact through the Moon’s disappearance hours later.

6. Where can I see the eclipse?

In the United States, the path of totality will extend from Eagle Pass, Texas, to Houlton, Maine. It will cross 15 states: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Tennessee, and Michigan (although it barely nicks the last two).

In Texas, the eclipse will darken the sky over Austin, Waco, and Dallas—the most populous city in the path, where totality (the period when the Sun is totally eclipsed) will last 3 minutes, 51 seconds.

Other large cities along the path include Little Rock; Indianapolis; Dayton, Toledo, and Cleveland, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania; Buffalo and Rochester, New York; and Burlington, Vermont.

Outside the path of totality, American skywatchers will see a partial eclipse, in which the Sun covers only part of the Sun’s disk. The sky will grow dusky and the air will get cooler, but the partially eclipsed Sun is still too bright to look at without proper eye protection. The closer to the path of totality, the greater the extent of the eclipse. From Memphis and Nashville, for example, the Moon will cover more than 95 percent of the Sun’s disk. From Denver and Phoenix, it’s about 65 percent. And for the unlucky skywatchers in Seattle, far to the northwest of the eclipse centerline, it’s a meager 20 percent.

The total eclipse path also crosses Mexico, from the Pacific coast, at Mazatlán, to the Texas border. It also crosses a small portion of Canada, barely including Hamilton, Ontario. Eclipse Details for Locations Around the United States • • •

7. What causes solar eclipses?

These awe-inspiring spectacles are the result of a pleasant celestial coincidence: The Sun and Moon appear almost exactly the same size in Earth’s sky. The Sun is actually about 400 times wider than the Moon but it’s also about 400 times farther, so when the new Moon passes directly between Earth and the Sun—an alignment known as syzygy—it can cover the Sun’s disk, blocking it from view.

8. Why don’t we see an eclipse at every new Moon?

The Moon’s orbit around Earth is tilted a bit with respect to the Sun’s path across the sky, known as the ecliptic. Because of that angle, the Moon passes north or south of the Sun most months, so there’s no eclipse. When the geometry is just right, however, the Moon casts its shadow on Earth’s surface, creating a solar eclipse. Not all eclipses are total. The Moon’s distance from Earth varies a bit, as does Earth’s distance from the Sun. If the Moon passes directly between Earth and the Sun when the Moon is at its farthest, we see an annular eclipse, in which a ring of sunlight encircles the Moon. Regardless of the distance, if the SunMoon-Earth alignment is off by a small amount, the Moon can cover only a portion of the Sun’s disk, creating a partial eclipse.

9. How often do solar eclipses happen?

Earth sees as least two solar eclipses per year, and, rarely, as many as five. Only three eclipses per two years are total. In addition, total eclipses are visible only along narrow paths. According to Belgian astronomer Jean Meuss, who specializes in calculating such things, any given place on Earth will see a total solar eclipse, on average, once every 375 years. That number is averaged over many centuries, so the exact gap varies. It might be centuries between succeeding eclipses, or it might be only a few years. A small region of Illinois, Missouri, and Kentucky, close to the southeast of St. Louis, for example, saw the total eclipse of 2017 and will experience this year’s eclipse as well. Overall, though, you don’t want to wait for a total eclipse to come to you. If you have a chance to travel to an eclipse path, take it!

10. What is the limit for the length of totality?

Astronomers have calculated the length of totality for eclipses thousands of years into the future. Their calculations show that the greatest extent of totality will come during the eclipse of July 16, 2186, at 7 minutes, 29 seconds, in the Atlantic Ocean, near the coast of South America. The eclipse will occur when the Moon is near its closest point to Earth, so it appears largest in the sky, and Earth is near its farthest point from the Sun, so the Sun appears smaller than average. That eclipse, by the way, belongs to the same Saros cycle as this year’s.

11. When will the next total eclipse be seen from the United States?

The next total eclipse visible from anywhere in the United States will take place on March 30, 2033, across Alaska. On August 22, 2044, a total eclipse will be visible across parts of Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The next eclipse to cross the entire country will take place on August 12, 2045, streaking from northern California to southern Florida. Here are the other total solar eclipses visible from the contiguous U.S. this century:

March 30, 2052 Florida, Georgia, tip of South Carolina May 11, 2078 From Louisiana to North Carolina May 1, 2079 From Philadelphia up the Atlantic coast to Maine September 14, 2099 From North Dakota to the Virginia-North Carolina border

12. What is the origin of the word ‘eclipse?’

The word first appeared in English writings in the late 13th century. It traces its roots, however, to the Greek words “ecleipsis” or “ekleipein.” According to various sources, the meaning was “to leave out, fail to appear,” “a failing, forsaking,” or “abandon, cease, die.”

