Depending on the stage when the proposal is written it can be either a discussion document, intended to act as matchmaker between students' interests and the research facilities of the university, or a contract between the university and the student as to the scope and nature of the research to be undertaken.
There area two main occasions when it is appropriate to submit a research proposal.
As stated above, it is very important that you first read and study your university regulations, which may be university wide or may be specific to your department.
These documents may well have very specific requirements such as the number of pages or the house style, and may also indicate the sort of questions you should tackle in the research proposal.
You should also talk to your supervisor as you develop the proposal – don't just present him or her with a finished document.
He received his Ph D in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014.
The exact format and requirements for a research proposal can vary slightly depending on the type of research being proposed and the specific demands of the institution you plan to submit your proposal to, but there are a few basics that are almost always needed.The approach involves going through a number of stages: At the stage prior to registration, university departments are probably only concerned that the student has thought about the area, has some basic research aptitude, and is interested in an area that the university can provide support for.A research proposal is a concise and coherent summary of your proposed research.It sets out the central issues or questions that you intend to address.It outlines the general area of study within which your research falls, referring to the current state of knowledge and any recent debates on the topic.These pages should not be taken as guidance in isolation of your own university regulations, which should be studied most carefully.Paul Oliver (2004) has defined a research proposal as a synopsis of proposed research which has to be submitted for approval before data collection can be started, that should set out clearly the research intended and the methods to be used.If there is more than one possible topic, then probably the best deciding factor is the value of the research.A similar approach is suggested by Punch (2000), who also proposes writing a two-page document which focuses on the basic questions – what is your topic, how are you going to research it, why is it important.Others to consult are experts in the area, and your Ph D student colleagues.It is important to remember that the audience for the research proposal is not made up just of experts, and to write clearly enough that the proposal can be understood on its own, without reference to other documents.