Your Survey Checklist

Project Planning

Funded Project

Acceptance Information


Project Planning

If your research project is in the planning stage and/or you would like a project budget estimate, please email src-ssri@psu.edu with the following information:

1. Basic Description of Proposed Research:

  • Short statement describing purpose of research or research questions to be answered
  • Mode of survey: web, field/in-person, telephone, mail, DREAM/mobile, or focus group
  • Population to be sampled
    • General description of population
    • How will sample be obtained/recruited?
    • Any specific screen requirements (e.g. demographic or other stratification of final sample)?
  • Approximate final sample size and/or desired number of completed interviews/surveys

2. Funding Source/Planned Funding Source

3. Anticipated Dates of Data Collection


Funded Project

If you already received a budget estimate and/or your project has been funded, please take note of the typical progression of a project.

Six Weeks Prior to Beginning Work on the Project, we will need:

  • IRB Approval (with copy of IRB approved Protocol/Application, Consent Forms, and Survey Instruments *Note that you can submit a draft of your survey instrument and methodology to the IRB for approval and re-submit the final documents for IRB approval before the study goes live. The SRC will require copies of the IRB approved revisions. However, this process may reduce the prep time before your study can field.
  • Official Acceptance of Budget estimate (see below for information required as part of the official acceptance)
  • Name of contact person in your college who can verify funds

When the Project is Funded and the Budget Estimate has Been Accepted

  • The SRC will assign a Project Manager (PM) as your primary contact
  • The SRC Project Manager will contact you to discuss particulars of your study including project timelines, SRC timelines, IRB approvals, and your specific requirements and expectations

General SRC Process

  • PM or associated programmer will format the instrument and documents into the appropriate data collection software (timeline is about 6 weeks after the documents are received)
  • PM will provide a draft for your approval to resolve any typos or minor changes; major changes will require additional time
  • PM will make corrections/adjustments
  • Simultaneously, PM will work with PI to plan for training of interviewers (if required), plan progress reporting process (as specified in accepted budget estimate) and plan for the starting field date

The actual timeline for completing your project depends on its complexity, the quality of the sample provided, and any revisions made after we begin working on your project which may delay project preparations and implementation. The more advance time that you can provide, the better we can help meet your timelines. Please note that meeting the above requirements is not a guarantee. The specifics of each project will determine the necessary preparation time.

It is important to keep the SRC apprised of the progress towards receiving a grant if this budget projection is used as part of a grant proposal. This is especially true for projects that will require significant SRC resources. For example, telephone studies may require advance notice of 6 months or longer depending upon the number of CATI stations committed to other studies. (Also, it is helpful for us to know if a project that we budgeted is not funded.)

Please note that this budget projection does not include data analysis beyond providing simple frequencies. PI’s are encouraged to review the data sets and summary methodology and frequencies report upon receipt from SRC. Consultation can be provided up to 60 days thereafter. Data analysis and consultation beyond this, if any, must be budgeted and agreed upon separately and in writing. Also, any Penn State overhead charges may need to be added depending on your source of funding.