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  • How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

Published on October 12, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on November 21, 2023.

Structure of a research proposal

A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it’s important, and how you will conduct your research.

The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements:

Introduction

Literature review.

  • Research design

Reference list

While the sections may vary, the overall objective is always the same. A research proposal serves as a blueprint and guide for your research plan, helping you get organized and feel confident in the path forward you choose to take.

Table of contents

Research proposal purpose, research proposal examples, research design and methods, contribution to knowledge, research schedule, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research proposals.

Academics often have to write research proposals to get funding for their projects. As a student, you might have to write a research proposal as part of a grad school application , or prior to starting your thesis or dissertation .

In addition to helping you figure out what your research can look like, a proposal can also serve to demonstrate why your project is worth pursuing to a funder, educational institution, or supervisor.

Research proposal length

The length of a research proposal can vary quite a bit. A bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. Your supervisor can help you determine the best length for your work.

One trick to get started is to think of your proposal’s structure as a shorter version of your thesis or dissertation , only without the results , conclusion and discussion sections.

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research proposal letter format

Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We’ve included a few for you below.

  • Example research proposal #1: “A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management”
  • Example research proposal #2: “Medical Students as Mediators of Change in Tobacco Use”

Like your dissertation or thesis, the proposal will usually have a title page that includes:

  • The proposed title of your project
  • Your supervisor’s name
  • Your institution and department

The first part of your proposal is the initial pitch for your project. Make sure it succinctly explains what you want to do and why.

Your introduction should:

  • Introduce your topic
  • Give necessary background and context
  • Outline your  problem statement  and research questions

To guide your introduction , include information about:

  • Who could have an interest in the topic (e.g., scientists, policymakers)
  • How much is already known about the topic
  • What is missing from this current knowledge
  • What new insights your research will contribute
  • Why you believe this research is worth doing

As you get started, it’s important to demonstrate that you’re familiar with the most important research on your topic. A strong literature review  shows your reader that your project has a solid foundation in existing knowledge or theory. It also shows that you’re not simply repeating what other people have already done or said, but rather using existing research as a jumping-off point for your own.

In this section, share exactly how your project will contribute to ongoing conversations in the field by:

  • Comparing and contrasting the main theories, methods, and debates
  • Examining the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches
  • Explaining how will you build on, challenge, or synthesize prior scholarship

Following the literature review, restate your main  objectives . This brings the focus back to your own project. Next, your research design or methodology section will describe your overall approach, and the practical steps you will take to answer your research questions.

To finish your proposal on a strong note, explore the potential implications of your research for your field. Emphasize again what you aim to contribute and why it matters.

For example, your results might have implications for:

  • Improving best practices
  • Informing policymaking decisions
  • Strengthening a theory or model
  • Challenging popular or scientific beliefs
  • Creating a basis for future research

Last but not least, your research proposal must include correct citations for every source you have used, compiled in a reference list . To create citations quickly and easily, you can use our free APA citation generator .

Some institutions or funders require a detailed timeline of the project, asking you to forecast what you will do at each stage and how long it may take. While not always required, be sure to check the requirements of your project.

Here’s an example schedule to help you get started. You can also download a template at the button below.

Download our research schedule template

If you are applying for research funding, chances are you will have to include a detailed budget. This shows your estimates of how much each part of your project will cost.

Make sure to check what type of costs the funding body will agree to cover. For each item, include:

  • Cost : exactly how much money do you need?
  • Justification : why is this cost necessary to complete the research?
  • Source : how did you calculate the amount?

To determine your budget, think about:

  • Travel costs : do you need to go somewhere to collect your data? How will you get there, and how much time will you need? What will you do there (e.g., interviews, archival research)?
  • Materials : do you need access to any tools or technologies?
  • Help : do you need to hire any research assistants for the project? What will they do, and how much will you pay them?

If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Methodology

  • Sampling methods
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • Likert scales
  • Reproducibility

 Statistics

  • Null hypothesis
  • Statistical power
  • Probability distribution
  • Effect size
  • Poisson distribution

Research bias

  • Optimism bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Implicit bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Anchoring bias
  • Explicit bias

Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .

Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.

I will compare …

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.

A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.

A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.

All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.

Critical thinking refers to the ability to evaluate information and to be aware of biases or assumptions, including your own.

Like information literacy , it involves evaluating arguments, identifying and solving problems in an objective and systematic way, and clearly communicating your ideas.

The best way to remember the difference between a research plan and a research proposal is that they have fundamentally different audiences. A research plan helps you, the researcher, organize your thoughts. On the other hand, a dissertation proposal or research proposal aims to convince others (e.g., a supervisor, a funding body, or a dissertation committee) that your research topic is relevant and worthy of being conducted.

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  • Research Process

Writing a Scientific Research Project Proposal

  • 5 minute read
  • 78.9K views

Table of Contents

The importance of a well-written research proposal cannot be underestimated. Your research really is only as good as your proposal. A poorly written, or poorly conceived research proposal will doom even an otherwise worthy project. On the other hand, a well-written, high-quality proposal will increase your chances for success.

In this article, we’ll outline the basics of writing an effective scientific research proposal, including the differences between research proposals, grants and cover letters. We’ll also touch on common mistakes made when submitting research proposals, as well as a simple example or template that you can follow.

What is a scientific research proposal?

The main purpose of a scientific research proposal is to convince your audience that your project is worthwhile, and that you have the expertise and wherewithal to complete it. The elements of an effective research proposal mirror those of the research process itself, which we’ll outline below. Essentially, the research proposal should include enough information for the reader to determine if your proposed study is worth pursuing.

It is not an uncommon misunderstanding to think that a research proposal and a cover letter are the same things. However, they are different. The main difference between a research proposal vs cover letter content is distinct. Whereas the research proposal summarizes the proposal for future research, the cover letter connects you to the research, and how you are the right person to complete the proposed research.

There is also sometimes confusion around a research proposal vs grant application. Whereas a research proposal is a statement of intent, related to answering a research question, a grant application is a specific request for funding to complete the research proposed. Of course, there are elements of overlap between the two documents; it’s the purpose of the document that defines one or the other.

Scientific Research Proposal Format

Although there is no one way to write a scientific research proposal, there are specific guidelines. A lot depends on which journal you’re submitting your research proposal to, so you may need to follow their scientific research proposal template.