13. Do solar eclipses follow any kind of pattern?

The Moon goes through several cycles. The best known is its 29.5-day cycle of phases, from new through full and back again. Other cycles include its distance from Earth (which varies by about 30,000 miles (50,000 km) over 27.5 days) and its relationship to the Sun’s path across the sky, known as the ecliptic (27.2 days), among others. These three cycles overlap every 6,585.3 days, which is 18 years, 11 days, and 8 hours.

This cycle of cycles is known as a Saros (a word created by Babylonians). The circumstances for each succeeding eclipse in a Saros are similar—the Moon is about the same distance from Earth, for example, and they occur at the same time of year. Each eclipse occurs one-third of the way around Earth from the previous one, however; the next eclipse in this Saros, for example, will be visible from parts of the Pacific Ocean.

Each Saros begins with a partial eclipse. A portion of the Moon just nips the northern edge of the Sun, for example, blocking only a fraction of the Sun’s light. With each succeeding eclipse in the cycle, the Moon covers a larger fraction of the solar disk, eventually creating dozens of total eclipses. The Moon then slides out of alignment again, this time in the opposite direction, creating more partial eclipses. The series ends with a grazing partial eclipse on the opposite hemisphere (the southern tip, for example).

Several Saros cycles churn along simultaneously (40 are active now), so Earth doesn’t have to wait 18 years between eclipses. They can occur at intervals of one, five, six, or seven months.

The April 8 eclipse is the 30th of Saros 139, a series of 71 events that began with a partial eclipse, in the far north, and will end with another partial eclipse, this time in the far southern hemisphere. The next eclipse in this Saros, also total, will take place on April 20, 2042.

First eclipse May 17, 1501

First total eclipse December 21, 1843

Final total eclipse March 26, 2601

Longest total eclipse July 16, 2186,  7 minutes, 29 seconds

Final partial eclipse July 3, 2763

All eclipses 71 (43 total, 16 partial, 12 hybrid)

Source: NASA Catalog of Solar Eclipses:

14. What about eclipse seasons?

Eclipses occur in “seasons,” with two or three eclipses (lunar and solar) in a period of about five weeks. Individual eclipses are separated by two weeks: a lunar eclipse at full Moon, a solar eclipse at new Moon (the sequence can occur in either order). If the first eclipse in a season occurs during the first few days of the window, then the season will have three eclipses. When one eclipse in the season is poor, the other usually is much better.

That’s certainly the case with the season that includes the April 8 eclipse. It begins with a penumbral lunar eclipse on the night of March 24, in which the Moon will pass through Earth’s outer shadow. The eclipse will cover the Americas, although the shadow is so faint that most skywatchers won’t notice it.

research study vs research project

This article was previously published in the March/April 2024 issue of StarDate  magazine, a publication of The University of Texas at Austin’s McDonald Observatory. Catch StarDate’s daily radio program on more than 300 stations nationwide or subscribe online at .

15. How can astronomers forecast eclipses so accurately?

They’ve been recording eclipses and the motions of the Moon for millennia. And over the past half century they’ve been bouncing laser beams off of special reflectors carried to the Moon by Apollo astronauts and Soviet rovers. Those observations reveal the Moon’s position to within a fraction of an inch. Using a combination of the Earth-Moon distance, the Moon’s precise shape, Earth’s rotation and its distance from the Sun, and other factors, astronomers can predict the timing of an eclipse to within a fraction of a second many centuries into the future.

Edmond Halley made the first confirmed solar eclipse prediction, using the laws of gravity devised only a few decades earlier by Isaac Newton. Halley forecast that an eclipse would cross England on May 3, 1715. He missed the timing by just four minutes and the path by 20 miles, so the eclipse is known as Halley’s Eclipse.

16. What are the types of solar eclipses?

Total : the Moon completely covers the Sun.

Annular : the Moon is too far away to completely cover the Sun, leaving a bright ring of sunlight around it.

Partial : the Moon covers only part of the Sun’s disk.

Hybrid : an eclipse that is annular at its beginning and end, but total at its peak.

17. What are Baily’s beads?

During the minute or two before or after totality, bits of the Sun shine through canyons and other features on the limb of the Moon, producing “beads” of sunlight. They were first recorded and explained by Edmond Halley, in 1715. During a presentation to the Royal Academy of Sciences more than a century later, however, astronomer Frances Baily first described them as “a string of beads,” so they’ve been known as Baily’s beads ever since. Please note that Baily’s beads are too bright to look at without eye protection!

18. Will Earth always see total solar eclipses?

No, it will not. The Moon is moving away from Earth at about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) per year. Based on that rate of recession, in about 600 million years the Moon would have moved so far from Earth that it would no longer appear large enough to cover the Sun. The speed at which the Moon separates from Earth changes over the eons, however, so scientists aren’t sure just when Earth will see its final total solar eclipse.

