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The Research Proposal

Writing a Research Proposal

A research proposal is a document explaining what you would like to research for your doctorate. Different academic departments request different things as far as a proposal and/or application is concerned, so it is important that you contact the department to find out any particular requirements before submitting your application.

In general, and if required, your proposal should:

  • provide an overview of your research question, explaining why it is of academic and or practical importance
  • outline the main objectives of your research, providing details of two or three key aspects
  • indicate the importance of previous related research and how your own research question might make a useful contribution to the area
  • briefly state the main research techniques (interviews, case studies, modelling etc.) you might use
  • indicate your suggested data collection procedures, indicating sources and any possible difficulties
  • explain the techniques you intend to use
  • add an outline timeline of activities

Please check the individual academic department requirements below.

B

Business School, Warwick

You should provide approximately 2,000 words, plus your timetable and references or a short bibliography. We do not expect the proposal to be perfect at this stage, nor do we expect you to stick to it very closely as your ideas will almost certainly change once you start to study, but we do expect you to write it as follows:

  • Provide an overview of your research question, explaining why it is of academic and or practical importance
  • Outline the main objectives of your research, providing details of two or three key aspects
  • Write a short literature review, indicating the importance of previous related research and how your own research question might make a useful contribution to the area
  • State the main research techniques (interviews, case studies, modelling etc.) you might use
  • Indicate your suggested data collection procedures, indicating sources and any possible difficulties
  • Explain any analytical techniques you intend to use
  • Add your proposed timetable of activities
  • Finally, list the references in your proposal or provide a short bibliography.

Please organise your proposal under the following headings:

  1. Title Research question
  2. Objectives
  3. Literature reviews
  4. Research techniques
  5. References & bibliography
  6. Prospective supervisors