Your Research Agenda

Funding sources often look for evidence of a clear, consistent, and progressing research line of inquiry when evaluating your proposal. In this section we review key elements in targeting your research efforts. You may want to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What are your key areas of academic interest?  What types of research projects have you pursued in the past, and what would you like to study in the future?
  • What research already exists on these topics, either at UMass or other institutions?  Where does your research “fit” in this terrain?
  • What opportunities exist for funding? Do you think you can secure funding on your own, or should you seek strategic partners?

One way to establish your research direction is by creating a research agenda.  The research agenda should be an outline of your research direction, what you plan to address and accomplish, and how it fits into the larger body of work that currently exists in the field.

Please reference the following example when developing your research agenda (PDF).

We suggest revisiting and updating your research agenda annually. These updates are opportunities to reflect, redirect, or revise your research goals as needed. Additionally, regularly updating your curriculum vitae with any new projects or progress on existing ones will save time when writing your annual report, preparing tenure and promotion files, or grant proposals.