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Many universities now demand a great deal of work prior to the submission of a research proposal, which in the past might well have been little more than an indicative title.Drawing up a research proposal is the first main task you will be involved in with your supervisor.
Arts and social sciences disciplines usually require a different type of proposal to engineering, science and health sciences disciplines.
The aim is to demonstrate that you understand the fundamental principles of conducting research and factors to consider when designing a research study.
This process can also help you identify a supervisor.
School, department or research centre websites related to your area of study are a good place to start looking. You can make minor changes to your proposal once you have been accepted for a research degree.
You will be able to use it to help you plan your work and study programme and to draft your chapters.
Some of the problems you might encounter in your early literature review could lead to central underpinning questions running throughout the research.Explain the key aims of your research and the questions you will address in order to achieve them. Will you collect data using libraries, archives, field studies or interviews for example? A schedule of key activities can help demonstrate that your research is achievable within the timeframe of your Ph D.List the publications and sources you have cited in your proposal.The latter can ask some very helpful questions about questions, aims, methods, theoretical underpinning and that fundamental question - so what?That is, what will this piece of research lead to or contribute to? When you embark on your proposal, you are expected to identify your main research questions and sub-questions, to clarify for yourself: Draw up notes towards your own draft proposal under the following (typical) headings.What are the theoretical bases and contexts for your work?With much Ph D research in particular and some MPhil and Masters work, the interdisciplinary nature of the research means that there will be several theoretical contexts and areas with which your work will be related and out of which it will grow.Do check on university regulations very early in advance as you enter your research degree.Before you submit your research proposal formally, you will need to carry out a substantial amount of early research work, some literature review and searching, and to identify the theoretical and methodological underpinnings to your work.You will need to seek support from your supervisor in the development of a proposal of sufficient quality and to convince a research degrees committee that you have the potential to carry out research at the level you seek.Masters research proposals often go before field or subject committees, while MPhils and Ph Ds go before full research degree committees (or whatever carries out that function in your university) where they will be read carefully by internal and external readers and by the committee.