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RD1 Workshop

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Prof Steve Miles' PowerPoint for the Research Training Programme (RTP) 2018-19 Core Skills session.

What makes a good research proposal? In this session we consider how best to put together an effective research proposal and in the process meet the needs of the RD1.

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RD1 Workshop

  1. 1. The Research Proposal: The RD1 Steve Miles, Head of PAHC
  2. 2. What is research? • The shift away from ‘pure’ knowledge; • ‘Real world’ and impact; • A PhD is being more than a project but a research training; • The benefits of a more structured/supportive approach
  3. 3. What the RD1 actually requires • Research Proposal – approx. 1500 words, font size 12, and should include the academic aims of the investigation, a description of the research to be undertaken, the methods used and no more than six key references; • RDCVs for your Director of Study and supervisory team – your DoS and supervisors will input their academic details onto SkillsForge via the RDCV template; • Gantt chart or project timeline; • Application for ethical approval using the EthOS online system.
  4. 4. https://skillsforge.mmu.ac.uk/mmu/#common/ma in/welcome
  5. 5. What makes a good research proposal? • A clear research question(s) and one that isn’t overly exploratory; • Suitably direct aims and objectives; • A research context that allows you to define the importance of the research; • Appropriate research methods for addressing and answering the research questions, issues or problems. • A rationale for your chosen research methods and why you think they provide the most appropriate means by which to address the research questions.
  6. 6. • Pay careful attention to the requirements: don’t exceed word limits; complete all sections; • You need to do more than simply present the concept of the problem and its suggested mode of solution; • You need to persuade your audience that you are equipped to deliver the project; • A good narrative is key!
  7. 7. The stylistic characteristics of a good proposal • It is direct and straightforward; • It communicates well. Everything you say contributes – your aim – present a doable project; • It should be aimed at an intelligent generalist in your field; • It should be self-explanatory – don’t over-use sections or headings as this may break up the flow of your discussion. • The title should make complete sense!
  8. 8. The problem with research proposals • The research problem simply isn’t significant or worth exploring; • The proposed methods are not appropriate for your research question; • The research isn’t expressed clearly so how can it be evaluated?
  9. 9. Getting your head around your methodology • What is the difference between methods and methodology? • In choosing your methods it’s important that the methods you use you believe in and that you are capable of using them effectively; • What is your epistemology? • The nature of practice-related research… • Reliability and validity;
  10. 10. A tentative template… • State your core research question immediately. • Set out the context of the general issues that makes your problem topical for your chosen field • Critically highlight existing work written and/or practice in the field • A section dealing with the theoretical approaches that you will bring to your problem and how they will be used to address the gap in knowledge previously identified through the contextual work • What it is you will do and why. • Your process of analysis – eg. will you be using particular kind of software/how will you know your practice has achieved what you expected of it? • An indication of the outcomes and to how they will be significant in the field of knowledge • Finish on a high – what do you what your reviewers to be left with?!?
  11. 11. It is up to you to establish the framework within which your thesis or your research project should be judged…

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