▪ A clear statement of what challenge/problem
you are trying to address
▪ Better if it addresses a felt need
–Can do just for a fun of doing research
▪ If you clearly understand the problem, half the
problem is solved
Characteristics of a Good Problem
–Keep researcher interested in it throughout the
–Will it lead to generation of new knowledge,
understanding, or tools?
–What others think about it?
–Is the problem significant enough in today’s context?
▪ Clear (unambiguous)
–Has well defined boundaries & assumptions
–Can be accomplished using a scientific method
▪ Right balance between Research & Development
–At BSc level R can be small & D can large
–Fits the level of researcher’s skill set
–Time, resources, tools
▪ Low Risk Low Gain vs. High Risk High Gain
–Is it free of unknown hazards/dangers?
10 Commandments for Picking a
Research Project – Susan Furth, MD/PhD
1. Anticipate results before doing the study
2. Pick an area on the basis of interest of the
3. Look for an under occupied niche that has
4. Go to talks & read papers outside your area
5. Build on a theme
10 Commandments (Cont.)
6. Find a balance between low-risk & high-risk
7. Be prepared to pursue a project to any depth
8. Differentiate yourself from your mentor
9. Don’t assume that empirical research is easier
than fundamental research
10.Focus, focus, focus
▪ Address following 3 questions in a suitable
– What are you planning to do?
– Why is it important?
– How are you planning to do it?
▪ Write a single paragraph
▪ Refine it as you understand the problem better
Problem Statement – Examples
▪ To develop a peer-assisted software patch distribution system to share
patches or updates in P2P style without being exposed to potential
▪ Auto-scale computing resources in a PaaS cloud environment based on
current workload and resource usage, while predicting the workload to
reduce cost and to meet desired QoS and SLA goals.
▪ Given a set of drivers D and jobs J, how to automatically schedule drivers
while maximizing customer satisfaction, efficiency, profit, and driver
▪ To describe the types of incentives provides by IT companies to their
▪ To find out the opinion of the employees about the fitness & health
facilities provided by local IT industry.
▪ To ascertain the impact of training on employee retention.
▪ To compare the effectiveness of different loyalty programs on repeat
Pitching Research Problem
▪ Elevator Pitch
–Short speech or conversation
–Make listener want to hear more
–Secure an invitation for a longer
–See resources on LMS
▪ Why at BSc?
–Enable you to formulate a clear
–Should be understood by a listener
with a basic background in related
–Pitch your next business idea
▪ Starting your research
▪ Elevator Pitch