Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session SEARCH FELLOWSHIPS

Define Your Project

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Step Three: Details

Once you have identified your goals and established the kind of activity you would like to pursue, you will need to consider the scope of the project and establish the details. The following questions may help you frame your thinking and define your project.



  • What exactly is the project I am going to be doing?
  • How would I describe my project to other people?


  • When will I be carrying out my project?
  • Does this time-frame make sense, not only for me but also for the other people or organizations involved?
  • How much time do I have to carry out my intended project?
  • Is the project I am proposing feasible in the time that I have?
  • Is this sufficient time to satisfy the goals I have set for this project?
  • How will I allocate my time while carrying out the project?


  • What are the motivations behind my project?
  • Is there a genuine need for this to take place?
  • How was this need identified?


  • What are the goals I have for this project?
  • How do my project goals feed into my longer-term goals for my time at Yale and beyond?
  • What is the scope of my project?

Tip: In defining the scope of your project, defining what the project will not be can be just as helpful as defining what the project will be.


  • What challenges can I reasonably expect?
  • Are there steps I can take now which may help me to meet challenges in the future?


  • What are the practicalities of making something happen in the region I have identified?
  • What are the ethical considerations I need to be aware of when planning and carrying out my project?
  • Is the project I am considering possible at the time I plan to travel to the location (for example, if you are planning to work with schoolchildren, when are the schools in session?)
  • What kind of support networks do I hope to have while undertaking my project? How will these be similar to/different from the ones I have established while planning my project?
  • What is my plan B? Fellowships are not guaranteed. Will I still carry out my project if I am not awarded funding?
  • What steps can I take, before and during my experience, to earn money, save and budget effectively?

Tip: Explore a wide range of resources to gather information about the practicalities of living in your proposed location. Online resources may include websites, forums and social networking sites. Offline resources may include people who have been to the area or are currently in the area, and guidebooks.


  • Am I ready to take on this project? Will I be ready by the time I undertake it?
  • What resources can I tap into while preparing this project?
  • What qualifies me to carry out this project? (e.g. past coursework, work experience, research experience, time spent abroad, extra-curricular activities, transferable skills)
  • Do I have the language skills needed to carry out this project effectively?
  • What preparation should I be undertaking between now and the time I leave?
  • Are there any classes I could take which could feed into this project?
  • Are there any other skills I may need for this project?

Tip: Use the Planning Toolkits to prepare for your project.

Useful resources

Use the Planning Toolkits for:

  • Planning Research Projects
  • Planning Internships
  • Planning Public Service Projects