Contact lists: Establishing a project network

Establishing a network for a project:

  1. Whydo I need to contact people?
    1. You can get the most recent information talking face-to-face.
    2. You learn information that is not published by the government and organizations.
    3. If you show effort to meet someone in person, they may want to help you more.
    4. The people you meet can ask you questions that will help you make your project relevant and make them more interested in helping you.
    5. Only some of the people you meet will help you. The more people you meet, the more people will be able to help you.
  2. Whodo I contact?
    1. People who you personally know who are interested in the topic.
    2. Ask people you do know to connect you to other people who are experts or know experts.
    3. Look online for organizations involved in the issues you are working on. Find an individual listed as a contact person. Contact them.
    4. Look for published research and reports. Contact the authors with questions about what they have written.
  3. Whatdo I tell people when I first contact them?
    1. Find out what you can from the internet about their current work and interests
    2. Explain how you found them or remind them how you know already know them
    3. Briefly explain your current project. Highlight why it interests them
    4. Ask one or two clear questions about what they are working on
    5. Suggest a way or time to talk more if the project is of interest to them
    6. Offer to answer any questions.
    7. If you need specific help:   i. say clearly what information or support you need.   ii. explain any time limit or deadlin
  4. Howdo I keep a record of all my contacts?
    1. Keep a list of everyone to talk to.
    2. Include their name, their phone number, their email, the organization they are with.
    3. It is also helpful to record how you met them, when you last contacted them, and what they are interested in.
    4. Computer spreadsheets or text documents work. You can search them, which is helpful when you want to look someone up.


Example Mail:

Dear _(Person you are contacting)_________,

My name is  (name)  and I am a (student status) at  (university) studying (major/concentration). My advisor (who put you in contact?) suggested I contact you because I am researching (own research topic). Because of you expertise in  (interest that you share) and recent research on (this person’s research topic), I hope you can answer the following two questions:

1) Question 1. Example: Besides (literature I’ve already read) to do you know of any examples of (type of literature you’re looking for?)

2) Question 2 Example: I am considering (research method A )and (research method B.) In your opinion which is better suited to a project with (population size and time frame).?


Your responses will help me move to the next stage of my project. If you could respond in the next two or three weeks, I would be very grateful. If more details on my project would be helpful, please don’t hesititate to ask. If you think of any researchers involved in this work who might be willing to help, please let me know.

Thank you for you time and attention,


(organization or university)

(Contact information)

Example contact list:

Name  |   Organization|   Phone  |  email | physical address | Who gave you contact  | last contact event