Research Proposal Template


Research Proposal Template
(taken from Researchnet – How to apply for a research degree)
Proposal guidance
• Provide an overview of your research question, explaining why it is of academic and or
practical importance
• Outline the main objectives of your research, providing details of two or three key
• Write a short literature review, indicating the importance of previous related research or
investigated literature and how your own research question might make a useful
contribution to the area
• State the main research techniques (interviews, case studies, modelling etc.) you might
• Indicate your suggested data collection procedures, indicating sources and any possible
• Explain any analytical techniques you intend to use
• State your proposed timetable of activities
• Finally, list the references in your proposal or provide a short bibliography.
Some of the common problems
In our experience, there are a number of common reasons why proposals from well
qualified potential students are rejected.
Some common problems are outlined below:
• Your research topic is inadequately specified. You must write to a very tight format
stating what you plan to research, why and how. The format is clearly outlined above.
Whilst your proposal may identify a practical
problem it does not
demonstrate its analytical importance. A study that merely aims to discover new
empirical information or simply solve a current issue will probably not be accepted. Your
proposal must engage with controversies, new ideas/thought and demonstrate strong
critical insight into one or more academic disciplines to succeed in your research.
Other proposals are rejected because their 'geographical' focus does not fit with our
supervisory competencies. Our perspective is international, whereas some overseas
students seek to study an issue which is exclusively in their home country. If you intend
to do this, it should be indicated clearly and how Coventry University will add value to
your work.
The format of your Research Proposal
Your proposal should be a maximum of 2,000 words, in addition to your timetable and
references or a short bibliography. We do not expect the proposal to be perfect at this stage,
nor do we expect you to stick to it very closely as your ideas will almost certainly change
once you start to study, but we do expect you to write it as follows:
1 [revision 1.00 (September 2010)]


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