13 SMART Goals Examples for Research Coordinators

Strengthening the research process and supporting researchers, a research coordinator plays an integral role in enhancing organizational objectives.

They work across various stages of a study, including research design, approval processes, data collection, and analysis. Being able to prioritize goals is essential for the success of this position.

The SMART goal technique enables coordinators to create amazing goals. This article will provide 13 SMART goals examples for research coordinators to help them excel in their roles.

What is a SMART Goal?

The SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based) system can be a valuable tool for research coordinators to set effective goals.

To give you a clearer understanding, here’s a more detailed breakdown of each element of the SMART acronym.


Being specific in your goal setting can dramatically increase your chances of success. The key is to be as detailed as possible. These finer points could give you an edge over other research coordinators. In contrast, vague goals may lead to a rapid loss of motivation.


As a research coordinator, it’s crucial to use measurable outcomes. With a straightforward assessment of your progress, your research projects could become more cohesive and efficient.


Setting a goal that’s too high can cause disappointment, but setting one that’s too low may leave you unfulfilled. Try to strike a balance between being overly ambitious and too cautious. It ensures that you’re continually pushing forward without setting yourself up for potential failure.


Developing goals that align with your values and professional aspirations is important. By doing this, you’ll stay energized during challenging periods. So take a moment to reflect on what truly matters to you and let these values guide your goal setting.


A timeline for your goals helps you stay focused and keeps your objectives in sight. Recognize that goal completion doesn’t happen overnight. It requires consistent effort, so be prepared to commit time and energy to succeed.

13 SMART Goals Examples for Research Coordinators

1. Streamline Research Approval Process

“By the end of 6 months, we will have reduced the time it takes for the research approval process by 50% by optimizing communication with regulatory bodies and implementing an efficient system for obtaining necessary approvals.”

Specific: The statement outlines the exact objective: reducing research approval process time by 50%.

Measurable: The goal is measurable by tracking the time it takes for research approvals before and after implementing the new system.

Attainable: By optimizing communication and implementing an efficient system, it’s feasible to decrease the approval process duration significantly.

Relevant: Streamlining the research approval process helps improve overall efficiency in research studies.

Time-based: You have a clear 6-month deadline for optimal success.

2. Enhance Data Accuracy and Completeness

“I’ll implement a data quality assurance system within the next month to improve the accuracy and completeness of research data collected. I’ll conduct regular audits and provide training on proper data collection techniques to all team members.”

Specific: This targets improving the accuracy and completeness of research data through a data quality assurance system.

Measurable: Success can be measured through regular audits and monitoring of research data.

Attainable: This goal is achievable within a month with enough planning and implementation.

Relevant: Accurate and complete data is crucial for valid research results, making this goal highly relevant to the role of a research coordinator.

Time-based: The SMART goal will be accomplished after one month.

3. Increase Participant Recruitment Numbers

“Our research study will have recruited 50% more participants than the previous year due to improved marketing strategies and targeted outreach efforts. For 6 months, we’ll track the number of participants recruited each month and adjust our strategies accordingly.”

Specific: Clearly states the goal of increasing participant recruitment by 50% within a certain time frame.

Measurable: Tracking the number of participants recruited each month allows for evaluating progress towards the goal.

Attainable: By implementing improved marketing strategies and targeted outreach efforts, it is feasible to increase recruitment numbers.

Relevant: The success of a research study is highly dependent on the number of participants recruited, making this crucial for its overall success.

Time-based: You have an end date of 6 months to meet this goal statement.

4. Strengthen Collaboration With Research Team

“Within this quarter, I’ll improve collaboration with my research team by scheduling monthly meetings, using a shared project management tool, and setting clear expectations for responsibilities and deadlines.”

Specific: The goal explains actions to improve collaboration with the research team.

Measurable: Determine the frequency of meetings, utilization of project management tools, and successful completion of tasks within set deadlines.

Attainable: These strategies are possible as they focus on improving communication and setting clear expectations.

Relevant: Collaboration is crucial for successful research, making this goal highly suitable.

Time-based: One quarter (three months) is required for goal completion.

5. Develop a Comprehensive Study Timeline

“I will have created a comprehensive study timeline that outlines all tasks and deadlines for the upcoming research project by the end of two weeks. This timeline will be shared with all team members to ensure everyone is on the same page.”

Specific: The SMART statement is well-defined: to create a comprehensive study timeline.

Measurable: Ensure all tasks and deadlines for the upcoming research project are included.

Attainable: The research coordinator should have access to all necessary resources to create the timeline within two weeks.

Relevant: This is important as it will ensure everyone clearly understands what needs to be done and when.

Time-based: The goal must be completed over the course of two weeks.

6. Use Reputable Sources for Literature Reviews

“I’ll conduct a thorough literature review for my research project by utilizing reputable sources such as academic journals and books within four months. I plan to dedicate two hours each week to this task and maintain a record of all sources used.”

Specific: You have identified the sources for your literature review.

Measurable:  You can evaluate progress by keeping track of how many reputable sources you have used in your literature review.

