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What is a Research Proposal?

Posted on 05 Feb 2019

3 min read
What is a Research Proposal?

Those students, who apply to receive a research grant or want to be admitted to a study program, are often asked to compose a Research Proposal. It means a student has to provide a detailed plan for the future research.

Why do you need a research plan?

If a member of the commission or a potential supervisor is given a research proposal, it helps him to determine whether the candidate:

  • has done the research of the printed editions on the subject;
  • is going to work on a topic, which is interesting for the potential supervisor;
  • treats his research seriously and is able to arrange work process.

When composing a research proposal it is essential to provide evidences that the candidate:

  • can single out a scientific problem;
  • has a theoretical basis and is aware of methodological approaches to solving this problem;
  • will contribute to researching the subject in the chosen area.

Research proposal content

Title page. Students should indicate:

  • their name, date of birth, nationality and contact information;
  • title of the research (it must reflect the essence of the research and, preferably, the research method);
  • actual time period for conducting the research;
  • name of department, where the research is conducted;
  • list of previous grants or research projects.

Research Proposal Examples

This is only a sample,
if you need your own paper you need to:
Business Research Paper Outline

View sample

Business Research Paper Outline

This is only a sample,
if you need your own paper you need to:
Masters Thesis Proposal Outline

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Masters Thesis Proposal Outline

This is only a sample,
if you need your own paper you need to:
Project Proposal Outline

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Project Proposal Outline

This is only a sample,
if you need your own paper you need to:
Research Proposal Sample

View sample

Research Proposal Sample

This is only a sample,
if you need your own paper you need to:
Research Proposal Template

View sample

Research Proposal Template

Research proposal overview

This should be a brief overview that takes no longer than a page. It is better to focus on describing the investigation topic and its aspects. Students should keep it as clear and plain as possible like lab report.

Research proposal literature list

In this part make a list of scientific works related to your research and that you are going to use.

Tips to write a winning research proposal

When writing the proposal, a student should:

  • Make references to the most important scientific works related to the project;
  • Define theoretical framework under which the investigation will be carried out;
  • Express awareness in current scientific problems related to the research and methodological approaches to solving them;
  • Identify the scientific problem, which should be solved and justify the possible novelty compared to other researches.

Indicate preparations for the work with a research proposal

In this section students may explain the scope of work they have done to prepare for the research. If nothing was done it is better to avoid writing this paragraph.

Research proposal objectives

Here one must speak about all types of goals (academic, social, political, economic, etc.) which should be achieved in the course of an investigation.

The audience should understand why your research is important and worth the investment. Therefore, it is necessary to substantiate its theoretical and practical significance. You may read how to write a speech.

Project description in a research proposal

This is one of the most important sections in the proposal. Here a student should indicate:

  • A stage-by-stage description of the project and time frames;
  • Sources for research data, their analysis, and time frames;
  • Data collection methods, ways to control the validity of the data, most important methods, ways to analyze the documents, narrative essay or literature, etc.

Indicate schedule in a research proposal

Students must have a detailed schedule, preferably shown in a table, where they specify the sequence of stages of the study and the time frame for each stage. This is, of course, a preliminary plan, but it should be clear to show that the student has an idea of ​​how much time the project implementation may take.

Bibliography in a research proposal

It lists the literature that was indicated in the description section, as well as other important research studies on the topic.

Annexes in a research proposal

In this section students attach documents, related to the research plan, e.g. CV and recommendations.


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