19. How will the eclipse affect solar power?

If your solar-powered house is in or near the path of totality, the lights truly will go out, as they do at night. For large power grids, the eclipse will temporarily reduce the total amount of electricity contributed by solar generation. During the October 14, 2023, annular eclipse, available solar power plummeted in California and Texas. At the same time, demand increased as individual Sun-powered homes and other buildings began drawing electricity from the power grid. Both networks were able to compensate with stations powered by natural gas and other sources.

The power drop during this year’s eclipse could be more dramatic because there will be less sunlight at the peak of the eclipse.

20. What are some of the myths and superstitions associated with solar eclipses?

Most ancient cultures created stories to explain the Sun’s mysterious and terrifying disappearances.

In China and elsewhere, it was thought the Sun was being devoured by a dragon. Other cultures blamed a hungry frog (Vietnam), a giant wolf loosed by the god Loki (Scandinavia), or the severed head of a monster (India). Still others saw an eclipse as a quarrel (or a reunion) between Sun and Moon. Some peoples shot flaming arrows into the sky to scare away the monster or to rekindle the solar fire. One especially intriguing story, from Transylvania, said that an eclipse occurred when the Sun covered her face in disgust at bad human behavior.

Eclipses have been seen as omens of evil deeds to come. In August 1133, King Henry I left England for Normandy one day before a lengthy solar eclipse, bringing prophesies of doom. The country later was plunged into civil war, and Henry died before he could return home, strengthening the impression that solar eclipses were bad mojo.

Ancient superstitions claimed that eclipses could cause plague and other maladies. Modern superstitions say that food prepared during an eclipse is poison and that an eclipse will damage the babies of pregnant women who look at it. None of that is true, of course. There’s nothing at all to fear from this beautiful natural event.

21. How do animals react to solar eclipses?

Scientists haven’t studied the topic very thoroughly, but they do have some general conclusions. Many daytime animals start their evening rituals, while many nighttime animals wake up when the eclipse is over, perhaps cursing their alarm clocks for letting them sleep so late!

During the 2017 total eclipse, scientists observed 17 species at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina. About three-quarters of the species showed some response as the sky darkened. Some animals acted nervous, while others simply headed for bed. A species of gibbon had the most unusual reaction, moving excitedly and chattering in ways the zookeepers hadn’t seen before.

Other studies have reported that bats and owls sometimes come out during totality, hippos move toward their nighttime feeding grounds, and spiders tear down their webs, only to rebuild them when the Sun returns. Bees have been seen to return to their hives during totality and not budge until the next day, crickets begin their evening chorus, and, unfortunately, mosquitoes emerge, ready to dine on unsuspecting eclipse watchers.

A NASA project, Eclipse Soundscapes, is using volunteers around the country to learn more about how animals react to the changes. The project collected audio recordings and observations by participants during the annular eclipse last year, and will repeat the observations this year. Volunteers can sign up at

22. How will scientists study this year’s eclipse?

Astronomers don’t pay quite as much professional attention to solar eclipses as they did in decades and centuries past. However, they still schedule special observations to add to their knowledge of the Sun and especially the inner edge of the corona.

Sun-watching satellites create artificial eclipses by placing a small disk across the face of the Sun, blocking the Sun’s disk and revealing the corona, solar prominences, and big explosions of charged particles known as coronal mass ejections.

Because of the way light travels around the edges of an eclipsing disk, however, it’s difficult to observe the region just above the Sun’s visible surface, which is where much of the action takes place. The corona is heated to millions of degrees there, and the constant flow of particles known as the solar wind is accelerated to a million miles per hour or faster, so solar astronomers really want to see that region in detail. The eclipsing Moon doesn’t create the same effects around the limb of the Sun, so a solar eclipse still provides the best way to look close to the Sun’s surface.

For this year’s eclipse, some scientists will repeat a series of experiments they conducted in 2017 using a pair of highaltitude WB-57 aircraft to “tag team” through the lunar shadow, providing several extra minutes of observations.

Other scientists will use the eclipse to study Earth’s ionosphere, an electrically charged layer of the atmosphere that “bends” radio waves, allowing them to travel thousands of miles around the planet. Sunlight rips apart atoms and molecules during the day, intensifying the charge. At night, the atoms and molecules recombine, reducing the charge.

Physicists want to understand how the ionosphere reacts to the temporary loss of sunlight during an eclipse. They will do so with the help of thousands of volunteer ham radio operators, who will exchange messages with others around the planet. During last October’s annular eclipse, when the Moon covered most but not all of the Sun, the experiment showed a large and immediate change in the ionosphere as the sunlight dimmed.

