Research Protocol Checklist


Project Title

  • Is the title concise and ‘snappy’?
  • Does the title adequately reflect the research topic? 

Project Aims / Research Question

  • Does the Aims contain brief information about:
    • Have I clearly stated the question or hypothesis I am hoping to answer in my research project?
    • Are the Aims and objectives clear? 
    • What is the justification for doing the study?

Background to the Project

  • Literature Review 
    • Is the literature I have used up to date and relevant to my topic?
    • Does the literature justify my choice of topic?
  • Problem statement
    • Have I clearly stated what the ‘problem’ is that I am looking at in my project and why?  (this is likely to be a summary of the conclusions you have drawn from your literature review 
  • Population
    • Have I said who the results of my project might be generalised to? 
  • Assumptions
    • Have I clearly stated what assumptions I am making in my project?
  • Limitations
    • Have I highlighted the limitations there might be in my project?

Plan of Investigation (Materials & Methods)

  • Research design
    • Have I stated the type of  research design my project is based on?
  • Data
    • Have I stated clearly what I am measuring / collecting information about?
  • Method/ device for collecting data 
    • Have I stated how/what I am going to use to collect data? (e.g. type of equipment, questionnaire, interview schedule, observation schedule)
    • Have I given a description of my method/device for collecting data?
    • Have I explained why I am using that particular method/device?
  • Sample selection and recruitment
    • Have I stated clearly who my subjects (sample) will be?
    • Have I stated how they will be selected i.e. inclusion and exclusion criteria)?
    • Have I stated how subjects will be invited to take part in my study?
    • Have I stated how many subjects I hope to recruit?
  • Procedure for collecting data
    • Have I explained the process I will go through to collect data?
  • Data analysis
    • Have I stated how I intend to analyse the data I collect?
  • Time scale
    • Have I given an outline of the timetable for the project?
  • Ethics Approval
    • Will Ethics Approval be required and why / why not?
    • Have Ethics Forms been completed?
    • Have I prepared a Patient Consent Questionnaire?
  • Costings and Resources 
    • Have I outlined all the resources I will be using and what these might cost me?
    • Are the costings realistic and within our budget?


  • Have I referenced all the literature I have cited in the protocol?
  • Have I used the referencing style of either JBJS or JSES or other?

Glossary of terms

  • Have I defined all the unusual or ‘technical’ terms that relate to my project?


  • Have I signed the protocol?
  • Has my supervisor signed the protocol ?


  • Is there sufficient scope for my project? 
  • Can I justify why I am looking at my chosen topic?
  •  Is my project practical and achievable within the time I have available? 
  • Is the method I have chosen appropriate to my research question? 
  • Is the method of data analysis appropriate to the data I will be collecting?
  • Will the  data I collect and method of data analysis allow me to answer  my  research question?

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