5 Ways To Avoid Research Proposal Burnout

Research Proposal
5 Ways To Avoid Research Proposal Burnout

A research proposal is an outline of the project that you have proposed, and itís designed to:

  1. Have a definitive question and have a way to answering that specific question.
  2. Must prove its originality (Ph.D.) and also its importance.
  3. Have a clear explanation of how it adds value and meaning to the already discovered literature in that field of study.
  4. Have a persuasive edge to potential funders pointing out its importance and why you are the best person to work on it.

Research proposals should have a maximum word count of 2500 words, this having been completed is sufficient to put all the information needed for a research proposal.

Research proposals have been used for the longest time possible in the academic field whereby, supervisors use research proposals to assess the quality and the originality of a scholarís ideas, the scholarís skills in critical thinking and to assess if the project is feasible. They can also be used to assess a scholarís expertise in the specific study area which the person needs to conduct research and also aims at convincing your readers the relevancy of your project.

Tips For Structuring Your Research Proposal

For a perfect proposal, the following tips are essential:

1. The Research Proposal Title

Make sure you have included special keywords in your title that go hand in hand with what your research proposal is all about. The title should be relevant to the theme of your proposal.

2. Research Proposal Summary.

In this section, you should clearly outline in summary form the aims. Importance and the expected outcome of your research to the reader who must not be a specialist in the filed youíre discussing in your research proposal.

3. Research Details

Make sure that you establish quite a solid and convincing framework meant for your research in this specific section. Here are the subsections to use:

(a) Research Questions

In this section, make sure you have introduced the explanation for the research questions. It should generally include the hypothesis or the problem to be addressed. Should also include the main approach to be used which can include the theoretical, empirical and rationale/ Also, it should point out the importance of the research whether academically or any other relevant field.

(b) Objectives of the Project

Ask yourself what you really need to know, prove it, demonstrate and analyze it. Also, make sure that you have listed your aims of the project sequentially and logically. Aims and objectives should be:

  1. Brief and very concise
  2. Must be relating to each other: Aim is something you want to achieve, and objective stipulates how or what you are going to do to achieve the specific aim
  3. Be realistic concerning what you manage to accomplish within a specific period of time
  4. Provide indicators to your project supervisor on how you are planning to:

i. Approach literature and the theory involved with your project.

ii. Have access to your specific subjects and respondents among other things.

iii. Develop design strategy for the collection of data and analysis.

iv. Deal with problems relating to ethics and practical in your research.

You will need to determine whether you have met the objectives at the end of your project or not. If you havenít met the objectives, you will need to ask yourself Ďwhy not?í Nevertheless, its normal not to meet all your aims since as per your research, the questions asked might have been inappropriate. However, your conclusion must show that your research design was guided by the objectives.

(c) Contribution to the discipline.

You should make sure that you have justified the project from a literature review on the topic by discussing the written information which you think is ranked as top and most important to the research project, demonstrate that you have grasped the research issues being covered and identify areas in the literature that the research is meant to mend. This section acts as a sign-post in which its meant to point out the research questions, and therefore you shouldnít discuss so much at this point.

(d) Theoretical Framework & Methods

You need to have a solid way of how you are planning to do things. Not necessarily the full details of the various methods that you are going to use but you need to show that you have a plan. The most vital and reasonable thing to show is you have various methods in place, and you also need to show that your research proposal is practical and will be complete in a given time-frame.

Make sure that your project is reasonable and remember that there are limits to the bulkiness and complexity of a project that should be completed and fully written up in 3 years (Ph.D. case) and 2 years (Mastersí Level). The university must be certain that the project can be done and completed during the time the scholar will still be in session as per the university calendar.

Make sure that the passion that you have regarding the subject is evident from your proposal structure and the arguments displayed within your proposal. Put in mind that the university might not be having experts in the field of your specific study and therefore itís totally up to you to make the subject matter that you select to work on to be extremely interesting to those who will read your proposal.

4. Research Plan and Timeline

This section is not mandatory within all faculties. Anyway, in this section you will need to provide an outline (quarterly) of how you are planning to complete the research within the time scheduled. For example, the Ph.D. level takes 3, years and Masters level, takes 2 years.

5. References

These can be also bibliographies. They should prove to your reader that you understand properly the subject/field you are offering research on. Make sure that you have referenced all texts properly that you will use widely for the ultimate success of your research work.

Just a recap:
  1. Select a suitable topic
  2. Include the aims of your research proposal in the project summary
  3. Research details should incorporate research questions, research methods, objectives, and the contribution to a specific discipline.
  4. Research timeline (2 or 3 years depending on level of study)
  5. References section (bibliography)