In general, however, there are fairly universal sections to every scientific research proposal. These include:

  • Title: Make sure the title of your proposal is descriptive and concise. Make it catch and informative at the same time, avoiding dry phrases like, “An investigation…” Your title should pique the interest of the reader.
  • Abstract: This is a brief (300-500 words) summary that includes the research question, your rationale for the study, and any applicable hypothesis. You should also include a brief description of your methodology, including procedures, samples, instruments, etc.
  • Introduction: The opening paragraph of your research proposal is, perhaps, the most important. Here you want to introduce the research problem in a creative way, and demonstrate your understanding of the need for the research. You want the reader to think that your proposed research is current, important and relevant.
  • Background: Include a brief history of the topic and link it to a contemporary context to show its relevance for today. Identify key researchers and institutions also looking at the problem
  • Literature Review: This is the section that may take the longest amount of time to assemble. Here you want to synthesize prior research, and place your proposed research into the larger picture of what’s been studied in the past. You want to show your reader that your work is original, and adds to the current knowledge.
  • Research Design and Methodology: This section should be very clearly and logically written and organized. You are letting your reader know that you know what you are going to do, and how. The reader should feel confident that you have the skills and knowledge needed to get the project done.
  • Preliminary Implications: Here you’ll be outlining how you anticipate your research will extend current knowledge in your field. You might also want to discuss how your findings will impact future research needs.
  • Conclusion: This section reinforces the significance and importance of your proposed research, and summarizes the entire proposal.
  • References/Citations: Of course, you need to include a full and accurate list of any and all sources you used to write your research proposal.

Common Mistakes in Writing a Scientific Research Project Proposal

Remember, the best research proposal can be rejected if it’s not well written or is ill-conceived. The most common mistakes made include:

  • Not providing the proper context for your research question or the problem
  • Failing to reference landmark/key studies
  • Losing focus of the research question or problem
  • Not accurately presenting contributions by other researchers and institutions
  • Incompletely developing a persuasive argument for the research that is being proposed
  • Misplaced attention on minor points and/or not enough detail on major issues
  • Sloppy, low-quality writing without effective logic and flow
  • Incorrect or lapses in references and citations, and/or references not in proper format
  • The proposal is too long – or too short

Scientific Research Proposal Example

There are countless examples that you can find for successful research proposals. In addition, you can also find examples of unsuccessful research proposals. Search for successful research proposals in your field, and even for your target journal, to get a good idea on what specifically your audience may be looking for.

While there’s no one example that will show you everything you need to know, looking at a few will give you a good idea of what you need to include in your own research proposal. Talk, also, to colleagues in your field, especially if you are a student or a new researcher. We can often learn from the mistakes of others. The more prepared and knowledgeable you are prior to writing your research proposal, the more likely you are to succeed.

Language Editing Services

One of the top reasons scientific research proposals are rejected is due to poor logic and flow. Check out our Language Editing Services to ensure a great proposal , that’s clear and concise, and properly referenced. Check our video for more information, and get started today.

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Writing Research Proposals

The research proposal is your opportunity to show that you—and only you!—are the perfect person to take on your specific project. After reading your research proposal, readers should be confident that…

  • You have thoughtfully crafted and designed this project;
  • You have the necessary background to complete this project;
  • You have the proper support system in place;
  • You know exactly what you need to complete this project and how to do so; and
  • With this funding in hand, you can be on your way to a meaningful research experience and a significant contribution to your field.

Research proposals typically include the following components:

  • Why is your project important? How does it contribute to the field or to society? What do you hope to prove?
  • This section includes the project design, specific methodology, your specific role and responsibilities, steps you will take to execute the project, etc. Here you will show the committee the way that you think by explaining both how you have conceived the project and how you intend to carry it out.
  • Please be specific in the project dates/how much time you need to carry out the proposed project. The scope of the project should clearly match the timeframe in which you propose to complete it!
  • Funding agencies like to know how their funding will be used. Including this information will demonstrate that you have thoughtfully designed the project and know of all of the anticipated expenses required to see it through to completion.
  • It is important that you have a support system on hand when conducting research, especially as an undergraduate. There are often surprises and challenges when working on a long-term research project and the selection committee wants to be sure that you have the support system you need to both be successful in your project and also have a meaningful research experience. 
  • Some questions to consider are: How often do you intend to meet with your advisor(s)? (This may vary from project to project based on the needs of the student and the nature of the research.) What will your mode of communication be? Will you be attending (or even presenting at) lab meetings? 

Don’t be afraid to also include relevant information about your background and advocate for yourself! Do you have skills developed in a different research experience (or leadership position, job, coursework, etc.) that you could apply to the project in question? Have you already learned about and experimented with a specific method of analysis in class and are now ready to apply it to a different situation? If you already have experience with this professor/lab, please be sure to include those details in your proposal! That will show the selection committee that you are ready to hit the ground running!

Lastly, be sure to know who your readers are so that you can tailor the field-specific language of your proposal accordingly. If the selection committee are specialists in your field, you can feel free to use the jargon of that field; but if your proposal will be evaluated by an interdisciplinary committee (this is common), you might take a bit longer explaining the state of the field, specific concepts, and certainly spelling out any acronyms.

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  • Indian J Anaesth
  • v.60(9); 2016 Sep

How to write a research proposal?

Department of Anaesthesiology, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Devika Rani Duggappa

Writing the proposal of a research work in the present era is a challenging task due to the constantly evolving trends in the qualitative research design and the need to incorporate medical advances into the methodology. The proposal is a detailed plan or ‘blueprint’ for the intended study, and once it is completed, the research project should flow smoothly. Even today, many of the proposals at post-graduate evaluation committees and application proposals for funding are substandard. A search was conducted with keywords such as research proposal, writing proposal and qualitative using search engines, namely, PubMed and Google Scholar, and an attempt has been made to provide broad guidelines for writing a scientifically appropriate research proposal.

INTRODUCTION

A clean, well-thought-out proposal forms the backbone for the research itself and hence becomes the most important step in the process of conduct of research.[ 1 ] The objective of preparing a research proposal would be to obtain approvals from various committees including ethics committee [details under ‘Research methodology II’ section [ Table 1 ] in this issue of IJA) and to request for grants. However, there are very few universally accepted guidelines for preparation of a good quality research proposal. A search was performed with keywords such as research proposal, funding, qualitative and writing proposals using search engines, namely, PubMed, Google Scholar and Scopus.

