Research proposal

If you are required to prepare a research proposal, you will need to include the following:


This should be brief, and accurately reflect the nature of the project.


A concise statement of the problem area and why you have chosen it.


You should have already read some articles or books in the general area of your topic. Write a short discussion of what this literature – of at least 10 (in total) journal articles/books/book chapters – has suggest of relevance to your topic. Use appropriate referencing and develop an argument that backgrounds the issue you want to investigate and lends support to your proposed study.

Research problem and questions

Outline your research question(s) or the focus that will guide your empirical investigation or review. This should have been formulated from your reading of relevant literature.


This section is a concise outline of how you will undertake your investigation.

Outline, where relevant and appropriate:

  • The design framework to be used
  • Specific objectives
  • Research site and time period at the site (and, where appropriate, participants)
  • Method(s) of data collection
  • Ethical considerations (if required) including identification and discussion of how to be addressed
  • Proposed approach to analyse the data
  • Preliminary timetable for stages of your work
  • References and bibliography