NASA also will launch three small “sounding” rockets, which loft instruments into space for a few minutes, to probe the ionosphere shortly before, during, and shortly after the eclipse.

Another project will use radar to study changes in the interactions between the solar wind and Earth’s atmosphere, while yet another will use a radio telescope to map sunspots and surrounding regions as the Moon passes across them.

One project will piece together images of the eclipse snapped through more than 40 identical telescopes spaced along the path of totality to create a one-hour movie of the eclipse. The telescopes will be equipped with instruments that see the three-dimensional structure of the corona, allowing solar scientists to plot how the corona changes.

23. What have astronomers learned from eclipses?

Solar eclipses have been powerful tools for studying the Sun, the layout of the solar system, and the physics of the universe.

Until the Space Age, astronomers could see the Sun’s corona only during eclipses, so they traveled around the world to catch these brief glimpses of it.

Eclipses also offered a chance to refine the scale of the solar system. Watching an eclipse from different spots on Earth and comparing the angles of the Moon and Sun helped reveal the relative sizes and distances of both bodies, which were important steps in understanding their true distances.

During an eclipse in 1868, two astronomers discovered a new element in the corona. It was named helium, after Helios, a Greek name for the Sun. The element wasn’t discovered on Earth until a quarter of a century later.

An eclipse in 1919 helped confirm General Relativity, which was Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity. The theory predicted that the gravity of a massive body should deflect the path of light rays flying near its surface. During the eclipse, astronomers found that the positions of background stars that appeared near the Sun were shifted by a tiny amount, which was in perfect agreement with Einstein’s equations.

Today, astronomers are using records of eclipses dating back thousands of years to measure changes in Earth’s rotation rate and the distance to the Moon.

24. How did astronomers study eclipses in the past?

With great effort! From the time they could accurately predict when and where solar eclipses would be visible, they organized expeditions that took them to every continent except Antarctica, on trips that lasted months and that sometimes were spoiled by clouds or problems both technical and human.

During the American Revolution, for example, a group of Harvard scientists led by Samuel Williams received safe passage from the British army to view an eclipse from Penobscot Bay, Maine, on October 21, 1780. Williams slightly miscalculated the eclipse path, though, so the group missed totality by a few miles. (The expedition did make some useful observations, however.)

In 1860, an expedition headed by Simon Newcomb, one of America’s top astronomers, journeyed up the Saskatchewan River, hundreds of miles from the nearest city, braving rapids, mosquitoes, and bad weather. After five grueling weeks, they had to stop short of their planned viewing site, although at a location still inside the eclipse path. Clouds covered the Sun until almost the end of totality, however, so the expedition came up empty.

King Mongkut of Siam invited a French expedition and hundreds of other dignitaries to view an eclipse from present-day Thailand in 1868. He built an observatory and a large compound to house his guests at a site Mongkut himself had selected as the best viewing spot. The eclipse came off perfectly, but many visitors contracted malaria. So did Mongkut, who died a few weeks later.

An expedition in 1914, to Russia, was plagued by both clouds and the start of World War I. The team abandoned its instruments at a Russian observatory and escaped through Scandinavia.

The eclipse of July 29, 1878, offered fewer impediments. In fact, it was a scientific and social extravaganza. The eclipse path stretched from Montana Territory to Texas. Teams of astronomers from the United States and Europe spread out along the path. Thomas Edison stationed his group in Wyoming, where he used a tasimeter, a device of his own creation, to try to measure the temperature of the corona. Samuel Pierpoint Langley, a future secretary of the Smithsonian, was atop Pikes Peak in Colorado. Maria Mitchell, perhaps America’s leading female scientist, decamped to Denver. And Asaph Hall, who had discovered the moons of Mars just the year before, journeyed to the flatlands of eastern Colorado.

Thousands of average Americans joined the festivities, paying outrageous prices for some of the best viewing spots. Some things, it seems, never change.

25. What about lunar eclipses?

While solar eclipses happen during new Moon, lunar eclipses occur when the Moon is full, so it aligns opposite the Sun in our sky. The Moon passes through Earth’s shadow. In a total eclipse, the entire lunar disk turns orange or red. In a partial eclipse, Earth’s inner shadow covers only a portion of the Moon. And during a penumbral eclipse, the Moon passes through the outer portion of Earth’s shadow, darkening the Moon so little that most people don’t even notice it.

Lunar eclipses happen as often as solar eclipses—at least twice per year. This is a poor year for lunar eclipses, however. There is a penumbral eclipse on the night of March 24, with the Moon slipping through Earth’s faint outer shadow, and a partial eclipse on the night of September 17, in which the Moon barely dips into the darker inner shadow. Both eclipses will be visible from most of the United States.

