If you want to make a career in research, one of the most important things you will need is a strong research proposal. It is often seen that if you apply for a research project or fellowship, masters or a PhD program, the concern scientist professor or the funding agency wants you to make a proposal for research, you will conduct. A poor research proposal is one of the major causes of rejection of your application.
A masters research proposal is a document that tells the mentor or selection committee about the research you will do, its significance and how you are planning to do it. Most of the time the number of applications are so large that the community chooses to assist an applicant based on the research proposal he or she writes. The main purpose of research proposal is to convince the selection committee that your research idea is significant, and you can do it.
Now let's look at each of these in some detail. The first thing a selection committee looks at is the title of the proposal. Therefore, it should be clear, concise, and convincing the title summarizes in a single sentence about what exactly the proposal is. Hence, one should devote sufficient efforts in framing a suitable title.
Today, I will explain what a masters research proposal is? Its importance, its basic contents and how to write a strong research proposal that increases your chances of selection. I will provide some of the useful tips that you will not find anywhere else. At last, I will share some of the major factors that decide your chances of selection. So let's get started.
Several proposals have word limit, or page count limits. Based on this you may expand, or shorten the introduction in the methodology section. All the results are not always certain. But based on your hypothesis, you might expect a particular outcome from your suggested work. This needs to be briefly mentioned, preferably in a paragraph, or in bullet points. Outcome also reveals the significance of the work, this needs to be appropriately mentioned.
Now let's look at the structure of a masters research proposal. A masters research proposal comprises a clearly defined topic, the background of the proposed work. Why you want to do it, or the rationally your research objectives. How you are going to do it, that is the methodology approaches that you will follow expected outcome, and often the time frame for the completion, or ear wise work plan is also included at last. It may include references.
Next comes the rationale, which is part of the proposal sometimes it is included in the background, and sometimes it is separately written. It addresses the challenges, the problems or the missing links, and how you are going to solve it why this needs immediate attention. The issue may be a disease investigation in corruption, or increasing number of deaths due to cancer. The question you ask must be of significance.
Next is the background or the introduction. The first section of the introduction covers the basic overview of the topic, the species, the target, the approach you are going to use to make the reader more familiar to your proposal.
Year Wise Work Plan
If year wise work plan is asked, you create a time frame for your experiments. Sometimes experiment fields and sometimes the protocol needs standardization. This needs to be kept in mind while allocating time period for each of your experience.
Next, you frame your proposed work in three to four well-defined objectives. Each objective is considered as a milestone of your research you are going to conduct. Objectives are followed by methodology section. Here you mention essential details of experiments you will perform and approaches. You will use the method you follow should be appropriate for the research question asked.
Now let's talk about some basic things you should remember while writing a research proposal.
- Choosing the right topic. The topic should be of importance, and it should excite you as you would be devoting several years on the chosen topic.
- The importance of literature review. There is no sense of doing research that has already been done by someone else before selecting a topic for writing a research proposal. You need to perform an extensive research survey to get an idea about what research has already been done. And whether or not your proposed work is unique or novel.
- Discuss with Supervisor
A research proposal always involves you and your supervisor if it's required for the application. Choose a suitable supervisor beforehand, and discuss with him about the proposal. Get it thoroughly checked and reviewed by him, because the supervisor is a lot more experience than you are, and he will definitely provide some of the great suggestions that will help your proposal get accepted.
- Double check your proposal
Whether it is a typographical error, or grammatical error, or wrongly written scientific name. It creates a very poor impression about you. Whole proposal should look uniform, and properly spaced, and formatted.
- Finish Early
Don't wait for the deadline. There are a lot of official formalities, for example, getting application signed by the supervisor. The host institute, and at some places it may take these two weeks, and you don't want your proposal to be unsuccessful just because you were late to submitted. Sometimes recommendation letter, or testimonials from the previous employers are also desirable, so contact them in advance if they will provide the recommendation.
Following this you should answer; How you will solve that problem. What unique you will do that others have not done in order to get the desired outcome. Because the funding agency is giving you the fellowship of the research grant, they expect that it should not be wasted in useless research. So the rationale of the work, and its significant should be clear. If the selection committee finds your question significant and your approach to solve it convincing. There is a high chance that your application will be shortlisted.
A special care needs to be taken by writing the expected outcome. It should not sound weak. One should not over stipulate or overgeneralize the outcomes.