There is no specific format for a research proposal. Presentation of proposals may vary according to the style and preference of each investigator.
A research proposal is a detailed plan of action for scientific inquiry. It clearly and systematically presents the research problem, indicates the significance of the problem, and delineates the specific methods and procedures that will be used to answer the research question or test the research hypotheses. It also provides a timetable or outline for conducting the study and details the estimated cost of the investigation. It is written as a preliminary step in the research process. It synthesizes current knowledge, indicates gaps in knowledge, and specifies a plan to address the problem.
To convince others that you have: A good knowledge of the existing work and existing debates and have formulated specific questions which you wish to explore. A research idea which will lead to the creation of new knowledge and understanding.
There is no specific format for a research proposal. Presentation of proposals may vary according to the style and preference of each investigator.
This is the first impression the reader gets. Reviewer should be able to understand from the title the intentions of the research. This is often difficult to write and will probably have to be revised throughout the research preparation phase. It must reveal the precise topic under study, without being too wordy. Often the titles are stated in terms of a functional relationship, because such titles clearly indicate the independent and dependent variables.
It is important in a proposal that the problem stand out – that the reader can easily recognize it. A problem statement should be presented within a context, and the context should be provided and briefly explained, including a discussion of the conceptual or theoretical framework in which it is embedded. Clearly and succinctly identify and explain the problem within the framework of the theory or line of inquiry that undergirds the study. This is of major importance and requires careful attention.
Effective problem statements answer the question “ Why does this research need to be conducted”
The problem statement should make a convincing argument that there is not sufficient knowledge available to explain the problem and its determine possible solutions, or it should make a convincing argument for the need to test what is known and taken as fact if it is called into question by new findings or conditions.
Demonstrate to the reader that you have a comprehensive grasp of the field and are aware of recent substantive and methodological developments.
Recent or historically significant research studies Always refer to the original source Discuss how the literature applies, show the weaknesses in the design, discuss how you would avoid similar problems How is your idea different/better?
In a proposal, the literature review is generally brief and to the point. The literature selected should be pertinent and relevant. Select and reference only the more appropriate citations. Make key points clearly and succinctly.
Census type of research – (How many of them are there? Is there a relationship between them?). They are most often used in qualitative inquiry, although their use in quantitative inquiry is becoming more prominent. Hypothesis are relevant to theoretical research and are typically used only in quantitative inquiry. Hypothesis must be ground in theoretical framework.
Declarative statement that identifies the predicted relationship between 2 or more variables Testability Based on sound scientific theory/rationale
Specific objectives should systematically address the various aspects of the problem and the key factors that are assumed to influence or cause the problem. They should specify what we will do in our study, where and for what purpose .
Properly formulated, specific objectives will facilitate the development of our research methodology and will help to orient the collection, analysis, interpretation and utilization of data.
Indicate the methodological steps you will take to answer every question or to test every hypothesis.
The key word in sampling is representative. One must ask “How representative is the sample of the survey population (the group from which the sample is selected) and how representative is the survey population of the target population (the target group to which we wish to generalize?)
If instruments have previously been used, identify previous studies and findings related to reliability and validity. If instruments have not previously been used, outline procedures you will follow to develop and test their reliability and validity. In a latter case, a pilot study is nearly essential.
If coding procedures are to be used, describe in reasonable detail. Provide a well thought-out rationale for your decision to use the design, methodology, and analyses you have selected.
They include patient study information and confidentiality, methods of monitoring and possible adverse side effects.
What knowledge and information will be obtained? What is the ultimate purpose that the knowledge obtained from the study will serve? How will the results be disseminated? How will the results be used and who will be the beneficiaries?
Many projects fail because they could not be carried out within the set time limit. Hence, working out a time schedule is essential.
This part is usually an appendix.
No private communications or forums (material cannot be accessed or verified) Do not cite support for common knowledge.
