Characteristics of a Good Research Project


- It has clearly defined goals, preferably:
  - testing a hypothesis
  - solving a riddle
  - providing a new tool or resource
  - providing a new way to conceive of a topic
- It will matter to the scientific community
- It is original and unique


- Its goals and timeline are realistic
- It can be divided into individual small projects or milestones
   (i.e. sections of a paper, or individual papers)
- It is well matched to the capacities and goals of your advisor and the group
- It is well matched to your own skills, abilities, and interests

Personal benefit:

- It has potential for growth: it's a good starting point for further work, or branch out
- It is challenging and multi-faceted
- It builds new skills

This is the result of a 2017 brainstorming session with graduate students in the University of Toronto Dept. of Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Last modified by Christopher Matzner in February 2017.