Five ‘C’s while writing a literature review

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BASIC REQUIREMENTS OF A RESEARCH PROPOSAL

A proposal needs to show how your work fits into what is already known about the topic and what new paradigm will it add to the literature, while specifying the question that the research will answer, establishing its significance, and the implications of the answer.[ 2 ] The proposal must be capable of convincing the evaluation committee about the credibility, achievability, practicality and reproducibility (repeatability) of the research design.[ 3 ] Four categories of audience with different expectations may be present in the evaluation committees, namely academic colleagues, policy-makers, practitioners and lay audiences who evaluate the research proposal. Tips for preparation of a good research proposal include; ‘be practical, be persuasive, make broader links, aim for crystal clarity and plan before you write’. A researcher must be balanced, with a realistic understanding of what can be achieved. Being persuasive implies that researcher must be able to convince other researchers, research funding agencies, educational institutions and supervisors that the research is worth getting approval. The aim of the researcher should be clearly stated in simple language that describes the research in a way that non-specialists can comprehend, without use of jargons. The proposal must not only demonstrate that it is based on an intelligent understanding of the existing literature but also show that the writer has thought about the time needed to conduct each stage of the research.[ 4 , 5 ]

CONTENTS OF A RESEARCH PROPOSAL

The contents or formats of a research proposal vary depending on the requirements of evaluation committee and are generally provided by the evaluation committee or the institution.

In general, a cover page should contain the (i) title of the proposal, (ii) name and affiliation of the researcher (principal investigator) and co-investigators, (iii) institutional affiliation (degree of the investigator and the name of institution where the study will be performed), details of contact such as phone numbers, E-mail id's and lines for signatures of investigators.

The main contents of the proposal may be presented under the following headings: (i) introduction, (ii) review of literature, (iii) aims and objectives, (iv) research design and methods, (v) ethical considerations, (vi) budget, (vii) appendices and (viii) citations.[ 4 ]

Introduction

It is also sometimes termed as ‘need for study’ or ‘abstract’. Introduction is an initial pitch of an idea; it sets the scene and puts the research in context.[ 6 ] The introduction should be designed to create interest in the reader about the topic and proposal. It should convey to the reader, what you want to do, what necessitates the study and your passion for the topic.[ 7 ] Some questions that can be used to assess the significance of the study are: (i) Who has an interest in the domain of inquiry? (ii) What do we already know about the topic? (iii) What has not been answered adequately in previous research and practice? (iv) How will this research add to knowledge, practice and policy in this area? Some of the evaluation committees, expect the last two questions, elaborated under a separate heading of ‘background and significance’.[ 8 ] Introduction should also contain the hypothesis behind the research design. If hypothesis cannot be constructed, the line of inquiry to be used in the research must be indicated.

Review of literature

It refers to all sources of scientific evidence pertaining to the topic in interest. In the present era of digitalisation and easy accessibility, there is an enormous amount of relevant data available, making it a challenge for the researcher to include all of it in his/her review.[ 9 ] It is crucial to structure this section intelligently so that the reader can grasp the argument related to your study in relation to that of other researchers, while still demonstrating to your readers that your work is original and innovative. It is preferable to summarise each article in a paragraph, highlighting the details pertinent to the topic of interest. The progression of review can move from the more general to the more focused studies, or a historical progression can be used to develop the story, without making it exhaustive.[ 1 ] Literature should include supporting data, disagreements and controversies. Five ‘C's may be kept in mind while writing a literature review[ 10 ] [ Table 1 ].

Aims and objectives

The research purpose (or goal or aim) gives a broad indication of what the researcher wishes to achieve in the research. The hypothesis to be tested can be the aim of the study. The objectives related to parameters or tools used to achieve the aim are generally categorised as primary and secondary objectives.

Research design and method

The objective here is to convince the reader that the overall research design and methods of analysis will correctly address the research problem and to impress upon the reader that the methodology/sources chosen are appropriate for the specific topic. It should be unmistakably tied to the specific aims of your study.

In this section, the methods and sources used to conduct the research must be discussed, including specific references to sites, databases, key texts or authors that will be indispensable to the project. There should be specific mention about the methodological approaches to be undertaken to gather information, about the techniques to be used to analyse it and about the tests of external validity to which researcher is committed.[ 10 , 11 ]

The components of this section include the following:[ 4 ]

Population and sample

Population refers to all the elements (individuals, objects or substances) that meet certain criteria for inclusion in a given universe,[ 12 ] and sample refers to subset of population which meets the inclusion criteria for enrolment into the study. The inclusion and exclusion criteria should be clearly defined. The details pertaining to sample size are discussed in the article “Sample size calculation: Basic priniciples” published in this issue of IJA.

Data collection

The researcher is expected to give a detailed account of the methodology adopted for collection of data, which include the time frame required for the research. The methodology should be tested for its validity and ensure that, in pursuit of achieving the results, the participant's life is not jeopardised. The author should anticipate and acknowledge any potential barrier and pitfall in carrying out the research design and explain plans to address them, thereby avoiding lacunae due to incomplete data collection. If the researcher is planning to acquire data through interviews or questionnaires, copy of the questions used for the same should be attached as an annexure with the proposal.

Rigor (soundness of the research)

This addresses the strength of the research with respect to its neutrality, consistency and applicability. Rigor must be reflected throughout the proposal.

It refers to the robustness of a research method against bias. The author should convey the measures taken to avoid bias, viz. blinding and randomisation, in an elaborate way, thus ensuring that the result obtained from the adopted method is purely as chance and not influenced by other confounding variables.

Consistency

Consistency considers whether the findings will be consistent if the inquiry was replicated with the same participants and in a similar context. This can be achieved by adopting standard and universally accepted methods and scales.

Applicability

Applicability refers to the degree to which the findings can be applied to different contexts and groups.[ 13 ]

Data analysis

This section deals with the reduction and reconstruction of data and its analysis including sample size calculation. The researcher is expected to explain the steps adopted for coding and sorting the data obtained. Various tests to be used to analyse the data for its robustness, significance should be clearly stated. Author should also mention the names of statistician and suitable software which will be used in due course of data analysis and their contribution to data analysis and sample calculation.[ 9 ]

Ethical considerations

Medical research introduces special moral and ethical problems that are not usually encountered by other researchers during data collection, and hence, the researcher should take special care in ensuring that ethical standards are met. Ethical considerations refer to the protection of the participants' rights (right to self-determination, right to privacy, right to autonomy and confidentiality, right to fair treatment and right to protection from discomfort and harm), obtaining informed consent and the institutional review process (ethical approval). The researcher needs to provide adequate information on each of these aspects.

Informed consent needs to be obtained from the participants (details discussed in further chapters), as well as the research site and the relevant authorities.

When the researcher prepares a research budget, he/she should predict and cost all aspects of the research and then add an additional allowance for unpredictable disasters, delays and rising costs. All items in the budget should be justified.

Appendices are documents that support the proposal and application. The appendices will be specific for each proposal but documents that are usually required include informed consent form, supporting documents, questionnaires, measurement tools and patient information of the study in layman's language.

As with any scholarly research paper, you must cite the sources you used in composing your proposal. Although the words ‘references and bibliography’ are different, they are used interchangeably. It refers to all references cited in the research proposal.