Explore Latest Articles

Apr 10, 2024

Clint Dawson and Stephen Vladeck Honored With President’s Research Impact Award

research study vs research project

Apr 09, 2024

UT’s Excellence and Impact On Display in Latest Graduate School Rankings

research study vs research project

Apr 05, 2024

A UTotal Solar Eclipse

research study vs research project

Project 2025 partners celebrate Arizona court ruling that almost totally bans abortion in the state

Anti-abortion groups that could hold significant sway under a potential second Donald Trump administration applauded the decision

Special Programs Abortion Rights & Reproductive Health

Written by John Knefel

Research contributions from Sophie Lawton

Published 04/10/24 3:56 PM EDT

Top figures and organizations associated with Project 2025, a sweeping initiative to provide policy and staffing proposals for a second Trump administration, have endorsed or supported a ruling issued Tuesday by the Arizona State Supreme Court that all but bans abortion in the state.

The April 9 decision determined that an 1864 law that predates Arizona statehood is enforceable, although it is currently on hold pending further review from a lower court. The law makes abortion a felony offense punishable by two to five years in prison for physicians who perform an abortion or those who assist in the process. The only exception is when the procedure is necessary to save the pregnant person’s life.

Project 2025 is an extreme right-wing plan to drastically reshape the federal government organized by The Heritage Foundation and a coalition of over 100 conservative organizations — many of which explicitly advocate for severe restrictions on abortion rights and reproductive autonomy more broadly, including in vitro fertilization and surrogacy .

Following the Arizona ruling, several groups associated with Project 2025 celebrated the possible near-total elimination of abortion access in the state.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, an extreme anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion organization that is a member of Project 2025’s advisory board, argued for the reinstatement of the 1864 law before the court.

“We celebrate the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision that allows the state’s pro-life law to again protect the lives of countless, innocent unborn children,” said ADF senior counsel Jake Warner, who argued the case.

The ADF’s official account on X (formerly Twitter) celebrated the ruling using nearly identical language and reposted an article from with the headline “BREAKING: Arizona Supreme Court Rules State Can Enforce Abortion Ban, Protect Babies From Abortions.”

Breaking: The AZ Supreme Court just ruled to uphold the state's pro-life law. This is a significant ruling that will protect the lives of countless, innocent unborn children.

Citation From the official X account of the Alliance Defending Freedom, accessed April 10, 2024

ADF president and CEO Kristen Waggoner responded to Biden administration spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre’s criticism of the ruling,” writing :“The Biden admin has made it clear: it will pursue abortion even at the cost of protecting women and children. AZ’s law upholds a perpetual truth: life is a human right. States have a right and duty to protect it. That’s exactly what today’s ruling affirms.”

Anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, another member of Project 2025’s advisory board, also released a statement endorsing the Arizona ruling.

“We celebrate this enormous victory for unborn children and their mothers,” said SBA President Marjorie Dannenfelser, adding, “Today’s state Supreme Court decision is a major advancement in the fight for life in Arizona.”

Kristan Hawkins, president of Project 2025 member group Students for Life, posted a link to her organization’s statement celebrating the ruling.

VICTORY: The Arizona Supreme Court CHOSE LIFE!  This Pro-Life Ruling in Arizona Is Only the Beginning – Abortion WILL Be on The Ballot in November

Citation From the X account of Kristan Hawkins, accessed April 10, 2024

The decision was “a fantastic, but possibly temporary win for preborn babies and mothers – the real fight remains on the horizon in November when unlimited abortion will be on the ballot,” Students for Life Action Vice President of Political Affairs Chanel Prunier said in the statement .

Hawkins also criticized responses to the ruling from former President Donald Trump and Republican candidate Kari Lake , who is running for the Senate in Arizona, for being insufficiently anti-abortion. In her statement, Lake claimed she opposed the court’s ruling, despite previously referring to the near-total ban as a “great law.”

Other anti-abortion Project 2025 partners weighed in on social media as well.

Right-wing advocacy organization the California Family Council reposted a comment from anti-abortion activist David Daleiden, who wrote that pro-choice advocates “weaponize the law to promote killing babies delivered alive to sell their body parts.”

Penny Nance, the president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, reposted a comment about the Arizona ruling from a Daily Wire writer that read: “Major win for the most basic level of morality—thou shalt not kill.”

Charlie Kirk, the Arizona-based founder and CEO of right-wing activist organization Turning Point USA, appeared to hedge on the ruling during his daily podcast and in a post online. He said the decision “should have been met with celebration,” but added caveats elsewhere in his discussion of the subject.

“This ruling was likely the correct one, but it still puts us in a very tough spot,” Kirk said during his show on Wednesday.

“In some way, it's a proper ruling at an improper time,” Kirk added.

