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progress against agreed milestones and the significance and implications of the research to date problems that could influence the conduct and outcomes of the project and that may require mutually agreed modification of the workplan and budget and opportunities for new projects, workshops, media releases, the protection of intellectual property, commercialisation etc.
The information provided allows the Corporation to consider both opportunities and problems arising from the research project and will be the primary benchmark used by research managers to check that the project is on track. Scheduled payments each year are dependent on the annual progress report being assessed as satisfactory by the research manager. Timing Reporting dates are as specified in Schedule 6 of the Research Agreement. Reports must reach the Corporation by the agreed reporting date and should be completed in Clarity whether the milestones have been achieved or not. The Corporation may withhold funding for a given project:
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when a report is not received by the due date when satisfactory progress does not appear to have been made when significant changes to the workplan and budget need to be agreed.
To avoid delays in payment, early warning should be given when it appears likely that an agreed milestone cannot be achieved on time. Format The report should be entered in the online database management system Clarity. The structure below shows the headings in Clarity you will be asked to address. Project objectives Agreed objectives as stated in the Research Agreement Progress against agreed milestones Use the agreed performance indicators to indicate whether the milestone(s) have been achieved or not and, where appropriate, provide copies of material generated by the project. Comment on the significance or implications of the milestone(s) achieved to the targeted rural industry or community sector. Where the agreed milestones have not been achieved, provide reasons for this and propose a revised reporting date. Outcomes, issues and recommendations
Outline any outcomes, issues and recommendations, also include a proposed management strategy for any issues. Demonstration/promotion/extension activities/research reporting Researchers should identify issues such as commercialisation, advertising, communication/extension and opportunities for new projects, workshops etc arising from the research. Confirmation of industry funding, if not already notified Where the project budget shows a contribution from industry, the Corporation requires confirmation that the research organisation has received that contribution for the relevant financial year. To release research funds it is essential to complete this section in Clarity if your project budget has an amount in the "industry contribution" column. Variation requests not already identified to RIRDC Variations to the project, including timing, staffing and budgets, will need to be approved by the Corporation. A justification for the changes sought must be provided. Other comments Space for any other comments Length and content As annual progress payments are made following approval of progress reports, sufficient information should be provided to allow research managers to fairly assess progress against the agreed tasks. Reports should enable the Corporation to:
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determine if milestones have been achieved respond to any problems that have arisen consider variations that are proposed develop ideas and opportunities arising from the project
As indicated above, they should address the significance and implications of the outcomes reported as well as providing information on the work completed. Clarity will restrict the content to 250 words per heading. Reports should be written in a user friendly manner with minimum use of scientific jargon and acronyms. New technical terms should be explained where necessary. Do not repeat information included in previous reports.
Progress Report Sample
DATE: September 28, 1992 FROM: Jersey Manu TO: Dr. Jensen SUBJECT: Progress on faculty workshop plans Work Completed Plans for the faculty workshop on October 12 are nearly complete. The committee met on September 19. We discussed what kind of subject we wanted and came up with several names of possible speakers. Since then, Greg Stephens has contacted Stan Brannan, president of Genesis Technology Center in Wichita. He has agreed to come. Since then we have sent him a letter confirming the speaking engagement, and Greg Stephens has talked to him personally. He will be flying in on October 12. I contacted John Campbell at Boeing. He got in touch with Al Andrews in their CAD-CAM division. Mr. Andrews has confirmed that either he or Tom McDabitt from his department will come to speak. A letter has been sent to him as well confirming the speaking engagement. Both letters were mailed Tuesday, September 27. I have enclosed a copy of the letter sent to both Andrews and Brannan. We also included a schedule for the workshop and directions to the campus, copies of which are also attached to this memo. Work Scheduled There are a few things that remain to be done.
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I need to call Al Andrews, make sure he got his letter, and work out any remaining details about his arrival. We need to find out when Mr. Brannan will be arriving and have someone meet him at the airport. We would like to send announcements to various business leaders, the news media, the chamber of commerce, and the other post-secondary schools in town by the middle of next week.
I have a few questions for you. 1. Will your office be responsible for sending out announcements, or do you want us to do that? We do have some papers from Genesis that could be sent with the announcements. These would help people know what Genesis is. I've enclosed one. 2. Will someone from your office meet Mr. Brannan or should one of us? You'll notice that my letter suggests that Mr. Andrews go directly to your office if he arrives at noon. 3. Will you or Tim make the opening comments and introductions? Please see the enclosed schedule.
4. How do we make arrangements to have coffee and rolls available in G.T. 103? I think this will be an interesting workshop and am confident that everything is working out nicely. I don't foresee any problems that would throw off our plans.
Guidelines for Writing a Progress Report
People write progress reports to keep interested parties informed about what has been done on a project and about what remains to be done. Often the reader is the writer's supervisor. As a result the tone should be serious and respectful. Even though progress reports are often in the form of a memo, the writer should be careful to write formal, standard prose. Progress reports represent not only the writer's work but the writer's organizational and communication skills. Progress reports can be structured in several ways. The following suggested pattern helps the writer cover essential material.
If the progress report is a memo, it should contain the following standard elements:
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Date: Date the memo is sent To: Name and position of the reader From: Name and position of the writer Subject: A clear phrase that focuses the reader's attention on the subject of the memo
Because the reader is busy, get right to the point. Imagine you are meeting the reader in the hall, and you say, "I wanted to talk to you about this." Use the same strategy for the first line of the memo's body. Try saying out loud, "I wanted to tell you that" and then start writing what ever comes after that prompt. Often such a sentence will begin something like this: "Progress on setting up the new program in testing is going very well." If there is a request somewhere in the memo, make it explicity up front; otherwise, your reader may miss it.
Usually in the same paragraph as the purpose statement, the writer gives the reader some background information. If the occasion demands a written progress report instead of a quick oral report, it is probably the case that the reader needs to be reminded of the details. Tell the reader what the project is and clarify its purpose and time scale. If there have been earlier progress reports, you might make a brief reference to them.
The next section of a progress report explains what work has been done during the reporting period. Specify the dates of the reporting period and use active voice verbs to give the impression that you or you and your team have been busy. You might arrange this section chronologically (following the actual sequence of the tasks being completed), or you might divide this section into subparts of the larger project and report on each subpart in sequence. Whatever pattern you use, be consistent.
If the reader is likely to be interested in the glitches you have encountered along the way, mention the problems you have encountered and explain how you have solved them. If there are problems you have not yet been able to solve, explain your strategy for solving them and give tell the reader when you think you will have them solved.
Specify the dates of the next segment of time in the project and line out a schedule of the work you expect to get accomplished during the period. It is often a good idea to arrange this section by dates which stand for deadlines. To finish the progress report, you might add a sentence evaluating your progress thus far.
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