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Research Planning

5 ECTS Montpellier, Kourou Year 2 Semester 3 Compulsory Integrative/inter/transdisciplinary, Environmental sciences, Humanities, Tool 11


This module prepares students to the design, planning and implementation of a research project in general. The academic training is applied to the building of the student’s individual thesis project (module 3.18 Thesis). Such preparation is all the more important since thesis projects are generally conducted at third-party legal entities, and since they include fieldwork, preferably in the tropics.

This module requires students to prepare and defend:

  • A literature-based, group analysis of a topic in tropical forest ecology (not necessarily related to the thesis project)
  • An individual plan for the research that the student will undertake during the thesis dissertation phase. The plan must incorporate a literature review, a clear statement of hypotheses or questions to be addressed, an outline of the methods to be used, output expectations, a risk analysis, a realistic timetable, and elements of logistical organization. The review is expected to contain a critical appraisal of the assembled material.

Learning outcomes

Students are able to

  • collect, critically evaluate, synthesise and report on information on an agreed topic to an agreed standard
  • generate hypotheses or questions that can be tested in a scientific experiment or other form of investigation
  • build a realistic timetable and identify valuable scientific and operational outputs of a research project.

Teaching and learning methods

  • About 15 hours mixing lectures, practical work, and staff tutorship, advice and consultation
  • About 25 hours of personal work
  • Group and individual defences: 1-2 hours per student and deliverable.

Type of assessment

  • Individual
  • Defence, Written assignment
  • The written reports are evaluated by one to two academics (including the academic thesis supervisor). The oral defences are evaluated by a board of academics and external experts.
    The individual research plan defence provides another opportunity for refining the thesis project.


  • Location : Montpellier, Kourou
  • ECTS granting : AgroParisTech
  • Organisation : AgroParisTech


All AgroParisTech academic staff in Montpellier and Kourou