I need to write work plan for six months. My field of research is mathematical physics, I have mathematical work (calculations), not using any lab. I need to write following points.

Please provide the following:

  1. A brief description of the overall structure of the work plan;
  2. Detailed description of each task;
  3. Deliverables at the end of each task
  4. Timing (Weekly / Monthly) of the tasks and their components (Gantt chart or similar)

I can write first point about overall description of work plan. But how should I write description of task and its result as I don't know without solving? Also It is one problem which I need to work on, how could I divide it into monthly tasks? Need suggestion about this please.

  • 3
    Why do you need such a work plan? Is this for a degree? For a job? For an academic job?
    – Buffy
    Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 15:18
  • Is it for an internal grant? Who is going to evaluate it? It looks like a boilerplate requirement, not suitable for a project in math. Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 15:51
  • I am applying for six month research visit scholarship, there i need to write this
    – Tooba
    Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 8:55

1 Answer 1


Such plans can be tricky for mathematical work as it does not always follow a predictable path or timescale, as much as we would like it to. I'm interested in what others say but this is my view/approach (applied math/engineering):

First, take a step back and consider what the purpose of this plan is. The plan should give you (and anyone who's reading it) confidence that what you want to do is achievable within the time available. It should also provide a way of regularly assessing progress towards meeting the objectives.

With this in mind, breaking the project into steps will be very problem specific but goes something like this: Imagine the project runs perfectly (!), identify the techniques/theorems/etc you intend to use to solve the problem. How will you adapt/use/apply these to your problem? What are the challenges to overcome for this to work and how will you overcome them? This should give you some steps to discuss as well as some indication of what the intermediate and final outputs will be (a proof, numerical model, etc).

It's rare for a project to run perfectly. So now that you have a perfect plan, it's time to introduce contingencies for things not going as expected. Give yourself much more time than you think you will need for each task (but still realistic). When describing each task, discuss what you will do if your first attempt does not work. What will you try next? Is there a 'last resort' that is 'guaranteed' to work? Perhaps a computer simulation or making a simplifying approximation which has been used previously.

If you don't know what approach you will use, you may not be in a position to write such a plan yet. You may need to do some initial calculations/research to formulate a realistic plan.

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