1. What kind of research do you now want to do? Why?
This question invites you to think about different types of research and which may suit you best. In Conversations 32.1, Mike Periera talks about his personal connection with his research. This is a powerful reason for doing research and in answering this question you might think about why a particular type of research or topic is interesting to you. This could link to your job or personal interests, or there may be a particular criminological subject that inspires you.
2. What would be the essential steps in this research?
Having decided on the kind of research you wish to do, this question encourages you to think about what makes a good research project and the steps you need to take to develop a research idea into an effective research project. Stuart Agnew gives some guidance on this in Conversations 32.2 and discusses the importance of focus, evaluating data, ensuring that research reads as a coherent project, and that research has a clear conclusion. In addressing this question, you might also reflect on the importance of specific stages such as: choosing your research project, reviewing the literature, developing your research strategy, collecting and analysing data, and writing up the research and disseminating findings.
3. How could the approach of a creative disruptor be used in this research?
A creative disruptor is someone who does their research in imaginative ways that challenge established presumptions in their research area. Think about how you could employ this approach to challenge existing assumptions about your area and type of research. The chapter reminds you of the importance of the ABC (Always Be Critical) approach, and you might think about how you could apply this to your research. For example, you might research prisons from an abolitionist perspective that challenges the presumption that prison must be an integral part of criminal justice.
4. How could you make the research ethically sound?
To answer this question, you need to think about the measures that may need to be in place to ensure your research does not harm any of your participants. You may need to think about things like ensuring anonymity, confidentiality of data and safe storage of data. You may also need to consider the sensitivity of research questions and the potential to cause upset to your research participants. You may consider the provisions of the British Society of Criminology Statement of Ethics and think about how it could apply to your research.
5. What limitations is the research likely to have?
Consider areas where there may be limitations on what research can achieve or investigate. For example, the chapter refers to prohibitions on collecting data about juror deliberations. You might think about the practical or ethical limitations that may be in place which can limit a research project and how it is disseminated.
6. How do you want research to feature in your future career?
This question invites you to consider your involvement in research beyond the student research project, and also to consider the student research project as an important aspect in helping refine your future career plans. Your research project might assist in helping you identify the areas of criminology you wish to pursue in the future and perhaps to identify further research you may wish to carry out. Reflect on why a particular project interests you, and what this might mean for your future choices, including beyond your degree.