Attainable: A time frame of four months is reasonable to conduct a thorough literature review using reputable sources.

Relevant: Conducting a literature review is essential to research, and using reputable sources adds credibility to the findings.

Time-based: In four months, you’ll have finished the literature review task.

7. Maintain Stakeholder Communication

“I want to maintain open communication channels with all stakeholders involved in the research project in two months. That includes scheduling regular meetings, responding promptly to emails and phone calls, and providing timely project progress updates.”

Specific: You have precise actions available—scheduling meetings, responding promptly, and providing updates.

Measurable: Progress can be gauged by the frequency of meetings and responses to emails and phone calls.

Attainable: With effective time management and prioritization, maintaining communication channels is doable in two months.

Relevant: This directly contributes to the research project’s success by ensuring all stakeholders are informed and involved.

Time-based: The statement must be achieved within two months.

8. Explore Funding Opportunities for Future Studies

“I will research and apply for at least three potential funding opportunities for future studies in our organization within the 6 months ahead. I plan to attend grant writing workshops, network with potential funders, and submit high-quality proposals.”

Specific: The research coordinator has identified at least three funding opportunities to pursue and the timeline for doing so.

Measurable: Count how many opportunities have been researched, workshops attended, and proposals submitted.

Attainable: This goal is feasible as it allows for enough time and resources to explore potential funding sources.

Relevant: As a research coordinator, securing funding is crucial for the success of future studies, making this goal highly appropriate.

Time-based: Goal attainment is expected within the next 6 months.

9. Ensure Clinical Trials Comply With Protocol

“I will ensure all clinical trials are conducted under the protocol and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines within 6 months. I’ll conduct training sessions for the research team, organize mock trials, and review protocol compliance with the team.”

Specific: The goal details the actions (conducting training sessions and organizing mock trials) the coordinator will take to ensure that all clinical trials comply.

Measurable: Monitor how many training sessions you’ve conducted and the mock trials you organized.

Attainable: This goal is realistic as it relies on the coordinator’s ability to conduct training and organize mock trials, which are essential aspects of their role.

Relevant: Conducting clinical trials in compliance with protocol ensures that research findings are valid and reliable.

Time-based: This should be completed in the following 6 months.

10. Increase Publication of Research Findings

“I aim to have three research studies published in reputable journals by the end of the year. To do this, I’ll prioritize data analysis and writing for publication during work hours and allocate dedicated time each week for this task.”

Specific: The individual aims to increase the number of research studies published in reputable journals.

Measurable: Count the number of studies published (three) on reputable journal websites.

Attainable: The goal is possible because the individual will prioritize data analysis and writing for publication during work hours.

Relevant: As a research coordinator, it is vital to contribute to advancing knowledge through publication in reputable journals.

Time-based: The SMART statement has a specific time frame of one year.

11. Boost Awareness of Ethical Considerations

“For 8 months, I’ll strive to facilitate workshops for all researchers in my department on ethical considerations in research. This will increase their awareness of ethical guidelines and ensure they adhere to them.”

Specific: You know what must be done (facilitate workshops) and who it applies to (all researchers in the department).

Measurable: The number of workshops held and the attendance can be tracked.

Attainable: Any research coordinator should be able to organize workshops within their department.

Relevant: Ethical considerations are crucial to conducting ethical research, so this goal is relevant to the role of a research coordinator.

Time-based: Goal achievement is anticipated over 8 months.

12. Improve Your Project Management Skills

“I’ll attend a project management course and read three books on project management over the following 6 months. I will also shadow a senior research coordinator for two projects to gain hands-on experience managing research projects.”

Specific: You plan to elevate your project management skills for 6 months.

Measurable: Gauge progress by checking off the listed action items: completing the course, reading the books, and shadowing a senior research coordinator.

Attainable: By attending a course, reading books, and gaining hands-on experience through shadowing, this goal is feasible.

Relevant: Project management is essential for research coordinators, who are often responsible for various projects.

Time-based: This statement has a time frame of 6 months for completion.

13. Use Evidence-Based Strategies for Data Analysis

“I plan to utilize evidence-based strategies for data analysis to improve the accuracy and efficiency of our research results within four months. That way, our findings will be more reliable and useful for future studies.”

Specific: The goal states the use of evidence-based strategies for data analysis.

Measurable: The accuracy and efficiency of research results can be measured by comparing pre and post-implementation data.

Attainable: The coordinator can work with a statistician or research team to learn and implement these strategies.

Relevant: This goal pertains to the research process as it ensures more reliable and valuable results.

Time-based: Four months is the desired deadline to accomplish excellence.

Final Thoughts

Research coordination is a dynamic field that requires continuous learning. By setting SMART goals and evaluating progress, research coordinators can boost their skills and contribute to the success of research projects.

And realize that these goals can be adjusted as needed throughout the year. By remaining dedicated and open to growth, coordinators can significantly impact their field and contribute to advancing knowledge.

So keep creating SMART goals, and celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Every step towards excellence is worth recognizing. Keep striving, and you’ll soon excel in your responsibilities.

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