Research and Innovation Development Office
23 August 2016
Let's face it - if this post was titled "Why you need a Risk Management Plan," you probably wouldn't have clicked through, and even if you did, you might have dozed off by the end of this sentence.
That's because Risk Assessment and Risk Management, although epically important, have often been considered (dare we say it?) - B-O-R-I-N-G.
But you know what's not boring? Arriving to Heathrow to fly to your international data collection site, saddled with equipment and that gleam of researcher curiosity in your eye, all to find out your non-refundable flight was cancelled and you have no travel insurance to cover the reimbursement. Grant funds down the drain. Or finding out that your Co-Investigator is dropping out of the world of academia to finally pursue that career as an underwater basket weaver, and no one at his institution is available to take his place on the project. Loads of weavin', no data analysin'.
We're sure you can see the point by now - sometimes BORING is BEST. Wouldn't it be lovely to be faced with the above situations, and know exactly what to do? To have some sort of guidance to rely on in times of distress? Then the Risk Management Plan is for you! These are required by many funders upon application, but also highly recommended for best practice in research, and for good reason. If you are thinking about the potential risks to your project before you even begin it, you can build in solutions and make back-up plans, and then voilà - you're free to actually do your research. Imagine that!
If you're an ARU researcher, Anglia Ruskin's Research and Innovation Development Office (RIDO) will provide you with a Risk Assessment template prior to application submission, with the following steps:
After performing the above steps, you'll have an organised, thought-out plan to turn to in your time of need. Of course we all hope research projects will run with immaculate perfection and these plans won't ever be consulted, but life is messy, and therefore, research can be messy. As the Boy Scouts say - be prepared. And when that doesn't work, please feel free to reach out the ARU Research Services Team for more suggestions and assistance.