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Provide an initial and engaging sense of the problem and the project you intend to undertake. Show why your project is important from a social work perspective.

Research Project - Assessment Instructions and Assessment Criteria




Based on your literature review you will have identified a clear gap in knowledge which addresses a matter of significance to social work.  This assessment item gives you the opportunity to now design your proposed research project to address that gap. 


Your research design will demonstrate your capacity to undertake rigorous research utilising appropriate methods capable of answering your research question.  It will show your ability to bring together your theoretical/philosophical orientation to research along with an informed, competent use of methods, appropriate ethical sensitivity as well as the practical constraints of opportunity and resources to undertake a viable and meaningful piece of research within an appropriate timeframe.


Specific Requirements

Each research design should be up to 3500 words in length (excluding references) and conform to APA referencing requirements. Approximate word counts are provided below for each section of the research design in order to give a sense of the proportions of the work rather than a strict requirement.  The total word count is however a firm requirement.


  Please note all submitted assessment items in this unit will be electronically reviewed by software which detects plagiarism


Your research design should be structured as follows:


Title of Project :  International Parental Child Abduction



Introduction (approximately 300 words)

Provide an initial and engaging sense of the problem and the project you intend to undertake.  Show why your project is important from a social work perspective.


Literature Review/ Background (approximately 600 words)

Utilising your literature review from the first assessment item, provide a cut-down version of this which explicitly provides a justification for the proposed research design.  You have the opportunity to refine your literature review from the first assessment item drawing on feedback you received as well as your own evolving orientation to the proposed research.



Research Question (approximately 200 words)

State your research question with clarity and precision.  This is the key driver of your research; hence whilst this is a very short section it is critical to the whole design.  Related aims and objectives should also be stated here.


Conceptual Framework (approximately 800 words)

Describe the social theory which underpins your research.  Show why and how your use of theory relates to your proposed research.  For example, if you are doing research in the area of domestic violence you may have chosen a feminist approach, or if you are working on a project concerned with Indigenous issues, you might have chosen a critical whiteness approach.  Ground your theoretical discussion within the relevant supporting literature. Your choice of theory should be congruent with your topic area, your research question, and your choice of research method. Ensure your theoretical framework is congruent with a critical social work perspective.



Methods (approximately 1000 words)

Describe in detail the methods you will use to undertake your project.  Ground your account of method within the relevant supporting literature. Show your awareness of the strengths and limitations of the method you choose, clearly indicating why you have chosen your method and how you will use it.  Regardless of the specific method, the reader should feel confident that your plan is adequate to guide the research process from beginning to end.


Ethical Considerations (approximately 200 words)

Describe any ethical considerations relevant to your research.  Clearly identify potential ethical risks associated with your proposed research. Draw from the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research showing how you will manage these risks.  You must ensure that your project design does not require Human Research Ethics Committee review as this will make your design no longer viable within the time constraints of this unit and the follow on unit (SWN020). Ie Your project must not require formal ethical review by a Human Research Ethics Committee.


Timeline (approximately 200 words)

Your research design should demonstrate you capacity to project manage within a timeframe.  Determine the strategic accomplishments required to complete your project and plot these on a realistic timeline.  This unit dovetails with SWN020 which is the unit which supports the actual ‘doing’ of the project hence your timeline should be based on the duration of a single semester.  You should allow time for data collection, data analysis and the write-up of your results.  The timeline needs to show that you have scoped a realistic project for the time and resources available.  It is much better to scope a smaller project and complete it successfully than attempt a larger project beyond your capacity.



Resources Required (approximately 100 words)

Describe the resources you will need to undertake your research and show that these are available to support your research.

Please note there are no financial resources available from the university to support your research, hence you must scope your project very carefully.  In some cases your project might be situated within a larger project or connected to an agency which does have some resources to support your research, however you should not assume this and you should only build in additional resources where you have been advised that these are definitely available. 


Dissemination of Results (approximately 100 words)

Describe how you intend to disseminate your results. As part of SWN020 you will be required to complete a research report and prepare a verbal conference presentation.  Ensure you refer to these in your dissemination of your results.  However depending on the project you may identify other ways to disseminate your findings.

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