IJP researchers are encouraged to follow a strict protocol that applies, mutatis mutandis, to individual research, project research and group research. Individual research is undertaken by a single researcher, under supervision of a research supervisor and may be aimed at a postgraduate award, to be delivered by the UPT, the Consortium or any other higher education institution; this kind of research may or may not be integrated in a competitive funded project. Project research is externally, competitive funded research and is aimed to the prosecution of the goals that the funding institution established in the funding contract. Group research is the research performed by the research group as a unit and may be self-funded or integrate both competitive funded projects and individual research projects; this kind of initiatives is expected to generate data collection to latter use in different project research or individual research – see, for instance, the Observatories initiative.
The research protocol requires that research delivers typically three working packages and at least three milestones. Working package 1 typically includes in depth literature review, a state of the art, a theoretical framework, when applicable, a research question already with the type of data required to answer it, ending with a methodology discussion and choice – all synthetized, at least, in a working paper (milestone 1). Working package 2 will typically include data collection and finishes with, at least, a Research paper reporting the process and the raw data results (milestone 2). Working package 3 includes data analysis and conclusions, ending with the final report – milestone 3 (that may vary in nature, depending of the nature of the research process – e.g., qualification award, funded project, etc.).
Researchers are encouraged to produce and submit peer review works out of the milestones, whenever possible and adequate. For UPT or the Consortium degree awards research, milestones are mandatory and subject to evaluation.