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Research Project Proposal

Research project proposals gather the methodology, budget, timeline, and questions a project addresses, as well as its expected outcomes or impacts.  Generally, this document must justify the proposed research to relevant stakeholders, ethical review boards, and (when appropriate) funding entities.

Types of Research Project Proposals (15)

  1. Applied Research Project – A research proposal that seeks grant support in research projects with a specific goal (i.e., a statistical study).
  2. Basic Research Project – A research proposal written to appeal to grantors for project support in investigating theoretical concepts or to increase knowledge in a specific field generally.
  3. Clinical Research Project – This proposal requests funding for studies specifically on or with human subjects, such as epidemiological studies or pharmaceutical clinic trials.
  4. Community-Based Research Project – Proposals promoting projects either for or by a community to grantors while requesting support.
  5. Cross-Sectional Research Project – A proposal appealing to grantors for support in population studies, especially during periods of change.
  6. Developmental Research Project – Proposals used to fund advancements through grant support, especially within a particular field’s methodology.
  7. Education Research Project – A proposal requesting grant funding for research projects studying educational systems (i.e., curriculum development).
  8. Experimental Research Project – This type of proposal is strictly to request grant funding for projects that will test a hypothesis therefore used to support controlled experiments.
  9. Exploratory Research Project – A proposal seeking grants to specifically examine a topic that has not yet been extensively explored.
  10. Interdisciplinary Research Project – Proposals that appeal to grantors to support research projects requiring different fields of study (i.e., biochemistry).
  11. Local Marketing Project – Proposals that promote a marketing consultant’s experience in creating search visibility and community engagement because the clients require their local presence to be established or improved
  12. Longitudinal Research Project – A research proposal requesting grant support for an ongoing study for an extended period of time.
  13. Observational Research Project – A proposal often used in the social sciences since it requests grants for systematic observation of a population.
  14. Policy Research Project – Proposals written to attract grants in the effectiveness of an organization’s policies while justifying the project’s methodologies.
  15. Technology Development Project – This proposal approaches grantors for assistance in technological research projects, thus presenting the impacts of innovation in science (i.e., engineering).

What Should Be Included (15 Items)

  1. Research Project Cover Page
  2. Abstract
  3. Research Project Proposal Table Of Contents
  4. Introduction
  5. Literature Review
  6. Research Objectives And Hypthesis
  7. Research Design And Methods
  8. Significance And Innovation
  9. Research Project Timeline
  10. Budget
  11. Expected Results
  12. Dissemination Plan
  13. Ethical Considerations
  14. References
  15. Appendices

1. Research Project Cover Page

Open the grant research proposal with a cover or title page that captures the grantor’s attention while delivering essential information. For example, the proposal’s title should be easy to associate with the research project and in an attractive font.

  • Title of the Proposal, Name of the Principal Investigator (PI)
  • Institutional Affiliation, Contact Information
  • Date, Funding Agency Information
  • Proposal Submission Information
  • Project Duration, Total Requested Funding Amount

2. Abstract

It is important to summarize this proposal for the reader’s benefit in a way that highlights the project’s methodology and objectives. Also, attempt to increase the grantor’s interest by presenting the research project’s expected outcomes and impacts.

  • Project Title, Objective, Research Questions

  • Methods, Significance, Background

  • Innovation/Novelty, Expected Results

  • Budget Overview, Duration

  • Approach, Call To Action, Impacts

3. Research Project Proposal Table Of Contents

Increase the proposal’s readability by listing its main sections as well as their subheadings. Additionally, document the first page of each of these areas.

  • Background, Abstract, Data Analysis Plan
  • Rationale, Objectives, Research Questions
  • Hypotheses, Literature Review, References

  • Organizational Structure, Ethical Consideration
  • Research Design, Appendix Citations

4. Introduction

Explicitly state the research challenge behind this project, including the history of the problem. Once the significance of the project’s focus is explained, present the hypothesis being explored.

  • Background, Context, Problem Statement
  • Rationale, Objectives or Research Questions
  • Hypotheses, Research, Scope
  • Study Significance, Organizational Structure
  • Limitations, Risks, Call To Action

5. Literature Review

Present the current research on the project matter as well as the results of past investigations. Justify this proposal by identifying the knowledge gaps on the subject and the anticipated impact of the research.

  • Gaps in Knowledge, Establishing Theoretical Framework
  • Reviewing Methodologies, Method Evaluation
  • Summaries, Current Study Relevance
  • Synthesis of Findings, Key Findings

  • Adaptations, Citing Sources

6. Research Objectives And Hypthesis

Explore the research project’s objectives so that its milestone goals are spelled out. Furthermore, declare the hypothesis behind the research project and show its alignment with the goals.