Those comments elaborated on his take from a day earlier, when he celebrated the decision while acknowledging that it likely goes against the will of most Arizonans.

“Getting rid of abortion is an irrefutable, necessary, moral good for society & Arizona,” Kirk posted on X. “Praise God we get to be in the fight for the unborn during such a time as this.”

“However, like all major moral fights in US history, they come with a potential political cost. It is likely that the majority of Arizonans wont like this decision,” he continued, adding that the “best path is likely for the AZ leg to throw this back to the voters in November.”

One of Kirk’s top lieutenants was much clearer in his endorsement of the ruling. Arizona state Rep. Austin Smith, who is also a senior director at Turning Point Action, posted a statement from the Arizona Freedom Caucus celebrating the decision. (Smith serves in a leadership role in the caucus.)

“I am pro-life from conception to natural death. Thankful for my @AZFreedomCaucus colleagues who feel the same,” Smith wrote, in addition to the official statement. “We will continue to lead the way and be unabashedly in favor of supporting both the mother and the unborn child."

Turning Point Action reposted Smith’s comment.

I am pro-life from conception to natural death.   Thankful for my  @AZFreedomCaucus  colleagues who feel the same.  We will continue to lead the way and be unabashedly in favor of supporting both the mother and the unborn child.

Citation From the official X account of Turning Point Action, accessed April 10, 2024

One day before the Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling, Trump continued to obfuscate his position on abortion, garnering headlines that downplayed the likelihood that he would sign a national abortion ban or other extreme federal legislation.  

The Arizona ruling and the threat of a second Trump term have added extra urgency to an attempt by state abortion rights activists to get a measure on the ballot in November that would enshrine legal protections for the procedure at up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.


This article is part of the research topic.

Global Lesson Study Policy, Practice, and Research for Advancing Teacher and Student Learning in STEM

Evolving Engineering Education: Online vs. In-Person Capstone Projects Compared (EEE-OIPC) Provisionally Accepted

  • 1 Engineering and Physics Department, Texas A&M University Texarkana, United States

The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon.

This study compares online and face-to-face (F2F) instructional methods in Capstone Senior Design (CSD) projects across the disciplines of Electrical Engineering (EE) and Mechanical Engineering (ME). Through a comprehensive assessment involving project evaluations, advisor feedback, and self-peer reviews, it aims to gauge the efficacy of each approach in enhancing student success and learning outcomes. A key observation is the parity between online and F2F modalities in several metrics, yet F2F instruction distinctly advances teamwork and collaboration. Conversely, online environments show robust advisor evaluations, signifying effective mentoring despite hurdles in consistent team collaboration and project execution. Highlighting the imperative to blend online and traditional pedagogies, suggesting improved online strategies and a holistic curriculum to boost CSD students' learning experiences. These insights bear significance for ongoing and future STEM education research, stressing adaptable teaching techniques to better student experiences across varied settings. The outcomes yield important guidance for evolving STEM education research and practices, stressing the need for flexible teaching techniques to enrich learning in different educational environments. These findings are crucial for educators and institutions working to adapt their strategies to the changing landscape of online and F2F instruction in STEM areas.

Keywords: Capstone Senior Project, Online Learning, F2F, Teamwork, Engineering Education, project-based learning, group projects, Communication

Received: 19 Mar 2024; Accepted: 10 Apr 2024.

Copyright: © 2024 Znidi, Uddin and Morsy. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Faycal Znidi, Texas A&M University Texarkana, Engineering and Physics Department, Texarkana, 75503, Texas, United States

People also looked at

research study vs research project

Main Navigation

Group of students walking on the Coffs Harbour Campus

  • Accept offer and enrol
  • Current Students

Personalise your experience

Did you mean..., diploma of arts and social sciences, art/science collaboration wins waterhouse natural science art prize, unit of study busn7001 industry research project: part a (2025).

Future students: 1300 854 556 [email protected]

Current students: [email protected]

updated - DO NOT REMOVE THIS LINE 6:08 AM on Tue, 9 April

Show me unit information for year

Unit snapshot.

PG Coursework Unit

Credit points

Faculty & college.

Faculty of Business, Law and Arts


72 credit points from masters level (AQF 9) units.


BUSN7003 - Industry Research Project

Unit description

Provides an opportunity for students to identify a strategic business or industry issue and take an evidence-based approach to investigate and design a suitable response.

Unit content

  • What is a business project?
  • Choosing your project topic
  • What is known about this issue?
  • Planning your project
  • Quantitative investigative techniques
  • Qualitative investigative techniques


2025 unit offering information will be available in November 2024

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes . The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

identify a strategic business issue

create a literature review

design a problem-solving strategy

Fee information

Commonwealth Supported courses For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts .

Fee paying courses For postgraduate or undergraduate full-fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees .


