Writing A Research Proposal

These recommendations do not guarantee a successful research application! They are intended to help you conceptualize and prepare a research proposal, giving the process structure and a timetable for you to develop. Good luck! When applying for a research grant or a study scholarship, you are expected to hand in a "detailed and precise description of study or research proposal as well as information on any previous study or research projects of particular relevance to a decision of award." The purpose of the proposal is to ensure that the candidates have done sufficient preliminary reading/research in the area of their interest that they have thought about the issues involved and are able to provide more than a broad description of the topic which they are planning to research. The proposal is not a fixed blueprint. One cannot predict one's findings beforehand or mechanically stick to an argument since the research will inevitably alter or even unseat one's initial expectations. There is no fixed formula for writing a proposal. However, your challenge is to convince members of the scientific community that you have identified a scientific problem have a theoretical background and a methodical approach to solve the problem within a realistic time frame and at reasonable expenses. With your research you will add a new aspect to the scientific discourse. First, consult your advisor on length, layout (typeface, line spacing, font, etc.), format, as well as a table of contents and page numbers. Members of the selection committee may have to read a large number of research proposals so good construction and legibility of your proposal is to your advantage. Title Page: birth, nationality, your contact information, institutional contact. (Working) Title of your planned dissertation or research report. words in the title should be chosen with great care, and their association with one another must be carefully considered. While the title should be brief, it should be accurate, descriptive and comprehensive, clearly indicating the subject of the investigation. In order to develop a clear title, you must also be clear about the focus of your research! Strive for the title to be ten words or 60 characters: focus on or incorporate keywords that reference the classification of the research subject Indicate a realistic time frame toward project completion, followed by the name(s) of your supervisor(s), the university department where you hope to do your research and, if applicable, information about other academics with whom you plan to collaborate. Refer to successfully funded projects to determine whether your topic fits with the granting organization's mission and to mimic their title/proposal structure Abstract/summary statement of the research project: This one page summary focuses on the research topic, its new, current and relevant aspects. Strive for clarity; your greatest challenge might be narrowing the topic Review of research literature connected with your research project. Reference the most important contributions of other scientists. Discuss the theoretical scope or the framework of ideas that will be used to back the research. Demonstrate that you are fully conversant with the ideas you are dealing with and that you grasp their methodological implications. Indicate the open problem which then will be the motive for your project. State clearly how your research will contribute to the existing research. Your history/preparation Summarize the most important impact of your own work on the topic (if applicable). Attach copies of your own publications that might be seen in relation to your research project. Objective of the research project Give a concise and clear outline of the academic (possibly also non-academic, e.g. social and political) objectives that you want to achieve through your project. Your proposal needs to show why the intended research is important and justifies the search effort. Here you outline the significance (theoretical or practical) or relevance of the topic. an existing body of knowledge) or of a theoretical nature (you hope to elucidate contentious areas in a body of knowledge or to provide new conceptual insights into such knowledge). All research is part of a larger scholarly enterprise and candidates should be able to argue for the value and positioning of their work. Outline the project Detail your research procedure within the given time. List sources and quality of evidence you will consult, the analytical technique you will employ, and the timetable you will follow. Depending on the topic, suitable research strategies should be defined to ensure that enough and adequate empirical data will be gathered for a successful research project. Describe the intended methods of data gathering, the controls you will introduce, the statistical methods to be used, the type of literature or documentary analysis to be followed, etc. Consider your work to be a Work-in-Progress and allow yourself a flexible planning: Stay ready to revise the proposal according to new insights and newly aroused questions and keep on modifying the working hypothesis according to new insights while formulating the proposal and the working hypothesis. Once you have a useful working hypothesis, concentrate on pursuing the project within the limits of the topic. Timetable Develop a time table (if possible in table form), indicating the sequence of research phases and the time that you will probably need for each phase. Take into account that at this stage, it can only be estimated, but make clear that you have an idea about the time span that will be needed for each step. Selective research bibliography List academic works mentioned in your research outline as well as other important works to which you will refer during your research Attachments: References, CV, etc. editing stage Writing/presentation style: Verify that the title, the abstract and the content of your proposal clearly correspond to each other! Maintain a clear structure, an intuitive navigational style throughout the document with headings and summaries, enabling the reader to quickly reference where they are for future commenting; (Have a reader skim your document to verify) Summarize significant issues and make no assumptions where possible. Keep a reasonable, clear, declarative writing style (active verbs!) throughout the document; Breakup the narrative with bulleted lists, visuals, etc. demonstrating a command of abstract concepts and relationships Use white space to highlight and emphasize important sections Make sure your proposal does not contain any grammatical/spelling mistakes or typos; engage a proofreader; Request an experienced academic to proofread your proposal in order to ensure the proposal conforms to institutional and international academic standards. Partially adapted with permission from Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Dienst (DAAD). Retrieved January 28, 2011 Common rejection reasons * The National Institute of Health (NIH) analyzed the reasons why over 700 research proposal applications were denied. Their findings as to the cause of rejection are worth reviewing: Nature of the Problem (18%) It is doubtful that new or useful information will result from the project (14%). The basic hypothesis is unsound (3.5%). The proposed research is scientifically premature due to the present inadequacy of supporting knowledge (0.6%). Approach to the Problem (38.9%) The research plan is nebulous, diffuse and not presented in concrete detail (8.6%). The planned research is not adequately controlled (3.7%). Greater care in planning is needed (25.2%). 1. The research plan has not been carefully designed (11.8%). 2. The proposed methods will not yield accurate results (8.8%). 3. The procedures to be used should be spelled out  in more detail (4.6%). The proposed tests require more individual subjects than the number given (0.7%). Competence of the Investigators (38.2%) The applicants need to acquire greater familiarity with the pertinent literature (7.2%). applicants realize (10.5%). they are not adequately trained (12.8%). The principal investigator intends to give actual responsibility for the direction of a complex project to an inexperienced co-investigator (0.9%). to approve the present application, largely based on the past efforts of the applicants (6.8%). Conditions of the Research Environment (4.8%) The investigators will be required to devote too much time to teaching or other non-research duties (0.9%). Better liaison is needed with colleagues in collateral disciplines (0.4%). Requested expansion on continuation of a currently supported research project would result in failure to achieve the main goal of the work (3.5%). Based on the above analysis, a carefully designed, well reasoned proposal will overcome these common pitfalls. It also represents and important credibility statement about the investigator. The Bureau of Occupational and Vocational Education comparable study. Based on a sample of 353 research grant applications: -- 18% forgot to number the pages. -- 73% forgot to include a table of contents. -- 81% had no abstract. -- 25% had no resume for the principal investigator. -- 66% included no plan for project evaluation. -- 17% forgot to identify the project director by name. -- 20% failed to list the objectives of the project. Science series

