4.4.4 Thesis plan

Thesis plan

Once your topic proposal has been accepted, prepare a thesis plan by using the other reporting template and JAMK’s reporting instructions.

You can find a other reporting template in JAMK’s project reporting instructions.

The purpose of the thesis plan is to form an overall conception of both the thesis project and the object of development or research that is the topic of the thesis. The thesis plan is needed in the discussions between the commissioner, the student and the tutors. It also guides the systematic progress of the thesis.

A data management plan will be drawn up as an appendix to the thesis plan. The purpose of the data management plan is to ensure that good scientific practice is observed in the thesis. Another purpose is to ensure that research data is not compromised at any stage. See section Data management plan and processing for details.

The thesis plan will be written in the form of a research plan under the guidance of the principal thesis tutor if your thesis is scientific research and the commissioner requires that a research plan be enclosed with the research permit application. A data management plan must also be enclosed with the research permit application.

The thesis plan must be approved by the principal thesis tutor before you can start with the operative part of the thesis or apply for a research permit from the commissioner and start with the research part.

So do this in the following order:

  1. Thesis plan, attached by a data management plan
  2. Possible research permit, attached by a data management plan and a possible research plan
  3. Data collection can begin.

The thesis plan is presented in the small group webinar according to the instructions of the principal thesis tutor. Contact your principal thesis tutor to agree on tutoring times and practices.

The maximum scope of the thesis plan is 10 A4 text pages.

Thesis plan example structure and content

Cover sheet

Use ‘Other reporting template 2021’.

Content

Create the table of contents.

1 Introduction (title may be something other than ‘Introduction’)

  • Introduce the reader to the topic of the thesis: what is being developed or studied and why?
  • Briefly explain the background to the thesis. Tie the investigation to a broader framework of reference than just the work unit or organisation, i.e. the developments or trends in the field or public or other contemporary discussion on the topic.
  • Describe the significance of the topic for the development of working life.
  • Describe briefly the scope of the thesis and the reasons for this.

2 Knowledge base of the thesis (choose the title according to your content)

  • Tell the reader the perspective being adopted in the thesis, what concepts you intend to use to examine the phenomenon or problem, and why these choices are appropriate.
  • Referring to research or other evidence-based data, justify the key concepts, limits and perspectives of the thesis.
  • Participate in the information seeking group training provided by the library. What is already known about the topic? The writing of this chapter is essentially related to systematic information seeking and locating original sources where possible. A report on information seeking is attached.

3 Objectives of development work or research and development or research tasks

  • Describe the development/research problem: What is the prevailing situation in relation to the chosen topic (for the commissioner, for example)? Why should this development work/research be carried out? For example: ‘The products are not getting sold’.
  • Objectives: What is the aim of the development work or research? The benefits of the work for the commissioner or the sector as a whole. For example: ‘Establishing customer needs’.
  • Development tasks or research questions: What are the most important questions to be answered? For example: ‘What customers want from the product’ ‘What is the appropriate price for the product’.
  • Initial assumptions on the final results of the work: What will be the final outcome of the work? For example: a report, plan, improved process, etc.

4 Implementation

4.1 Methods

  • Explain which research or development methods can be used to achieve the thesis objectives.
  • Describe here whether your thesis is a case of research-based development work, qualitative or quantitative research, a descriptive literature survey or some other type of thesis. Remember to always justify your choice based on the methodology literature.

4.2 Data collection and analysis

  • Who are the target groups for the development work or research? Describe here the target group for your development work or research.
  • Work out what the required data is for your development or research work. How do you plan to collect it? Do you have access to ready datasets, and what methods have been used to collect these? Will you make a descriptive literature survey? If so, what methods will you use? Familiarise yourself with data collection methods using the methodology literature on workplace development methods or research methods.
  • How do you plan to carry out the data collection in your development or research work? How will you recruit participants and what kind of timetable do you have?
  • How do you plan to analyse the data collected for the development work or research? Will you use statistical methods, such as SPSS or EXCEL spreadsheets, or do you have qualitative data for which you will use qualitative methods? Make use of the methodology literature.

5 Ethicality and reliability of the development work or research

  • When carrying out your thesis, make sure to follow good scientific practice.
  • Follow the reporting instructions for marking source references.
  • Find out what ethical questions relate to your thesis and explain how you are seeking to resolve them. Use the literature on research ethics when examining questions relating to the ethics and reliability of your development work or research.
  • Prepare a source material management plan using the DMPTuuli program and include the plan as an attachment.
  • Also describe the research permit procedure if you need to apply for a research permit to carry out a thesis in the target organisation. This includes situations where the data collection concerns personnel, customers, patients, students, etc. or data from registers or archives.
  • Sort out any matters relating to information confidentiality.

6 Schedule plan for the thesis phases

  • A preliminary schedule for the thesis phases.
  • Tell the reader in concrete terms what you intend to do.

References

Following the reporting instructions to prepare a list of references of the sources used in your plan.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Report on information seeking
Appendix 2: Data management plan
Appendix 3: Cover letter related to the collection of data
Appendix 4: Indicators related to the collection of data (e.g. questionnaire, interview outline, Learning café coffee table discussion themes, etc.).
Appendix 5: Appendices required by the commissioner to be enclosed with the research permit application

Submitting a thesis plan in Wihi

Upload the thesis plan to Wihi so that your tutor can comment on and approve it. See instructions below.

You can send your work to the tutor for review and comments at the different phases of the thesis project. You can upload your work to Wihi using the Upload file button in Files (Figure 1).

Uploading work to Wihi

Figure 1. Uploading work to Wihi

After the work is uploaded, it will be viewable in Files to both you and your tutor. Your tutor can also upload files to Wihi. You can view and open them in Files field.

NB: When you submit your work for comment using the “Send for external comments” feature, the messages and uploaded files will be displayed under “Statements by interest groups” after submission.

Forms

Information Seeking Report (DOCX)

Links

4.4.5 Data management plan and processing of research data

4.4.6 Library’s information-seeking guidance

Data management guidelines (Finnish Social Science Data Archive)

Data protection (ELMO intranet)

Informing Research Participants (Finnish Social Science Data Archive)

Office-applications for Students (JAMK HelpDesk)

Project Reporting Instructions (Open learning materials)

Wihi service (login required)