Start a project
Since 1992, the Survey Research Center has helped hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students collect original survey data for their research projects. We encourage students to seek our advice early in the year they start their research work. Here are some guidelines for getting your project through each of the stages shown below:
Students should talk to their faculty advisors about formulating research projects. If your project involves the analysis of survey data, you should check first to see if someone else has already collected the data you need. One way to start is by checking data sets available from federal statistical agencies such as the Bureau of the Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These agencies spend millions of dollars every year on survey data collection and archives of their data sets are available on their web sites. There are also archives of public opinion data that can be accessed through the web. Please check the SRC’s Helpful Links page and Princeton University’s Data and Statistical Services.
After discussing your project with your academic advisor, tell us more about your project using our online form. First time users should schedule an appointment to meet with a staff member of the SRC. During this meeting the Associate or Assistant Director of SRC will review your research project, determine the most appropriate methods to accomplish your goals and steps needed to get your project up and running.
The next step is to work with your advisor to draft the questionnaire for your survey. At this stage you can also come to the SRC for guidance on question wording, formatting, and layout. For additional advice on drafting your questionnaire, please see Chapter 6 of the American Statistical Association’s online guide "What is a Survey?"
- To comply with IRB guidelines, the first page of your survey questionnaire should function as the consent form, or as in the example below:
Note: You need to fill in the information in the brackets […]