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Research Commons: Research lifecycle for graduate researchers

University-level research involves many different stages and activities. Use the Research Lifecycle diagram to organize and identify the many activities involved in your research. The Research Lifecycle is general enough that it can be applied to many academic disciplines.

  • Ideas: develop a great research idea through structured activities and serendipity
  • Partners: find researchers through formal and informal networks
  • Proposal writing: find information on all aspects of effective proposal writing
  • Research process: search, simulate, experiment, observe, manage, analyze, and share data
  • Publication: share your research with others


Great research ideas can be inspired in many different ways -  through structured activities such as conducting literature searches, finding relevant resources, doing background reading, and attending presentations. Research ideas can also be generated through serendipity - by browsing journals, viewing displays, having conversations with colleagues, or surfing the web.

Research discovery tools


Find researchers with similar interests by using a combination of formal and informal networks. Potential research partners from academic disciplines, institutions, and organizations:

Proposal writing

A great research project begins with a research proposal. The following links provide information on proposal writing.

Research process

Research processes vary enormously across disciplines. It can be helpful to break down the research process into the following categories:

Simulate, Experiment, and Observe

Manage, Analyze and Share Your Data


Ensure your research is accessible to the widest audience possible. Publication encompasses many areas: