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Module 2: Commencement and Collaboration – Putting Ideas Into Practice


This module briefly reviews the important task of choosing and setting in place collaborations, and then concentrates on the strategies and tools to help you to start your research project.

Some aspects of this module are covered more comprehensively in other modules of the program, and are included here to remind you of the importance of taking some action at the commencement of your project. Where this is the case, there will be a link to the other module; if you have covered the material in other modules there is no need to repeat it here.

This module aims to identify and illustrate approaches that can be applied to all projects regardless of discipline or scope, and will cover options for small, medium, and large projects. At the commencement of the project you will need to identify all stakeholders, review their expectations, and, if appropriate, have safeguards and agreements in place that allow you to manage these expectations. The commencement of your project will also require leadership skills to ensure that you build an effective team and manage successful collaborations.

This module comprises online learning material and a workshop.

You are expected to devote time to reading the online material and carrying out compulsory activities before attending the workshop. This module should take less than 2.5 hours to read and you may need to devote up to another 1.5 hours to carry out the compulsory activities.

The workshop is based on the assumption that you have completed the reading and have carried out the compulsory activities.


The module aims to:

  • Examine what is at the heart of successful collaborations
  • Identify tools and resources relevant to the commencement of research projects and to define principles of project management in the context of research projects
  • Assist you to develop management plans appropriate to the research project.

Learning outcomes

After completing this module you should be able to:

  • Identify what characteristics and skills you need from potential collaborators
  • Identify the potential benefits and challenges of collaborations
  • Understand the key elements of a plan and a budget for the research project (based on the funding available and required timelines) in order to manage risk and monitor the project
  • Recruit the appropriate project team
  • Identify the appropriate support units within your university that will help you commence and finalise contracts/agreements required by your research project
  • Create the level of profile appropriate to the size and complexity of your project
  • Finalise a procurement strategy and plan (infrastructure, materials & consumables)
  • Develop a communication strategy for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Content overview

The module comprises the following topics:

The module comprises the following topics:

  1. The nature of successful collaborations
  2. Project commencement – key tasks
  3. Management – small, medium, and large projects
  4. Establishing the identity and profile of your project
  5. Recruiting the project team (also covered in Module 7)
  6. Implementing the project plan.

Workshop details

Details of the workshop for this module will be provided by your University.


Principal writers

Karen Burke, Australian National University
Ann Goldwater, Australian National University
Dr Tom Hammond, Australian National University
Educational developers
Bill Potter, Monash University
Associate Professor Len Webster, Monash University
Web developer
Rob Andrew, Monash University
Jane Liang, Go8
Project management
Group of Eight Future Research Leaders Program

Accessing the module material

Now that you have read the module introduction you can access and navigate your way through the module content via the Module 2 Organiser link in the navigation bar at the top left of this page or in the bar below.

If you wish to print this page you can generate a pdf file via this printer icon [ ]. A pdf file for each topic in this module can be generated using the printer icon to the left of each topic title on the Organiser page.

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