Summary - Lecture 2: Research Proposal Development
Lecture 2. Research Proposal Development Workshop
H. S. Hamid Arshad
Working on team could be effective and productive as well as challenging also. One of the main
challenges is to let everyone contribute without having anyone dominating the discussion
session. Second most important challenge is timely completion of the assignment as every
member has other engagements.
A successful research project begins with a good research proposal. A good research proposal
has very focused and specific research objectives while it addresses the current issues of the
community. It is very well structured following systematic steps and move towards the final
outcomes. Most importantly good research proposal has a very well defined rigorous
methodology which makes research project achievable. At the end proposal should also have
very clear vision on expected outcomes relevant to specific stakeholders. This makes research
proposal more fundable.
The structure of research proposal begins with a very broad research area and narrows down to
problem statement and research question. Research questions help to define very specific pin-
pointed objectives of the research. From objectives it again expands to focused questions for
each objective, methodology separately defined for every objective and also the expected
outcomes. Coming to the specific methodology, the steps to be followed are defining the
background of research, set the targets, mention the data collection techniques and data
sources, define data analysis techniques and also propose a time line for the project.
Research methodology may vary based on the type of data being used. It could be quantitative,
qualitative or mixed research methods based on the type of data. Each data type has its own
strengths and weakness and no data is good or bad. Quantitative data is easy to analyze and
verify but data collection could be labor intensive. Qualitative data carries a detailed information
and data collection can be done with limited resources but cannot be objectively verified. Further
data analysis could be a labor intensive lengthy process. Mixed methods fit well in pragmatism
while it accommodates both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
All proposed activities for a research proposal should be achievable with the time and resources
available to the researcher or research team. One way to ensure achievability is to focus on
research objectives and develop relative specific questions so that track is not missed during the
process. Another important point to achieve the set targets well is to keep a check on timeline
so that timely completion is ensured.