This project has received funding from the European Union's 7th Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration under Grant Agreement (GA) N° #607798

To determine the goal(s)
of your Trial
3 hours
Trial owner (lead)
practitioner coordinator
evaluation coordinator
technical coordinator

In a nutshell

What this step
is about

An objective is defined as “something that one”s efforts or actions are intended to obtain or accomplish; purpose; goal; target” So coming from your gaps and the trial context, now you have to clearly define your trial objective(s) in a SMART way (see next page). This is the prerequisite for formulating clear research questions.

In depth

All you need to know
about this step

Let the preparation phase begin: Your first task is to write down your goals and aspirations - also known as trial objective(s). What do you really want to achieve in your trial

Start with a brainstorming session for each goal and trial context. What is the core? What is the most important part of it (maybe there is even more than one)? 

Now try to formulate this in one sentence that expresses it as an objective. The SMART formulation can help you. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reasonable and Time-bound. 

First of all you have to be specific about what you want to address. What is your main “problem” within your gap? - write it down. Second, as we aim for measurable results, it is important to formulate your objectives in a way that allows measuring. So what are you aiming for: Do you need to be faster? More accurate? Write it down. Third, achievable. Only if you can actually address that gap in a trial, it is worth conducting it. So, write down also what you want to achieve. Fourth, reasonable. You cannot change the whole world. But you can make a specific change in your everyday crisis management that will make your life better. Reasonable also refers to the resources you can use for your trial. Finally, your objective must be achievable not only technically or resource-wise, but also it must be realized in a certain amount of time. Time is usually a very scarce resource for both those, who are organizing a trial, and those, who are participating in it. Thus, the time-bound criterion refers to the question how much time you are able and willing to spend, in order to prepare, execute and evaluate the trial. Indicate how much time you want to spend for each step of your trial.


Brainstorming and discussion


Gaps & trial context


SMART trial objective(s)

  • Aim/goal for improvement per gap written down
  • Each objective is formulated in a SMART way
  • SMART objectives discussed with practitioners
  • Objectives are all feasible
  • Overall objective of the trial (“slogan”) formulated and discussed