A Research Proposal Format

Research proposals may be solicited, meaning that they are submitted in response to a request with specified requirements, such as a request for proposal, or they may be unsolicited, meaning they are submitted without prior request.

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Moreover, they are used to assess and assign appropriate supervision teams.

If you are interested in the work of a particular potential supervisor – and especially if you have discussed your work with this person – be sure to mention this in your proposal.

Be as specific as possible in identifying influences or debates you wish to engage with, but try not to get lead astray into a long exegesis of specific sources.

Rather, the point is to sketch out the into which your work will fit.

Your references should provide the reader with a good sense of your grasp on the literature and how you can contribute to it.

Be sure to reference texts and resources that you think will play a large role in your analysis.Please check carefully with each department to find out whether a specific template is provided or required.In general, however, the following elements are crucial in a good research proposal: This can change, but make sure to include important ‘key words’ that will relate your proposal to relevant potential supervisors, funding schemes and so on.Crucially, it is also an opportunity for you to communicate your passion in the subject area and to make a persuasive argument about what your project can accomplish. It is normal for students to refine their original proposal in light of detailed literature reviews, further consideration of research approaches and comments received from the supervisors (and other academic staff).Although the proposal should include an outline, it should also be approached as a persuasive essay – that is, as an opportunity to establish the attention of readers and convince them of the importance of your project. It is useful to view your proposal as an initial outline rather than a summary of the ‘final product’.Think very carefully about the scope of your research and be prepared to explain how you will complete it within this timeframe.Research proposals are also used to assess your expertise in the area in which you want to conduct research, you knowledge of the existing literature (and how your project will enhance it).You should also use this section to make links between your research and the existing strengths of the department to which you are applying.Visit appropriate websites to find out about existing research taking place in the department and how your project can complement this.This section should lay out, in clear terms, the way in which you will structure your research and the specific methods you will use.Research design should include (but is not limited to): A well developed methodology section is crucial, particularly if you intend to conduct significant empirical research.

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