3. Develop a Research Proposal

3. Develop a Research Proposal

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Step 1: Entry requirements Step 2: Find a supervisor Step 3: Research proposal Step 4: Scholarships Step 5: Submit Step 6: Accepting your offer

Research Proposal

Preparing a research proposal

In general, a proposal should define the chosen area of study, detail the aims of the proposed research project and provide an indication of the approach to the research you wish to take. Enough detail is required so the department can determine if it has the resources, including suitably experienced supervisors, to support you as a research candidate. It may take several weeks or months to prepare a good research proposal so start the process early.

Research proposal requirements vary according to the discipline, department or degree. Check with your proposed supervisor and department about their specific requirements.

As a guide, your research proposal should include:

  • the proposed project area of research and the issue being addressed
  • an indication you have done a preliminary literature review
  • the objectives of the research
  • a description of a possible methodology that may be relevant to the topic
  • a draft completion timeline or plan for the project (aim for a three-year timeframe). 

Other considerations

Approvals or permits 
Your research proposal should also include information about any approvals or permits you may need for the project to proceed. These may include:

Acknowledgement of source material 
All source material in your research proposal must be appropriately acknowledged. This includes references to data, results, or written outputs. During assessment of your application the University may submit written components of your application to plagiarism detection software (such as Turnitin). The detection of plagiarism in written submissions will result in the rejection of your application.

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