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.

Courses that offer this unit

Master of business administration (2025), master of business administration (2024), master of information technology management (2024), master of information technology management (2025), master of project management (2025), master of project management (2024), master of engineering management (2025), master of engineering management (2024), any questions we'd love to help.


  1. What is the Difference Between Research and Project

    research study vs research project

  2. General Research VS Scientific Research

    research study vs research project

  3. Difference Between Research Methods and Research Design

    research study vs research project

  4. 6 Major difference between Thesis and Research Paper

    research study vs research project

  5. 15 Types of Research Methods (2024)

    research study vs research project

  6. Qualitative vs Quantitative Research: Differences and Examples

    research study vs research project


  1. What is difference between Research proposal and Research paper/ NTA UGC NET

  2. Research methods vs research design #research

  3. Difference between Research Proposal and Study Plan

  4. Lecture 04: Research Methods vs Research Methodology

  5. What’s the difference between clinical trials and research studies Penn State Health

  6. Differences Between Research and Philosophy


  1. What is the Difference Between Research and Project

    The main difference between research and project is that research is the systematic investigation and study of materials and sources to establish facts and reach new conclusions, while a project is a specific and finite activity that gives a measurable and observable result under preset requirements. Both research and projects use a systematic ...

  2. Research vs Project: When And How Can You Use Each One?

    These hybrid research-project endeavors combine the systematic inquiry of research with the practical implementation of a project, resulting in a unique blend of activities and outcomes. For instance, in the field of architecture, a research project may involve both the study of historical architectural styles and the design and construction of ...

  3. Research vs. Study

    Conclusion. In conclusion, research and study are both essential activities in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding. While research focuses on generating new knowledge and solving problems through a systematic approach, study aims to acquire and comprehend existing information.

  4. Study vs Research: When to Opt for One Term Over Another

    If you're talking about learning or acquiring knowledge about a subject, then study is the appropriate term. If you're conducting a formal investigation or inquiry into a topic, then research is the correct word to use. Now that we've established the difference between study and research, let's dive deeper into each one.

  5. Research Project

    Research Project is a planned and systematic investigation into a specific area of interest or problem, with the goal of generating new knowledge, insights, or solutions. It typically involves identifying a research question or hypothesis, designing a study to test it, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions based on the findings.

  6. Quality Improvement Projects and Clinical Research Studies

    Through the conduct of quality improvement (QI) projects and clinical research studies, advanced practitioners and nurse scientists have the opportunity to contribute exponentially not only to their organizations, but also towards personal and professional growth. Recently, the associate editors and staff at JADPRO convened to discuss the types ...

  7. Types of Research Designs Compared

    Types of Research Designs Compared | Guide & Examples. Published on June 20, 2019 by Shona McCombes.Revised on June 22, 2023. When you start planning a research project, developing research questions and creating a research design, you will have to make various decisions about the type of research you want to do.. There are many ways to categorize different types of research.

  8. What Is a Research Design

    A research design is a strategy for answering your research question using empirical data. Creating a research design means making decisions about: Your overall research objectives and approach. Whether you'll rely on primary research or secondary research. Your sampling methods or criteria for selecting subjects. Your data collection methods.

  9. What is a research project?

    A research project is an academic, scientific, or professional undertaking to answer a research question. Research projects can take many forms, such as qualitative or quantitative, descriptive, longitudinal, experimental, or correlational. What kind of research approach you choose will depend on your topic.

  10. Study designs: Part 1

    Research study design is a framework, or the set of methods and procedures used to collect and analyze data on variables specified in a particular research problem. Research study designs are of many types, each with its advantages and limitations. The type of study design used to answer a particular research question is determined by the ...

  11. What Is Research Design? 8 Types + Examples

    Research design refers to the overall plan, structure or strategy that guides a research project, from its conception to the final analysis of data. Research designs for quantitative studies include descriptive, correlational, experimental and quasi-experimenta l designs. Research designs for qualitative studies include phenomenological ...

  12. Research versus practice in quality improvement? Understanding how we

    The gap between implementers and researchers of quality improvement (QI) has hampered the degree and speed of change needed to reduce avoidable suffering and harm in health care. Underlying causes of this gap include differences in goals and incentives, preferred methodologies, level and types of evidence prioritized and targeted audiences.

  13. Finding your way: the difference between research and evaluation

    A broadly accepted way of thinking about how evaluation and research are different comes from Michael Scriven, an evaluation expert and professor. He defines evaluation this way in his Evaluation Thesaurus: "Evaluation determines the merit, worth, or value of things.". He goes on to explain that "Social science research, by contrast, does ...