Commentaries "Writing A Research Proposal"

How do you write a research proposal? Sort by
How to write a research proposal? ...research. Typically, a research proposal should mimic the format of... you to include a discussion, you would most...future avenues of research. References... in your proposal. Use whatever ...
How Do I Write A Research Proposal? 1 Answers · Education & Reference · 07/02/2007
How to write a research proposal for graduate school? 1. For any student writing a research paper, the proposal is the most important step...please read: How to Write a Research Paper Proposal | eHow.com http://www...
How to write a Research Proposal? 1 Answers · Business & Finance · 02/05/2013
How can I write a medical research proposal ? ...the ultimate check of how much effort you have put into background research because without it a research proposal is almost (if not entirely) impossible.
how to write a research proposal of 1000 words? 1 Answers · Education & Reference · 08/11/2011
Could someone help me write a Research Paper Proposal? ...should be as long as it needs to be, but remember that an important skill in academic writing is to be concise. So a good research proposal will stick to the topic, not add irrelevant details and be clear to read. I...
how to write a research proposal for higer degree programme? 2 Answers · Education & Reference · 28/11/2011
how do you write a research proposal? ...and use them to essentially prove that there was either some need of further research due to an unanswered question for example. Second, although it might be a little difficult for you, I am in Virology, so I can use...