Successful, qualitative research proposals should communicate the researcher's knowledge of the field and method and convey the emergent nature of the qualitative design. The proposal should follow a discernible logic from the introduction to presentation of the appendices.

Financial support and sponsorship

Conflicts of interest.

There are no conflicts of interest.

How to write a research proposal

What is a research proposal.

A research proposal should present your idea or question and expected outcomes with clarity and definition – the what.

It should also make a case for why your question is significant and what value it will bring to your discipline – the why. 

What it shouldn't do is answer the question – that's what your research will do.

Why is it important?

Research proposals are significant because Another reason why it formally outlines your intended research. Which means you need to provide details on how you will go about your research, including:

  • your approach and methodology
  • timeline and feasibility
  • all other considerations needed to progress your research, such as resources.

Think of it as a tool that will help you clarify your idea and make conducting your research easier.

How long should it be?

Usually no more than 2000 words, but check the requirements of your degree, and your supervisor or research coordinator.

Presenting your idea clearly and concisely demonstrates that you can write this way – an attribute of a potential research candidate that is valued by assessors.

What should it include?

Project title.

Your title should clearly indicate what your proposed research is about.

Research supervisor

State the name, department and faculty or school of the academic who has agreed to supervise you. Rest assured, your research supervisor will work with you to refine your research proposal ahead of submission to ensure it meets the needs of your discipline.

Proposed mode of research

Describe your proposed mode of research. Which may be closely linked to your discipline, and is where you will describe the style or format of your research, e.g. data, field research, composition, written work, social performance and mixed media etc. 

This is not required for research in the sciences, but your research supervisor will be able to guide you on discipline-specific requirements.

Aims and objectives

What are you trying to achieve with your research? What is the purpose? This section should reference why you're applying for a research degree. Are you addressing a gap in the current research? Do you want to look at a theory more closely and test it out? Is there something you're trying to prove or disprove? To help you clarify this, think about the potential outcome of your research if you were successful – that is your aim. Make sure that this is a focused statement.

Your objectives will be your aim broken down – the steps to achieving the intended outcome. They are the smaller proof points that will underpin your research's purpose. Be logical in the order of how you present these so that each succeeds the previous, i.e. if you need to achieve 'a' before 'b' before 'c', then make sure you order your objectives a, b, c.

A concise summary of what your research is about. It outlines the key aspects of what you will investigate as well as the expected outcomes. It briefly covers the what, why and how of your research. 

A good way to evaluate if you have written a strong synopsis, is to get somebody to read it without reading the rest of your research proposal. Would they know what your research is about?

Now that you have your question clarified, it is time to explain the why. Here, you need to demonstrate an understanding of the current research climate in your area of interest.

Providing context around your research topic through a literature review will show the assessor that you understand current dialogue around your research, and what is published.

Demonstrate you have a strong understanding of the key topics, significant studies and notable researchers in your area of research and how these have contributed to the current landscape.

Expected research contribution

In this section, you should consider the following:

  • Why is your research question or hypothesis worth asking?
  • How is the current research lacking or falling short?
  • What impact will your research have on the discipline?
  • Will you be extending an area of knowledge, applying it to new contexts, solving a problem, testing a theory, or challenging an existing one?
  • Establish why your research is important by convincing your audience there is a gap.
  • What will be the outcome of your research contribution?
  • Demonstrate both your current level of knowledge and how the pursuit of your question or hypothesis will create a new understanding and generate new information.
  • Show how your research is innovative and original.

Draw links between your research and the faculty or school you are applying at, and explain why you have chosen your supervisor, and what research have they or their school done to reinforce and support your own work. Cite these reasons to demonstrate how your research will benefit and contribute to the current body of knowledge.

Proposed methodology

Provide an overview of the methodology and techniques you will use to conduct your research. Cover what materials and equipment you will use, what theoretical frameworks will you draw on, and how will you collect data.

Highlight why you have chosen this particular methodology, but also why others may not have been as suitable. You need to demonstrate that you have put thought into your approach and why it's the most appropriate way to carry out your research. 

It should also highlight potential limitations you anticipate, feasibility within time and other constraints, ethical considerations and how you will address these, as well as general resources.

A work plan is a critical component of your research proposal because it indicates the feasibility of completion within the timeframe and supports you in achieving your objectives throughout your degree.

Consider the milestones you aim to achieve at each stage of your research. A PhD or master's degree by research can take two to four years of full-time study to complete. It might be helpful to offer year one in detail and the following years in broader terms. Ultimately you have to show that your research is likely to be both original and finished – and that you understand the time involved.

Provide details of the resources you will need to carry out your research project. Consider equipment, fieldwork expenses, travel and a proposed budget, to indicate how realistic your research proposal is in terms of financial requirements and whether any adjustments are needed.

Bibliography

Provide a list of references that you've made throughout your research proposal. 

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Research Proposal Example/Sample

Detailed Walkthrough + Free Proposal Template

If you’re getting started crafting your research proposal and are looking for a few examples of research proposals , you’ve come to the right place.

In this video, we walk you through two successful (approved) research proposals , one for a Master’s-level project, and one for a PhD-level dissertation. We also start off by unpacking our free research proposal template and discussing the four core sections of a research proposal, so that you have a clear understanding of the basics before diving into the actual proposals.

  • Research proposal example/sample – Master’s-level (PDF/Word)
  • Research proposal example/sample – PhD-level (PDF/Word)
  • Proposal template (Fully editable) 

If you’re working on a research proposal for a dissertation or thesis, you may also find the following useful:

  • Research Proposal Bootcamp : Learn how to write a research proposal as efficiently and effectively as possible
  • 1:1 Proposal Coaching : Get hands-on help with your research proposal

Free Webinar: How To Write A Research Proposal

FAQ: Research Proposal Example

Research proposal example: frequently asked questions, are the sample proposals real.

Yes. The proposals are real and were approved by the respective universities.

Can I copy one of these proposals for my own research?

As we discuss in the video, every research proposal will be slightly different, depending on the university’s unique requirements, as well as the nature of the research itself. Therefore, you’ll need to tailor your research proposal to suit your specific context.

You can learn more about the basics of writing a research proposal here .

How do I get the research proposal template?

You can access our free proposal template here .

Is the proposal template really free?

Yes. There is no cost for the proposal template and you are free to use it as a foundation for your research proposal.

Where can I learn more about proposal writing?

For self-directed learners, our Research Proposal Bootcamp is a great starting point.

For students that want hands-on guidance, our private coaching service is recommended.

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This post is an extract from our bestselling Udemy Course, Research Proposal Bootcamp . If you want to work smart, you don't want to miss this .