  14. Examples of Student Research Projects

    Research Proposals including Research Plans ; Coming Up With a Research Question; Getting Ethics Approval; Struggling with a Literature Review; Qualitative, Quantitative or Mixed-Methods ; Data Collection; Working with Primary Data ; Using the Internet for Research; Data Management; Writing Up Your Research ; Preparing for the Research Project

  15. Aims and Objectives

    The research aim focus on what the research project is intended to achieve; research objectives focus on how the aim will be achieved. Research aims are relatively broad; research objectives are specific. Research aims focus on a project's long-term outcomes; research objectives focus on its immediate, short-term outcomes.

  16. Research vs. Study

    The noun "study" refers to a single paper or project. You can replace "paper" with "study" in almost all cases (but not always the other way around), to the point where you can say "I wrote a study." The noun "research" means more like a whole body of research including many individual studies: The research of a field. The lifetime achievements ...

  17. What'S The Difference Between A Project And A Research Project?

    The key difference between design research and a dissertation is that design research does not start from a research problem. The main difference between a terminating project and a thesis is that a terminating project addresses a specific problem, problem, or problem in your field of study, while a dissertation attempts to create new knowledge.

  18. Evidence-Based Practice, Quality Improvement, and Research: What's the

    Projects that target populations outside the practice or oversight areas of the study team are research. 4. Data collection and storage. ... Research projects may or may not introduce risks greater than those associated with the organization's current policy, practice, or procedure. The IRB is responsible for evaluating the level of risk ...

  19. Quality Improvement Project vs. Research

    QI Project. An activity that is specifically initiated with a goal of improving the performance of institutional practices in relationship to an established standard. However, if a project was originally initiated as a local QI project but the findings are of interest and the project investigator chooses to expand the findings into a research ...

  20. Dissertation Versus Project Study: What's the Difference?

    The key difference between a project study and a dissertation is that a project study does not proceed from a research problem. The purpose of a project study is not to add to our understanding of research on a topic. The purpose of a project study is to help solve an existing local real-world problem, which is why project studies are also ...

  21. QI Project vs Resesarch

    Research studies are intended to create new knowledge that can be generalizable to other populations and settings, while QI in healthcare uses existing knowledge to improve health care outcomes within a local health care institution or setting. It is important to note that some QI projects may also be research ( systematic and generalizable ...

  22. HLTH6007

    Learners develop a proposed research project, from conception of an idea to preparation of a study protocol. Learners discover how to formulate a research question, reviewing the literature, critically appraise the literature, develop a research justification statement, and define the parameters of a research project (including the aims, objectives, design, outcomes, data collection methods ...

  23. Research Objectives

    Research objectives describe what your research project intends to accomplish. They should guide every step of the research process, including how you collect data, build your argument, and develop your conclusions. Your research objectives may evolve slightly as your research progresses, but they should always line up with the research carried ...

  24. Eclipse Psychology: How the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Will Unite People

    This article is part of a special report on the total solar eclipse that will be visible from parts of the U.S., Mexico and Canada on April 8, 2024. It was 11:45 A.M. on August 21, 2017. I was in ...

  25. Research Project Lead for Studies of Postsecondary and Labor Market

    Summary. The Research Project Lead takes substantial responsibility for the day-to-day organization and execution of one or more assigned research projects addressing postsecondary students' educational and labor market outcomes, and policies and practices that influence student success and labor market outcomes.

  26. 25 Questions (and Answers!) About the Great North American Eclipse

    Another project will use radar to study changes in the interactions between the solar wind and Earth's atmosphere, while yet another will use a radio telescope to map sunspots and surrounding regions as the Moon passes across them. ... Read More Clint Dawson and Stephen Vladeck Honored With President's Research Impact Award. Apr 09, 2024 ...

  27. Project 2025 partners celebrate Arizona court ruling that almost

    The Alliance Defending Freedom, an extreme anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion organization that is a member of Project 2025's advisory board, argued for the reinstatement of the 1864 law before the court.

  28. EDUC7009

    This unit orients candidates to the principles and processes of Project Management in research. As part of the Candidate's Higher Degree Research program, real world research project management with significant impact features will be achieved. Candidates will develop the skills, knowledge and attributes required to effectively manage research projects (this experience will be obtained through ...

  29. Evolving Engineering Education: Online vs. In-Person Capstone Projects

    This study compares online and face-to-face (F2F) instructional methods in Capstone Senior Design (CSD) projects across the disciplines of Electrical Engineering (EE) and Mechanical Engineering (ME). Through a comprehensive assessment involving project evaluations, advisor feedback, and self-peer reviews, it aims to gauge the efficacy of each approach in enhancing student success and learning ...

  30. BUSN7001

    Back to unit search. Unit of Study BUSN7001 Industry Research Project: Part A (2025) Future students: 1300 854 556 [email protected]. Current students: [email protected].