When preparing an application for entry into a research higher degree program it is necessary to supply a clear statement describing the
proposed area of research (a research proposal). Consultation with a faculty or school academic staff member in the research area of interest
is recommended prior to submission of an application. Liaising with an academic allows you to frame the proposal to align with established
disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.
You must write your own research proposal and reference accordingly. The exception is when your potential supervisor finalises the research
proposal with you, for a specific research project that has already been defined. Please visit the University's Academic Integrity pages and policy
From one to three pages is often suitable, depending on the area of research.
The following outline may be used as a guide. You should consider each of the areas that will be relevant to your
The recommended minimum requirements are identified with an asterisk (*).
An initial working title should be provided and should describe the content and direction of your project.
For example: A template for assisting research students in the development of a research proposal.
What is already known or unknown? Set the scene.
What do you want to know, prove, demonstrate, analyse, test, investigate or
examine? List your project aims in a logical sequence. For example:
The aim of this project is to:
a) Provide an outline of a research proposal
b) Enable a prospective student to prepare a research proposal
How do you anticipate you will achieve these aims?*
What do you need? (specify any special equipment, software or material) Can
you access necessary data or expertise?
Do you require particular resources?*
Are there barriers or pitfalls?
Does the project involve human ethics, animal ethics or safety implications?
Is travel or fieldwork required? If so, where to, how long and at what intervals?
Expected outcomes, significance or rationale
Why is it important?
What do you expect it will deliver?
What are the expected outcomes?
Establish the importance of your project by highlighting its originality or why it is worth pursuing. Highlight the benefits, positive expected
outcomes or innovative applications of knowledge.
Indicate the timeframe for each broad stage considering literature surveys, data collection, production, modelling, review, analysis,
testing, reporting, chapter and thesis writing, and thesis submission date.