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How to Write a Perfect Proposal Letter: Step-by-Step (Examples)

By Status.net Editorial Team on November 8, 2023 — 14 minutes to read

  • Understanding Proposal Letters Part 1
  • Structuring Your Proposal Letter Part 2
  • Key Elements of a Proposal Letter Part 3
  • Step-By-Step Guide to Writing a Proposal Letter Part 4
  • How to Write a Business Proposal Letter (Example) Part 5
  • How to Write a Job Proposal Letter (Example) Part 6
  • How to Write an Academic Proposal Letter (Example) Part 7
  • Successful Business Proposal Email Example Part 8
  • Example of a Proposal Letter for a Marketing Project Part 9
  • Effective Job Proposal Email Example Part 10

Part 1 Understanding Proposal Letters

A proposal letter is a written document sent to a potential client, employer, or partner, outlining your proposed idea, project, or plan. It aims to persuade the recipient to consider your proposal and take action on it.

To begin with, think of the end goal. Identify what you want to achieve with your proposal letter. This could be anything from securing a contract to obtaining funding for a project. Having a clear objective in mind helps you create a compelling document.

Next, research your target audience. Understand the recipient’s needs, preferences, and potential pain points. Tailor your letter to demonstrate how it addresses their specific requirements boosting your chances of success.

Now, let’s discuss the structure of a proposal letter. Generally, it follows a simple layout:

  • Salutation : Start with a formal greeting, addressing the recipient by their full name or title.
  • Introduction : Introduce the purpose of your letter, highlighting the central theme of your proposal.
  • Body : Explain your proposal in detail, including benefits, costs, timeline, and any other vital information.
  • Conclusion : Summarize the key points and request for a follow-up meeting or discussion.
  • Closing : End with a courteous sign-off, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards.”

Part 2 Structuring Your Proposal Letter

Starting with a strong introduction.

Begin your proposal letter with a friendly, professional tone that captures your reader’s attention. Introduce yourself and your organization, briefly explaining your background and experience. Connect with your reader by showing that you understand their needs and goals. Make sure you mention the purpose of your proposal and the solution you want to offer with confidence.

Proposing Your Idea

After laying the groundwork, dive into the details of your proposal. Explain what your solution or idea is and how it addresses the needs and goals mentioned earlier. Make sure to highlight the key benefits, focusing on what’s in it for your reader. Be specific and use facts, figures, and examples to support your claims. Keep your paragraphs organized and use bullet points or bold text to emphasize important information.

For example:

  • Benefit 1: Reduction in production costs by 30%
  • Benefit 2: Improved customer satisfaction
  • Benefit 3: Streamlined workflow processes

This will help your reader easily understand and remember the main points of your proposal.

Ending with a Perfect Conclusion

End your proposal letter on a positive note, summarizing the main benefits and advantages of your idea. Reiterate your enthusiasm and commitment to providing the best solution possible. Offer your assistance in answering any questions or addressing concerns your reader might have. Finish with a call-to-action, such as setting up a meeting or signing a contract, and provide your contact information so they can easily get in touch with you.

Part 3 Key Elements of a Proposal Letter

Clear objective.

A successful proposal letter begins with a clear objective. When writing your letter, make sure to state the purpose of the proposal in a concise and straightforward manner. This helps the reader understand what you want to achieve and the solution you’re providing. Avoid using jargon or complex language, as it can be confusing and might lead the reader to misunderstand the core message.

Specific Details

Providing specific details is important to make your proposal letter more persuasive. This includes outlining the scope of work, timeframe, and estimated costs for the project. You should also highlight any unique aspects of your proposal that set it apart from competitors or alternative solutions.

For example, if you’re proposing a marketing campaign, you could outline the target audience, marketing channels you’ll use, content creation, and metrics for success. By providing specifics, you demonstrate that you’ve put thought into the project and have a well-planned approach, instilling confidence in the reader that you are the right choice.

Compelling Reasoning

Your proposal letter should include compelling reasoning for why the recipient should choose your solution. This can include:

  • Demonstrating your expertise and experience in the field
  • Explaining the benefits of your proposed solution
  • Sharing success stories and testimonials from past clients or projects
  • Outlining how your proposal aligns with the recipient’s goals and needs

For example, continuing with the marketing campaign proposal, you could discuss how your experience in handling similar projects has led to significant increases in sales and brand recognition for your clients. Also, you might explain how your approach aligns with the recipient’s target demographics or business objectives to strengthen your case.

Part 4 Step-By-Step Guide to Writing a Proposal Letter

  • Start by addressing the recipient with their professional title and full name.
  • In the first paragraph, state the purpose of your letter and summarize your proposal briefly. Make sure to highlight the key benefits of your proposal for the recipient or their organization.
  • In the next few paragraphs, provide details about your proposed project or partnership, such as your objectives, timelines, and expected outcomes. Also, showcase your competence and experience by mentioning relevant achievements or past collaborations.
  • When closing the letter, express gratitude for their time and consideration. Offer to provide further information or answer any questions they may have.
  • Lastly, include your full name, title, contact information, and signature.

Choosing the Right Format

Make sure your letter is in the right format to make it look professional. You will typically use a business letter format, which includes:

  • Your contact information
  • The recipient’s contact information
  • Subject line (optional)
  • Body of the letter

[Contact Details]

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

Re: [Proposal subject]

[Body of the letter]

[Your Name]

Setting the Tone

Maintain a friendly yet professional tone throughout your proposal letter. Be polite and respectful, addressing the recipient by their full name, and using “please” and “thank you” when appropriate. Keep the language conversational but clear, so your reader can easily understand your proposal. Stay away from overly technical terms or jargon, unless it is necessary and you’re sure your recipient will understand it.

Drafting the Body

Begin by providing an overview of the problem or need your proposal is addressing. Clearly explain the issue and why it’s important to solve it. Next, describe your proposed solution in detail, outlining your plan and how it will benefit the recipient. Be specific and realistic in your description; for example, if you’re proposing a project with a timeline and budget, include concrete figures and dates.

Break down your proposal into smaller sections, using separate paragraphs or even bullet points if helpful. This makes it easier for your reader to follow your argument and understand the various aspects of your proposal. Here’s a quick outline of what you should cover in the body of your proposal letter:

  • Problem/need introduction
  • Proposed solution
  • Benefits of the solution
  • Timeline and budget (if applicable)
  • Your qualifications (why you’re the right choice to carry out the proposal)
  • A call to action (how they can take the next step)

Proofreading Carefully

Before sending your proposal letter, take the time to thoroughly proofread it for errors in grammar, spelling, and formatting. Ensuring that your letter is polished and error-free shows the recipient that you take your proposal seriously and are committed to quality in your work. If possible, ask a colleague or friend to review your letter as well since a fresh set of eyes can often catch errors that you might have missed.