Writing a Research ProposalAHMED ATTAR,AHMED ATTAR, MBBS, FRCPC, ABPN, FAAN, CERTIFIEDEPI. & BIOSTATConsultant Neurologist, King Abdul Aziz Medical City WesternRegionDirector - Quality Management, KAMC-WRChairman - Medication Safety Program, KAMC-WR
Objectives• At end of this session, participants are ableto:– State and define the concept of writing a researchproposal– Develop a research proposalJun 10, 2013 2WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Do you like to Cook?• Group exercise?Jun 10, 2013 3WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
What are the basic elements fora yu mmy Dish?• Title: الحجازي السليق• Statement of the problem• Literature review• Formulation of objectives• Research methodology• Utilization & dissemination of results• Work plan• Resources / budget• ReferencesJun 10, 2013 4WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Outline• What is a research proposal?• Why a research proposal?• What are the basic elements of a researchproposal?• What are the common mistakes in proposalwriting?Jun 10, 2013 5WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
What is a Research Proposal?• A detailed plan of action for scientific inquiry– what the researcher intends to do, how, why,where, and whenJun 10, 2013 6WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Why a Research Proposal?• An important documentation of your approach tothe research question/objectives• Demonstrate scholarly abilities• A reference document during execution and alsowriting up the results of the study• Needed document for research committees andfunding agencies approvalJun 10, 2013 7WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Jun 10, 2013WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr.Ahmed Attar 8
What are the basic elements fora research proposal?• Title• Statement of the problem• Literature review• Formulation of objectives• Research methodology• Utilization & dissemination of results• Work plan• Resources / budget• ReferencesJun 10, 2013 9WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Title• Concise• DescriptiveJun 10, 2013 10WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
TitleJun 10, 2013WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr.Ahmed Attar 11
Statement of the Problem• “The problem statement describes thecontext for the study and it also identifies thegeneral analysis approach”(Wiersma, 1995, p.404)• “A problem might be defined as the issue thatexists in the literature, theory, or practice thatleads to a need for the study”(Creswell, 1994, p.50)Jun 10, 2013 13WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Logical Sequence of PresentingProblem Statement• Magnitude, frequency and distribution: Affectedgeographical areas and population groups affectedby the problem. Ethnic and gender considerations.• Probable causes of the problem: What is the currentknowledge of the problem and its causes? Is thereconsensus? Is there controversy? Is there conclusiveevidence?Jun 10, 2013 14WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Logical Sequence of PresentingProblem Statement• Possible solutions: In what ways have solutions tothe problem been attempted? What has beenproposed? What are the results?• Unanswered questions: What remains to beanswered? What areas have not been possible tounderstand, determine, verify, or test?Jun 10, 2013 15WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Rationale and Hypothesis– Good• Clearly state the hypothesis or number of hypothesesthat will be addressed in the proposal.• Give a rationale why this hypothesis is important toinvestigate.– Reject• Avoid combining the two together. It could beconfusing to the reviewer.• Too long of a hypothesis makes it hard to understandthe aim of the research.
Literature Review• “The review of the literature provides thebackground and context for the researchproblem. It should establish the need for theresearch and indicate that the writer isknowledgeable about the area”(Wiersma, 1995, p.406)Jun 10, 2013 17WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Literature Review• It shares with the reader the results of otherstudies that are closely related to the studybeing reported(Fraenkel &Wallen, 1990)• It relates a study to the larger, ongoingdialogue in the literature about a topic, fillingin gaps and extending prior studies(Marshall & Rossman, 1989)Jun 10, 2013 18WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Literature Review• It provides a framework for establishing theimportance of the study, as well as abenchmark for comparing the results of astudy with other findings.• It frames the problem earlier identified.Jun 10, 2013 19WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Questions and/or Hypothesis• Questions:– Normative or census type research– Most often used in qualitative inquiry• Hypothesis:– Theoretical research and are typically used only inquantitative inquiryJun 10, 2013 20WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Questions and/or Hypothesis• A research question poses a relationshipbetween two or more variables but phrasesthe relationship as a question; and ahypothesis represents a declarative statementof the relations between two or morevariables.(Kerlinger, 1979; Krathwohl, 1988)Jun 10, 2013 21WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Formulation of ResearchObjectives• The OBJECTIVES of a research projectsummarizes what is to be achieved by thestudy.• Objectives should be closely related to thestatement of the problem.Jun 10, 2013 22WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Formulation of ResearchObjectives• General objective: states what researchersexpect to achieve by the study in generalterms.• Specific objectives: smaller, logicallyconnected parts of general objective. They arethe specific aspects of the topic that you wantto studyJun 10, 2013 23WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Importance of ResearchObjectives• To Focus the study (narrowing it down toessentials);• To Avoid the collection of data which are notstrictly necessary for understanding andsolving the problem we have identified; and• To Organize the study in clearly defined partsor phases.Jun 10, 2013 24WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Details of Research Proposal• Goals and/or Objectives of Research• This is usually one paragraph telling the reviewereverything they need to know about this research proposal.• This provides the opportunity to gain the reviewers interestand excitement about this proposal.• It should contain the background on why this research isimportant, hypothesis, and objectives.• Should state the innovation of this proposal.• Finally it should in a clear statement demonstrate why thisproject is significant and what impact it will have.
