Getting Started

Steps for Getting Started

  1. Confirm your research grant
  2. Develop a project plan
  3. Obtain ethical clearance
  4. Identify training opportunities and other resources
  5. Confirm your budget

Confirm your Research Grant

Whether you have received an internal Zayed University research grant, or an external grant, your first step should be to verify your grant with the Office of Research.   A copy of the Research Grant will be maintained in the Office of Research.

The Assistant Provost for Research is the delegated representative of the university to enable signing of agreements or contracts with external funding organizations.  The Research Office will in all cases confirm the funding amount and the grant award conditions, and assist in establishing ZU funding codes and payment procedures for your grant. 

Ensure that you have understood the conditions of your research grant, and have noted any special considerations or milestones  (such as progress or financial reporting).

Develop a Project Plan

As the Principal Investigator (PI), you may find it helpful to develop a formal ‘project plan’ at the outset of the grant period, both to assist in planning milestones and to highlight changes as they develop.  A Gantt chart  or similar tool can be helpful. 

If the project involves inter-university or international collaboration, the project plan could also formally  identify the responsibilities of all participating investigators.

The Office of Research will be pleased to assist you with all aspects of grant award compliance, and with navigation of university protocol and procedures.

Obtain Ethical Clearance

At Zayed University, ethical clearance should be sought for all research in which it is anticipated that human or animal subjects will be involved as subjects of the research (e.g. as subjects of surveys or interviews, or as subjects of clinical trials).  This clearance should be sought before any pilot studies, focus groups or data gathering commences, and can be a time consuming process that is worth addressing early in your project planning.

Always check the ethical clearance requirements of the research granting organization you are involved with, as there can be marked variations.  Collaborative research projects involving other researching institutions will often require the ethical clearance of ALL participating institutions, and can be a lengthy procedure.

For full details, refer to the Research Integrity section of the Research website, including online training available for all research investigators.

Training and Resources

The Office of Research organizes a regular series of workshops to develop specific research skills (such as use of SPSS, or online survey tools), and to share faculty expertise within research disciplines.  

Zayed University subscribes to and supports a range of resources and tools useful for researchers, such as Select Survey, SPSS, Nvivo and reference management tools such as Endnote, Refworks and Zotero.  

The Office of Research can also assist researchers to identify and employ qualified Research Assistants, usually ZU students, with the necessary skills and experiences to assist in research.

The library is available for accessing an extensive range of literature in many formats.  Refer to the Library website for details, or contact library staff on your campus.

Confirm Your Budget

It is advisable to confirm the approved budget for your research project with the Research Office as soon as possible.  Research staff will work with Finance in the establishment of funding codes for your project, and will approve and track expenditures and balances remaining in your budget allocation over the lifetime of the project.  A simple Research Grant Budget Balance Sheet will be created for your research project, and cross-checked with the PI on a regular basis.  This Balance Sheet should be completed and signed off at the close of the project by both the Office of Research representative and the PI, and forwarded with the Asset Receipt and Return at the time of the Final Report for the project. 

Granting organizations external to ZU may require additional specific reporting on budgets and assets.

Ensure that you are conversant with what is defined as ‘eligible expenses’ in your research grant, and how much (if any) reallocation of budget money can be made as your project unfolds.  The ability to reallocate funds within the budget  varies for different granting organizations.

View more information on how to employ research assistants, purchase equipment, engage in travel or pay for other expenses.

Useful Forms for managing your budget