Part 5 How to Write a Business Proposal Letter (Example)

When writing a business proposal letter, your goal is to present your ideas or services in a way that’s compelling and clear. Business proposal letters can be sent to potential clients, partners, or investors. Here are some tips for writing an effective business proposal letter:

  • Start with a brief introduction of your company and its offerings.
  • Highlight the benefits of your product or service, focusing on the value it will bring to the recipient.
  • Be specific about costs, timelines, and any other relevant information.
  • Use clear, concise language, and avoid using jargon or overly technical terms.
  • Close the letter by mentioning next steps, such as arranging a meeting or following up with further information.
Subject: New Collaboration Opportunity with [Your Company Name] Dear [Recipient’s Name], I’m reaching out on behalf of [Your Company Name] to discuss an exciting opportunity for collaboration. Our team has developed an innovative marketing strategy that could greatly benefit your company by increasing your customer acquisition rate by 20% within the next six months. […] We look forward to the possibility of working together and will be in touch shortly to schedule a meeting to discuss further details.

Part 6 How to Write a Job Proposal Letter (Example)

Job proposal letters are typically written by job seekers looking to create their own position within a company or to highlight their unique skills and experience. These letters should be concise, persuasive, and tailored to the specific company and its needs. Here are some key points to include:

  • Briefly mention your background and skills relevant to the position.
  • Describe how your unique abilities can positively impact the organization.
  • Offer specific examples of how you can contribute to the company’s goals and objectives.
  • End with a call to action, offering to provide more information or meet to discuss the opportunity further.
Subject: Job Proposal for Social Media Manager at [Company] Dear [Recipient’s Name], As an experienced social media professional, I am excited by the opportunity to bring my skills and expertise to [Company]. Based on my research of your current online presence, I believe I can contribute to increasing your brand awareness and engagement through a tailored social media strategy. […] I would appreciate the opportunity to further discuss how my background and passion for social media can contribute to [Company]’s growth and success. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

Part 7 How to Write an Academic Proposal Letter (Example)

Academic proposal letters are typically written by students or researchers seeking funding or approval for a research project. These letters should be well-organized, clear, and focused on the proposed project’s objectives and potential benefits. Consider the following when working on your academic proposal letter:

  • Introduce the main research question or hypothesis.
  • Provide a brief overview of the project’s methodology and work plan.
  • Describe the expected outcomes and significance of the research.
  • Include information about the project’s potential impact on the field and broader society.
Subject: Research Proposal for Study on the Effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions Dear [Recipient’s Name], I am writing to propose a research project investigating the effects of mindfulness-based interventions on individuals suffering from chronic stress. The primary aim of the study will be to determine the overall efficacy of these interventions in reducing stress levels and improving overall mental wellbeing.
[…] I am confident that the results of this research will contribute significantly to our understanding of the relationship between mindfulness and mental health.

Part 8 Successful Business Proposal Email Example

Imagine you own a marketing agency, and you’d like to help a local business grow their social media presence. Start by addressing the recipient’s pain points, such as limited engagement on their platforms. Then, briefly introduce your agency and express excitement about working together: Subject: Boost Your Social Media Engagement with Our Expertise

We’ve noticed that your business has a strong online presence, but engagement on your social media channels seems to be underwhelming. Our team at [Your Agency’s Name] can help you turn this around and maximize your audience interaction.

With our tailored social media marketing strategies, we’ve helped numerous clients increase their online engagement by an average of 65%. Our approach focuses on:

– Identifying and targeting your ideal customers – Creating high-quality, engaging content – Enhancing brand image and authority

We would love to discuss this opportunity further and provide you with a detailed plan on how we can work together to elevate your social media presence.

Looking forward to hearing from you, [Your Full Name] [Your Agency’s Name] [Contact Details]

Part 9 Example of a Proposal Letter for a Marketing Project

I’m excited to present our idea for boosting sales at ABC Company through a targeted marketing campaign.

As we discussed in our previous meeting, the sales figures have plateaued over the past year. Our marketing team has analyzed the situation and developed a strategy to increase brand awareness and boost sales. The campaign will focus on social media, email marketing, and online advertisements.

By implementing this project, we expect the following results:

– Enhanced brand visibility – Increased customer engagement – A 20% rise in sales within six months

The total cost for the marketing campaign is $10,000. This includes creative design, copywriting, ad placements, and performance monitoring. We propose a six-month timeline for the project, starting in December.

I would be delighted to discuss the proposal in more detail or provide further information as needed. Please let me know your availability, and I’ll schedule a follow-up meeting at your convenience.

Thank you for considering our proposal. I look forward to working together on this exciting project.

Best regards, [Name]

Keep in mind that proposal letters vary in length and detail depending on the project’s size and complexity. Always customize your letter to fit the specific requirements and expectations of the recipient.

Part 10 Effective Job Proposal Email Example

Now, let’s say you’re a freelance graphic designer aiming to work with a company that recently launched a new product. Start by expressing your intentions and introduce your expertise. Showcase your experience and services offered related to their needs:

Subject: Elevate Your New Product Launch with Professional Graphic Design Services

Hello [Recipient’s Name],

I recently came across your new product launch, and I believe your marketing materials could benefit from some professional graphic design enhancements. As an experienced graphic designer, I’d like to offer my services to help elevate your visual presentation and attract more customers.

With over five years of experience in the industry, I can create compelling designs for:

– Product packaging – Promotional materials (e.g., brochures, banners, posters) – Social media graphics – Website elements

Please find my online portfolio attached, showcasing my diverse design styles and previous projects. I’m confident that my skills and expertise can significantly contribute to your product’s success in the market.

If you’re interested, kindly reach out to me to discuss further details and pricing.

Best regards, [Your Full Name] [Contact Details]

Frequently Asked Questions

1. what are the key components to include in a proposal letter.

A well-crafted proposal letter should include the following key components:

  • Opening Statement: Start with a concise and informative introduction that grabs the reader’s attention.
  • Background Information: Provide necessary context to help your reader understand the problem or opportunity.
  • Proposed Solution: Outline your proposed solution, including your unique selling points or innovative approach.
  • Timeline and Budget: Give a brief overview of the estimated project duration and budget required.
  • Call to Action: End with a call to action, inviting the reader to take the next step, whether it’s to request more information, schedule a meeting, or approve the proposal.

