How to Write a Research Proposal
Research proposals are usually required when a researcher, or his/her team of researchers want to receive financial support. This support could come from external institutions (grant programs, research projects) as well as from their own institution. It is oftentimes believed that skillful and experienced researchers will gain financial support even in case when their project proposal is not one of the best possible. This is not true - it is always important to write a good project. Furthermore, some grant committees conduct a blind-review, so it is not possible to assess a project positively only because of the researchers involved. Hence, writing a research proposal is an inevitable part of the work of every researcher nowadays.
It is pretty easy to find samples from research proposals online, but this does not mean that you will gain enough relevant information. There are specific details required in different fields of research, and also you can elaborate your research proposal in your own way (but still meeting the requirements).
How to write a research proposal – 6 vital tips
1. Find the best financial support
“The best” does not mean that the particular institution will give you a lot of money, but rather that it will provide you with the optimal resources. You need to select the grant program which is the most appropriate for your research. You must also decide whether to carry out the research in your home country or abroad. The latter option requires an excellent project from you (if you are applying for an institution from the USA, Canada, Japan or Western Europe). At any rate, you should about your chances to get the grant.
2. Define your topic, scope and methods
Perhaps you want to continue your own research, but need more support. Hence, you already have a scope, but not the exact topic. Define it according to your knowledge and abilities. If you are applying for a grant (or research stay) abroad, then you must be sure that you will contribute to the particular institution you will be conducting your research with.
Methodology is important when you prepare particular steps in the research process.
3. Define the goals and expected results
You should know what your goals are. They should be related to your research. In most cases, they imply contributing to your particular field of research, as well as pursuing some practical effects. The expected results are interrelated to the goals and methods. You need to know what to do in order to achieve the concrete goals. Be careful while writing this section - the committee which will assess your proposal will put stress on this part of the text.
4. Make a schedule
Present your ideas on the concrete steps undertaken. You can do it by using a chart or a table. It should address the following questions:
- What will you do?
- When will you do it?
- Where will you do it?
- What methods will you use?
5. Formulate a hypothesis
A hypothesis (when you do an experiment) or a thesis (when you are doing research in the field of Social sciences) is a must. They should be formulated clearly and precisely. You cannot change them during the process of your research. On the other hand, a hypothesis or thesis could be rejected (completely or partially).
6. Attach a bibliography
To attach a list of titles used in the project proposal is necessary. This will show your comprehensive knowledge on the subject.
As it can be seen, a true researcher should be good also in writing research proposals in order to gain financial or other type of support. If you are not certain how to write a research proposal, then you can use the tips given above. Focus especially on the goals and the consecutive steps of the research procedure, and demonstrate that the project is necessary to be conducted.
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