Research Proposal

How to write a research proposal

Supervisor/Students need to be imaginative and practical in writing their research proposal. Innovative research ideas are welcome, however it must be realistic and practical.

The proposal should provide a good idea of your 'research problem' and some indication of why you think it is important.

We need to know that your research proposition is worth undertaking, that you can achieve it, and that you are aware of the constraints of time and other difficulties which affect all research projects.

Word limit

Max 2000 words

Sections of your proposal

Working title
Introduction/justification/rationale

Aim/hypothesis
A simple statement of what the research is seeking to achieve. The aim should be fairly focussed to demonstrate that you have narrowed down the topic to something that is both achievable and manageable.
Alternatively, the aim may be considered as a hypothesis (question). A hypothesis is a conjectural statement of the relationship between 2 or more variables that are measurable.

Objectives
5-6 bullet points of intended outcomes from the research written as statements. They are written as though you have completed the research and are looking back on what you did in order to meet the aim of the research. Another way of looking at objectives is to think about what it is you need to demonstrate an understanding of in order to meet the aim of the research.

Literature review
Two parts: searching for and finding relevant literature; and analysing/reviewing what has been found.
The literature review included in the Introductory section contextualises the subject area, and a full literature review is provided as a stand alone section.

In addition, a literature review is also concerned with literature on research strategy/techniques and data analysis methods.

Research methodology
Provides a discussion of the research strategy (general approach) to be adopted with appropriate justification including:
  • detail of the implementation of the strategy in relation to the proposed research
  • the technique(s) to be used including justifying appropriate technique(s) for the research strategy adopted.
  • possible problems that may arise in administering the technique(s) along with identifying strategies to minimise the impact of any potential problems.
Analytical approach
This addresses the range of data that will be gathered from the research techniques and how this information will be analysed.

References
A list of references cited within the main text following a system of referencing such as Harvard.

Assessment
Progress is judged through the completion of learning agreement, annual progress report, self evaluation report and final thesis submission.

External Sources


Subpages (1): Research Fields