Adventure into Psychological Research: Creation of a Research Journal

Today is a very special day in my academic life, the day I get started on my postgraduate research project. I am studying the Graduate Diploma of Psychology (Advanced) via Monash University in Melbourne. 

While I haven’t narrowed down my topic, I have become more mindful about my real interests in the area of psychology I have chosen to focus on.

So before I bore you any further, I’ll show you how I am putting together my Research Journal. It’s hard to get too creative in psychology, so I thought making a journal of the work I am putting together would act as a source of communication, will help me feel organised and will be there to help me relax throughout this new adventure I’m heading off on.

Don’t forget. I am new to research. You may be a super experienced researcher, so the content of my journal might be super basic for you. That’s not my intention however. This journal will be a key tool for me.

As you can see, I have started with a running to do check list. Every time I think of a task I need to complete, even those as small as checking for an email from my research supervisor, the task will be written here.

Next up, I’ve started brainstorming key constructs and areas I am interested in. I have made myself a deadline (which will all be added to my “Phase” pages) in that I need to have honed in on a topic by this Monday 9am and have decided what type of research design I want to implement. With this, I will be spending the weekend creating a Research Proposal to informally submit to my Research Supervisor. I think this will be an invaluable start to a long narrative of feedback.

I will post my Research Proposal template here at This Melbourne Mum over the weekend (once I’ve celebrated my birthday with academia clearly not on my mind!)

The next spread I posted above are the Phase spreads. My research unit is split into 3 phases over 6 weeks so I have planned to keep track of phase-specific tasks on these spreads. The sticky “to do” lined notes are from Officeworks, for all my fellow stationery geeks out there.

The last two spreads involve a variety of research tips I’ve started to brainstorm. I love a good brainstorm! Or a brain dump, sounds so much more appropriate! I’ll make more of these brainstorm pages I’m sure, once my supervisor starts to provide advice about the direction of my work.

I’ve also made a calendar page to keep track of May and June (which will fly by, considering the amount of work I have to get through), a “Meeting Dates” page to track dates and notes from my supervisor and peer group meetings about our projects and an assessment tracker to allow me to watch my pace throughout the next 6 weeks. 

And there you have it. Jumping in at the deep end!

If you have any thesis or psychology related pages you’d like me to follow, I’m all eyes and ears, so comment below, find me on Instagram here or drop me a line via This Melbourne Mum’s Mail:

Can’t wait for the days ahead!



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