Details of Research Proposal• Reject– No goal or objective statement at the start of theproposal.– Too technical and condensed will make it hard toread and understand.– Too short will not give the reviewer the neededinformation to understand the proposal.– Too long will make the reviewer skip to thebackground and makes the reviewer search forwhat is important.
Research Methodology• “The methods or procedures section is reallythe heart of the research proposal. Theactivities should be described with as muchdetail as possible, and the continuity betweenthem should be apparent”(Wiersma, 1995, p.409)Jun 10, 2013 27WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Research Methodology• Sampling• Instrumentation• Data collection• Data analysis• Ethical IssuesJun 10, 2013 28WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Sampling• The key reason for being concerned withsampling is that of validity – the extent towhich the interpretations of the results of thestudy follow from the study itself and theextent to which results may be generalized toother situations with other people.(Shavelson, 1988)Jun 10, 2013 29WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Instrumentation• Outline the instruments you propose to use:– surveys– scales– interview protocols– observation gridsJun 10, 2013 30WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Data Collection• Outline the general plan for collection thedata– Survey administration, interview or observationprocedures– Explicit statement covering field controlsJun 10, 2013 31WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Data Analysis• Specify the procedures (e.g., ANOVA,MANCOVA, Case study).• Indicate briefly any analytic tools (e.g., SAS,SPSS)• Provide a well thought-out rationaleJun 10, 2013 32WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Ethical Issues• Relevant to and the methods by which thepatient/subject’s interests will besafeguarded.Jun 10, 2013 33WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Utilization & Dissemination ofResults• This describes the type of knowledgeexpected to be obtained upon completion ofthe project and the intended application ofthe results.• It indicates the strategy for disseminating andimplementing the research.Jun 10, 2013 34WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Work Plan• Include the major phases of the project:– estimate when you will start each stage of thework, and how long it will take.Jun 10, 2013 35WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Gantt ChartJun 10, 2013 36WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed AttarExample of a Gantt ChartTasks to be performed Person assigned June Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec1. Finalized researchproposalResearch team 2. Train researchassistants and pretestinstrumentPrincipal invest. andresearch team3. Data collection Research team 4. Prepare for data entry Hire one statistician 5. Data cleaning andpreliminary analysisPrincipal invest. andstatistician 5. Data analysis andreport writingPrincipal invest. andlocal authorities 6. Finalize report Research team 7. Discussrecommendations/ planof actionResearch team/MOHand local authorities 7. Presentation anddisseminationResearch team/Policymaker MOH
Budget and Resources• Access to special systems or computers• specialized computer algorithms• Itemized Budget• Budget NarrativeJun 10, 2013 37WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
References• List all references cited in the proposal. Makesure these references are:– Up-to-date– Relevant– Original sourceJun 10, 2013 38WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
What are the common mistakesin proposal writing?• Failure to:– Provide the proper context to frame the researchquestion– Delimit the boundary conditions– Cite landmark studies– Accurately present the theoretical and empiricalcontributions by other researchers– Stay focused on the research questionJun 10, 2013 39WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
What are the common mistakesin proposal writing?• Failure to develop a coherent and persuasiveargument• Too much detail on minor issues, but notenough detail on major issues• Too many citation lapses and incorrectreferences• Sloppy writingJun 10, 2013 40WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Avoid the following crticisms• Not an original data• Rationale is weak• Uncertain outcomes• Writing is vague• Proposal is unfocused• Problem is not importantJun 10, 2013 41WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Research Proposal SubmittalFormJun 10, 2013 42WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Outlines of Study Proposal forObservational StudiesJun 10, 2013 43WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Outlines of Study Proposal forObservational StudiesJun 10, 2013 44WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Outlines of Study Proposal forObservational StudiesJun 10, 2013 45WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed Attar
Jun 10, 2013 54WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL / Dr. Ahmed AttarThank You