2. Can you share some tips on making a proposal letter persuasive?

To make your proposal letter persuasive, consider these tips:

  • Use clear and concise language to effectively communicate your ideas.
  • Focus on the benefits that the reader will gain from your proposal, emphasizing the value you bring.
  • Include specific examples, case studies, or testimonials to back up your claims.
  • Address any potential objections or concerns the reader may have and provide appropriate solutions.

3. What’s the best way to structure a proposal letter for a research project?

A research proposal letter should generally include the following structure:

  • Introduction: Provide a brief overview of your research topic and its significance.
  • Background and Literature Review: Summarize relevant research and demonstrate your expertise in the field.
  • Research Questions and Objectives: Clearly state your research questions and the expected outcomes.
  • Methodology: Explain your research approach and the techniques you will use.
  • Expected Results: Provide an idea of the anticipated results and their significance.
  • Timeline and Budget: Outline the project timeline and the funding required.

4. How do I create an effective business proposal letter for a potential client?

To create an effective business proposal letter, follow these steps:

  • Start with a strong opening that captures the client’s attention.
  • Clearly state the problem or opportunity your proposal addresses.
  • Present your proposed solution, focusing on its unique and beneficial aspects.
  • Provide evidence of your expertise and past successes, such as case studies or testimonials.
  • Detail any necessary resources, deliverables, and a realistic timeline.
  • End with a compelling call to action, inviting the client to take the next step.

5. In what order should I present my ideas when writing a proposal letter step by step?

When writing your proposal letter, present your ideas in a logical order that flows well for the reader. A typical order could include:

  • Opening Statement: Grab the reader’s attention and introduce your proposal.
  • Background Information: Provide relevant context to help your audience understand the issue or opportunity.
  • Proposed Solution: Detail your unique and compelling solution to the problem.
  • Evidence and Support: Showcase your expertise, past successes, and any supporting data.
  • Timeline and Budget: Give an overview of the project’s duration and required funding.
  • Call to Action: Conclude with a strong call to action that encourages the reader to move forward.
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Research Proposal Letter

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Dear Colleague Letter: Funding Opportunities for Engineering Research in Biotechnology

December 22, 2023

Dear Colleague:

With this Dear Colleague Letter, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Engineering (ENG) encourages the submission of research and education proposals related to Biotechnology as an Emerging Industry .

The U.S. is a world leader in biotechnology, a field that comprises the data, tools, research infrastructure, workforce capacity, and innovations that enable the discovery, utilization, and reprogramming of living organisms, their constituent components, and their biologically related processes. Advances supported by NSF and the Engineering Directorate include genome sequencing, editing, and synthesis; synthetic and engineered biology; imaging and biosensing; and tissue engineering and biomanufacturing. These capabilities also provide solutions to societal challenges, such as climate change and infectious disease, and provide the foundational and use-inspired research that will lead to the creation of goods and services that contribute to agriculture, health, security, manufacturing, energy, and environmental needs of the nation.

NSF supports research and education activities that address national needs and support the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, White House strategies (including Executive Order 14081, Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe and Secure American Bioeconomy ) and other policy directives to enable biotechnology discoveries and innovations.

Engineering Directorate Interests

The Directorate for Engineering encourages the submission of all types of research and education proposals related to biotechnology, including proposals in the following areas:

Synthetic biology and related biotechnology: Biotechnology for the engineering (through design and construction) of live biological systems and related components, such as functional enzymes, genetic circuits, therapeutic cells, and pharmaceuticals; novel synthetic biology approaches for the development of cell-free and cell-based biosensors.

Environmental biotechnology: Biotechnology applied to the study of natural and engineered systems associated with pollution prevention, environmental restoration, clean water and wastewater, renewable energy or biomass production, and using biological processes to meet environmental goals; sustainability through reduction of water, energy and resource needs and yield enhancement for biomanufacturing processes.

Novel biorecognition elements: Design of transducing systems to enable adaptable and/or reconfigurable operating parameters in response to environmental changes or application needs at levels of device, system, or data analysis; sensing technologies that can enable monitoring and surveillance of the environment and/or individuals for novel infectious agents.

Biological separations: Downstream processing of biotechnology-derived chemicals, therapeutic proteins, and biologics for increased throughput and purity.

Biomanufacturing using cells: Understanding mechanisms of cell differentiation to enhance biomanufacturing, leading to novel products, biomaterials, and significant improvements in personalized medicine, environmental control and monitoring, and adaptive sensing.

Tissue biomanufacturing: Understanding mechanisms and design rules for manufacturing three-dimensional tissues, organs, and organoids; development of validated and reproducible models (in vitro or in silico) of healthy and pathological tissues and organ systems.

Mechano-biotechnologies: Mechanics-related research advancing biotechnology including mechanomics; sub-cellular, cell, cellular matrix and tissue physiology; pathophysiology; development, differentiation, proliferation, regeneration, or repair that are related to mechanical stimuli from applied forces or changes in mechanical properties of cells or tissue microenvironment.

Biological heat and mass transport: Understanding intra- and extra-cellular heat and mass transport; freeze resistance mechanisms; thermotherapy and thermoregulation; organ conservation (freezing and thawing); and mass transport in biomedical and health systems.

Biophotonic technologies: Research at the frontiers of photonics principles and engineering that will enable new technologies for biology, manufacturing, medical diagnostics, and therapies.

Biofluids: Understanding the motion of biofluids in biological and physiological systems to improve predictions of the behavior of cells, drug delivery vehicles, and other devices (for example, biobots).

Scalable design, planning and control of biomanufacturing systems and supply chains: Development of scalable data-driven and model-drivel approaches to the planning, design and control of large-scale, resilient and effective biomanufacturing systems and supply chains, including optimization of feedstock, facility location, processes, and operations for bioproduction.

Bioelectronic and biomagnetic sensing systems: Innovations in design, fabrication, and characterization of biomolecules integrated in devices and circuits for sensing and neurostimulation applications in biology and medicine, platforms for cell-based sensors, and interfaces between the nervous systems and electronics; fundamental advances in synthetic biology integrated with semiconductor technology for information processing, interconnects, storage, communication, and sensing; hybrid semiconductor-biological systems, cell-semiconductor interfaces, biological pathways, and other approaches for fabrication and integration of devices with biological systems.

Programs and Contacts

The Engineering Directorate encourages the submission of biotechnology-related proposals to the ENG core programs listed below, and to other relevant programs. To determine which program best fits a project idea, Principal Investigators are encouraged to read the program descriptions and reach out to program contacts with questions.

The Engineering Directorate also encourages proposals for research centers, which tackle grand challenges and spur industrial innovation, and for workforce development, which provides experiential learning opportunities and opens new career paths.

Submission Guidance

Proposals submitted in response to this DCL should focus on scientific research and education relevant to biotechnology. Proposal titles should begin with “ ENG-BIOTECH :” followed by any other relevant prefixes and the project name.

