🔬 Online safety research in the Caribbean - The process

Following on from the announcement we made relating to the research proposal, the next bit of news is that we have submitted our final proposal.🙌🥳

Proposals of this type are actually more challenging to write than you think. They often come with constraints, and this one was no exception. We had only two pages of plain text in a traditional font like Times New Roman, at size 12. That turns out to be around 800 or so words. Not a lot to express your research in detail. So, it requires a decent amount of restraint and a lot of editing!

I said I’d document the process in brief, so this is the aim of this post.

To start the project, we agreed to work together, and the first thing I did was start a new team on Microsoft Teams. This was used as the central document repository, collaboration space for writing and project management. Despite being rudimentary, one of the functionalities in Teams that helps manage a small project like this is the Tasks by Planner tool.s It is a simple Kanban-style tool that allows you to set up and manage the progress of tasks in a project and assign them to individuals or multiple team members. You get a simplified dashboard and —too many for my tastes— reminder emails for tasks nearing completion, late, due, etc.

The completed list of tasks

The next task was to outline a plan with associated tasks (see image above), assign them to people and add dates to ensure we could finish before the deadline. Once this was complete, we wrote a brief outline for the submission and created a requirements document to ensure we complied with all the requirements. This took a little time as we needed to ensure we understood all the aspects required for the submission.

The process after this is quite simple, in that we just had to write the document. Using the co-editing tools of Word through the Teams document library ensured we could optimise our work and work on documents as and when we saw fit. The other indispensable feature was the Track Changes tool that helped us monitor changes, suggestions and comments.

Once we got past each stage, I ticked off the tasks as being done, which is why it looks like I did everything, which is definitely not the case. 🤣

We signed off the final draft last night and pushed the submission button the same evening.

We worked on the proposal together really well, putting a lot of effort into getting it done. Done well and on time. I’m proud of our submission and hope we get selected, as I think the research will be valuable in the region.

I’ll write a little more about the research, our motivation and what we hope to achieve in a few days.

Matthew Cowen @matthewcowen