"Research proposals are documents prepared for two primary purposes: to help researchers articulate their plans for research and to convince others (e.g., funders, colleagues, supervisors) that the plan for a research study is sound." (Julien, 2008)
As a student or researcher, you might have the chance to write a research proposal in one of these circumstances:
Here's a quick summary of what each type of research proposal should focus on. You can also take a look at some sample proposals to get an idea of how each type of proposal looks like.
To get prepared for your final year thesis or dissertation.
You will likely need to write one for the assignment in your Research Methodology class.
|To get admitted to a PhD programme you are interested in.||To get approval from a funding body.|
||Need to sell your potential as a researcher.||Need to have a strong emphasis on the practicalities of the method and the benefits of potential outcomes.|
The format of a research proposal varies between fields. In general, a research proposal contains the following elements with the aim to achieve 3 key objectives:
|1. Title||1. To identify an important research topic or problem and establish a research question|
2. Introduction / Background
3. Literature Review
|2. To provide evidence from the literature that the study needs to be done|
|3. To set out a plan on how data will be collected and analyzed that will enable the research question to be addressed|
|5. Ethical Considerations|
|6. Timeline / Planning|
If you are preparing for your thesis project, the first 4 components of your proposal can be parts of your thesis. Refer to respective guides to learn how to develop a research question and conduct a literature review.
There are many online guides and tutorials that teach how to write a research proposal. Here we pick a few good ones for you.
|Video Tutorials||Online Guides|