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Research project proposal writing

Mar 12, 2018

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research project proposal definition

Definition of A Research Project Proposal

A research proposal is defined as,

“A document that is typically written by a scientist or academic which describes the ideas for an investigation on a certain topic. The research proposal outlines the process from beginning to end and may be used to request financing for the project, certification for performing certain parts of research of the experiment, or as a required task before beginning a college dissertation.”


“The presentation of an idea that you wish to pursue.”


“A document written by a scientist that describes in details the program for a proposed scientific investigation. It is like an outline of the entire research process that gives a reader a summary of information discussed in project.”

Significance and Purpose of Research Proposal

Generally, a research is a quest for knowledge through experimentation, investigation and diligent search. It is aimed at discovery and interpretation of new knowledge or at resolving debatable existing knowledge. There are systematic procedures and methods for explorations, targeted at obtaining new knowledge. At the level of professional education, we have a pursuance for learning more and looking beyond what is written, and contributing a little to the field we plan to dedicate our lives to. The starting point of a research is to think of a good idea. Your research is as good as your idea.

Before starting any long term or complicated task, it is wise that we make a rough plan or a map which will guide us throughout the course of the job. In the same way, before the commencement of our research, we need to devote time and think logically on the area of our research and how we are going to go about it.

Professional universities demand that before carrying out the research project or dissertation, the researcher submits a research proposal. The purpose of the research proposal is to convince the research committee that the researcher has chosen the topic after great consideration, carried out sufficient preliminary reading on the topic, possesses sound information of the issues involved and is capable of providing broad details of the area under investigation.

What Does a Research Project Proposal Address?

Typically, a research proposal must answer three questions:

  1. What do you plan to accomplish?
  2. Why do you want to do it?
  3. How are you going to do it?

The research proposal must contain ample information to persuade the readers that your research idea is important and that you have a good grasp of the topic and major issues involved, and your methodology is sound.

The quality of the research proposal conveys a lot about your project. Many a times, researchers run the risk of rejection, not because their research idea is irrational but because the research proposal is poorly written. Therefore, the tone of the proposal must be compelling, clear and coherent.

Types & Kinds of Research Proposals

Research proposals can be broadly categorized into the following types:

Academic Research Proposals
Commercial Research Proposals

Outline & Format of a Standard Research Proposal

Although, there is no universal format for research proposal but following are the standard elements which must be present in a proposal to earn it acceptance by the academic board:

Title: Statement of the Research Hypothesis

Background Analysis and Information

Literature Review

Research Questions & Objectives

Research Plan

    Your proposal must present a brief research plan that you will be undertaking. The research plan is typically divided into seven phases:

  1. Research Perspective
  2. Research Design
  3. Data Collection Methods
  4. Sampling Strategy
  5. Research Instruments
  6. Data Analysis
  7. Limitations of Your Research
Design and Methodology for a Scientific Research Proposal

A scientific research proposal differs from a social research proposal since the former includes procedural methods, lab information, experiment methodology and other technical details which the researcher intends to implement for his/her scientific investigation and analysis.

Ethical Considerations


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