  • Sampling Technique, Data Collection Methods

  • Analysis Plan, Qualitative Analysis, Hypotheses

  • Research Design Overview, Control Variables

  • Ethical Considerations, Human Subjects, Consent
  • Pilot Study, Purpose, Adjustments, Timeline, Budget

7. Research Design And Methods

Lay out the premise, structure, timeline, and components defining the research project’s design, specifically explaining the techniques and procedures involved. Back up the analysis procedures with supporting factors such as the data collection and statistical methods used.

  • Research Design, Participants, Sample, Variables
  • Data Collection Methods, Instruments, Tools, Procedure

  • Data Analysis Plan, Ethical Considerations, Limitations
  • Validity, Reliability, Sample Size, Generalizability

  • Participant Consent, Confidentiality, Potential Risks

8. Significance And Innovation

Stimulate further interest from the grantor by explicitly promoting the potential impacts of the study. Whenever possible, show how the research project’s methods or implications could be considered ground-breaking or innovative.

  • Broader Impact, Societal Impacts, Grand Challenges
  • Innovation, Unique Contributions, Implications

  • Real-world Applications, Potential Solutions

  • Theoretical Contributions, Knowledge Gap

  • Interdisciplinary Nature, Cross-Disciplinary Contribution

9. Research Project Timeline

Present a definitive timeline of the research project’s preparation, start, milestones, and conclusion, as well as post-study events. Additionally, present any dependencies or risks to the timeline with their contingency plans, especially those with alternate calendars.

  • Data Analysis Period, Writing Period, Sequential Order

  • Data Collection and Analysis, Data Collection Period
  • Task Dependencies, Critical Path, Project Phases
  • Key Milestones, Completion Dates, Major Stages

  • Measurement Timeline, Reporting, Data Sources

10. Budget

Dispense the research project’s costs, expenses, and (if applicable) revenue while making special mention of payment deadlines and funding rounds. Expand on areas where grant funding would have a significant effect accordingly.

  • Personnel Costs, Research Team Salaries

  • Equipment, Supplies, Ethical Review Fees

  • Informed Consent Materials, Ethical Considerations

  • Administrative Support, Budget Justification

  • Contingency Funds, Miscellaneous Expenses

11. Expected Results

Deliver a detailed account of the research project’s projected outcome, such as the immediate contributions to relevant fields. Additionally, list the potential risks to the research objectives being reached with the precautions or contingencies to deal with them.

  • Quantitative Results, Statistical Findings, Applications
  • Recommendations, Addressing Research Questions
  • Objective Alignment, Comparisons, Hypothesis Testing

  • Knowledge, Limitations, Caveats, Thematic Analysis

  • Conceptual Framework, Practical Implications, Visual Aids

12. Dissemination Plan

Fully explain how the project’s results will be published once it has concluded. For example, list conferences the research organization would attend to present results or publications where they would submit their results.

  • Target Audience, Stakeholders, Secondary Audiences
  • Website, Workshops, Government Policies
  • Partnerships, Academic Publications, Policy Briefs
  • Media Outreach, Educational Outreach, Media Interviews
  • Journals, Educational Institutions, Conferences

13. Ethical Considerations

It is important to cover the project’s ethical concerns since research may be subject to academic oversight and other controls. Thus, assure the grantor that the project adheres to all applicable ethical standards in its nature, methodology, and goals.

  • Data Handling, Ethical Standards Compliance

  • Ongoing Monitoring, Debriefing

  • Review Board Approval, Voluntary Participation

  • Risks, Benefits, Vulnerable Populations

  • Confidentiality, Anonymity, Informed Consent

14. References

Gather the reference sources for this project, such as previous experiments. Also, cite all references accordingly while providing as much information as possible on their source.

  • Citation Style, Formatting, Consistent Formatting

  • Types of Sources, Journal Articles, Conference Papers

  • Accuracy, Completeness, Completeness, DOI, URL
  • Book Chapters, Edited Volumes, Thesis/Dissertation
  • Government Reports, Technical Documents

15. Appendices

This proposal must approach the research project grantor with supporting information and references thus, develop an appendix. Consolidate all such material in this section while citing them accordingly.

  • Observation Logs, Recording Transcripts, Budget Sheets
  • Technical Diagrams, Flowcharts, Raw Data Sets
  • Coding Samples, Additional Supporting Data
  • Coding Schemes, Copyrighted Material Use Consent
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV), Letters of Support, Contracts