Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


What is it?

A research proposal is a brief document that outlines the rationale and plan for your research project. In some subjects you might be asked to submit a research proposal before your dissertation.

Why do I need to do it?

There are multiple reasons for writing a research proposal, one being that you might need to 'sell' your research project, another is for planning. Any project needs a plan. The proposal will show that you have planned the your project based on research and thought carefully about the timing.

How do I do it?

There are different structures expected of a research proposal, but a typical structure may include:

  • Title
  • Rationale to demonstrate the significance of your research
  • Aims and objectives
  • Research methods (including design, sample, data collection analysis, ect.)
  • Project plan (e.g. timeline)
  • Ethics
  • Limitations
  • Reference list
  • Bibliography


The books below are useful background reading for this topic.