This is just a tentative title for your intended research. You may revise your title once you begin the project, in year 3, if necessary. The title should succinctly encapsulate what the proposed research is about. Examples of previous titles can be found on Moodle.
The proposal should include a concise statement of your intended research of no more than 100 words. This may be a couple of sentences setting out the problem that you want to examine or the central question that you wish to address.
The writing for this section will be an improved draft of the details noted in your Research Proposal Form and discussed in with your seminar tutor and/or during your research conversation.
Research Context & Literature Review
You should explain the background against which you will conduct your research. You should include a brief overview of the general area of study within which your proposed research falls, summarising the current state of knowledge and recent debates on the topic. This will allow you to demonstrate a familiarity with the relevant field as well as the ability to communicate clearly and concisely.
The proposal should set out the central aims and questions that will guide your research. Before writing your proposal, you should take time to reflect on the key questions that you are seeking to answer. Many research proposals are too broad, so reflecting on your key research questions is a good way to make sure that your project is sufficiently narrow and feasible (i.e. one that is likely to be completed with the normal period for a undergraduate dissertation).
You might find it helpful to prioritize one or two main questions, from which you can then derive a number of secondary research questions. The proposal should also explain your intended approach to answering the questions: will your approach be empirical, or theoretical etc.?
Research Methods & Ethical Considerations
The proposal should outline your research methods, explaining how you are going to conduct your research and analyse your research findings. Your methods may include visiting particular libraries or archives, field work or observation or interviews.
If your proposed research is library-based, you should explain where your key resources are located. If you plan to conduct field work or collect empirical data, you should provide details about this (e.g. if you plan interviews, who will you interview? How many interviews will you conduct? Will there be problems of access?).
In this section you need to demonstrate an understanding of ethical procedures and, where appropriate, how they will be applied in your proposed study. For example:
- What is informed consent? How will you gain informed consent in the study?
- What is meant by confidentiality and anonymity? How will confidentiality and anonymity be assured in the study?
- What are the possible risks to the participants? How might these be mitigated?
Significance of Research
The proposal should demonstrate the originality of your intended research. You should therefore explain why your research is important (for example, by explaining how your research builds on and adds to the current state of knowledge in the field or by setting out reasons why it is timely to research your proposed topic).