A lot of research doesn’t go to plan. Researchers encounter a few hiccups along the way and in order to avoid problems, they make adjustments to their process. The research goes ahead, just slightly differently.
But what usually goes wrong in research? The most common problems in the kind of research that I do are things like failing to recruit enough people or places, participants withdrawing or refusing permission for their data to be used at some point, research staff leaving in the middle of a project, one of the research investigators getting ill.
These kinds of hiccups are not surprising. They can be imagined, and then planned for. Then, if they do occur, it doesn’t come as a complete shock, and you already know what to do.
In the normal run of things researchers seeking funding often have to produce a risk management schedule. They have to anticipate things that might go wrong, things like those listed above, and decide whether these are a high, low or medium probability. Then they put a contingency plan in place. Then they go on.
But only very occasionally a research project doesn’t get off the ground. Or it has to close down prematurely. Occasionally up until now, that is.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone put…