For consideration during fiscal year 2024, proposals to programs without deadlines should be submitted by April 30, 2024; proposals submitted later will be considered for fiscal year 2025.

NSF welcomes proposals that broaden geographic and demographic participation to engage the full spectrum of diverse talent in STEM. Proposals from minority-serving institutions, emerging research institutions, primarily undergraduate institutions, two-year colleges, and institutions in EPSCoR-eligible jurisdictions, along with collaborations between these institutions and those in non-EPSCoR jurisdictions, are encouraged.

This DCL does not constitute a new competition or program. Proposals submitted in response to this DCL should be prepared and submitted in accordance with guidelines in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and instructions found in relevant program descriptions.

Susan Margulies Assistant Director, Engineering

Research Proposal Letter

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Which state is better: New York or Arizona?

Which state is best to visit: New York or California?

A research proposal letter is a document which is written by a prospective researcher or research team to a funding agency, or to agencies that will, in any way, affect the progress and outcome of the research. It must be well written as decisions will be taken based on the research proposal letter. More importantly, the purpose and scope of the research must be clearly explained in such a letter.

Sample Research Proposal Letter

The Chairman of the Silicon Scholarship Managing Trust

Subject: Research proposal letter

Respected Sir,

This letter is a humble request for you to consider my research proposal as worthy of a scholarship under section 54[A] of your prospectus [issued 2011]. I am currently pursuing my M.Litt. from the University of Reading in English Literature with the English Renaissance as my area of specialization. I would like to pursue my doctoral studies from the University of Oxford in the field of Early Modern Women. My research shall be on whether there was ever a renaissance for women in England as it combines two of my favorite areas of study, Renaissance and Feminism.

I am hoping to be considered for a full scholarship which will enable me to pay my college tuition fees as well as account for my living costs at Oxford. I am a diligent and meritorious student with excellent academic credentials. My area of research is unique and I believe it will make a lasting contribution to the field of English Renaissance studies.

Thanking you,

Sienna Jones,

University of Reading

United Kingdom.

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How to Write a Cover Letter for a Research Proposal With Examples

research proposal letter format

Writing a Cover Letter for a Research Proposal: A Guide and Examples for Students

When submitting a research proposal, a cover letter is the first document that the reader will see and is therefore crucial in creating the right impression. The cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself and your research proposal and to explain why your proposal is important and how it fits into the existing body of research.

How to write a cover letter for a research proposal

In this guide, we will take you through the essential steps of writing an effective cover letter for a research proposal .

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How to Write a Personal Essay

How to write a short essay, address the right person.

The first and most important step in writing a cover letter for a research proposal is to find out who the letter should be addressed to. This is especially important if you are applying to a specific institution or agency. You can usually find this information on the funding organization’s website or by contacting their office directly. When addressing the letter, use formal language, and always use the recipient’s full name.

Introduce Yourself

The second step is to introduce yourself to the reader. This includes your name, your affiliation, and your position or title. Be specific about your qualifications and experience, and make sure to highlight any relevant research experience that makes you the ideal candidate for the funding.

Explain the Purpose of Your Research Proposal

In the third step, you should explain the purpose of your research proposal. This includes why the research is important, what the research will contribute, and how it fits into the existing body of research. Be specific and explain the research problem, the research questions, and the expected outcomes of your proposal. Also, mention the methods you will use to collect and analyze data and how they will help you to answer your research questions.

Highlight Your Unique Selling Points

In the fourth step, you should highlight your unique selling points. This includes any awards or accolades you have received, any published research or papers, and your overall expertise in the research area. Mentioning your unique selling points helps you to stand out from the crowd and demonstrates your research capabilities.

Conclude with a Call-to-Action

In the final step, you should conclude the cover letter with a call to action. This means that you should ask for an opportunity to further discuss your research proposal with the reader or to receive funding for your proposal. Be polite and professional, but make sure to convey a sense of enthusiasm and excitement for the research proposal.

Research Proposal Cover Letters Examples

Research proposal cover letter example 1:.

Subject: Research Proposal – “The Impact of Climate Change on Agricultural Productivity”

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I hope this letter finds you in good health. My name is [Your Name], a Ph.D. candidate at [Your University] in the Department of Environmental Science. I am writing to submit a research proposal entitled “The Impact of Climate Change on Agricultural Productivity.”

This research aims to explore the extent to which climate change affects agricultural output, focusing on both small-scale and large-scale farming operations. It will delve into how changing weather patterns, rising temperatures, and increased frequency of extreme weather events are influencing crop yields and livestock production.

My interest in this area of study stems from a deep concern for our planet’s future and the need to develop sustainable farming practices that can withstand the challenges posed by climate change. With my solid background in environmental science and previous research experience, I am confident that I can contribute valuable insights to this field.

Enclosed to this letter, you will find a detailed research proposal outlining the study’s objectives, methodology, timeline, and budget. The proposal also includes an extensive literature review that underscores the relevance and urgency of the proposed research.

I am eager to discuss this proposal further and welcome any feedback or suggestions you may have. If you require additional information or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me at [Your Email] or [Your Phone Number].

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of working with you and contributing to our collective understanding of this critical issue.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Name] [Your Title] [Your Contact Information]

Research Proposal Submission Cover Letter Example 2:

Subject: Research Proposal Submission – “Exploring the Impact of Digital Transformation on Small Businesses”

I trust this letter finds you well. My name is [Your Name], a postgraduate student at [Your University], pursuing a degree in Business Administration. I am writing to present my research proposal titled “Exploring the Impact of Digital Transformation on Small Businesses.”

The proposed research aims to examine how digital transformation affects the performance, competitiveness, and sustainability of small businesses, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities that digital transformation presents and how small businesses can leverage digital tools for growth and resilience.

My passion for this subject stems from my aspiration to contribute to the development of small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. With my strong academic background in business studies and experience with digital marketing, I believe I’m well-equipped to undertake this research project.

Enclosed with this letter is my detailed research proposal. It outlines the research objectives, methodology, expected timeline, and budget. It also includes a comprehensive literature review demonstrating the relevance and significance of the proposed study.

I am eager to discuss this proposal further and would greatly appreciate any feedback or suggestions. Should you need additional information or clarification, please feel free to reach me at [Your Email] or [Your Phone Number].

Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the possibility of contributing to our understanding of digital transformation and its impact on small businesses.

Kind regards,

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, writing an effective cover letter for a research proposal is essential for obtaining funding for your research project. Remember to address the right person, introduce yourself and your qualifications, explain the purpose of your research proposal, highlight your unique selling points, and conclude with a call to action. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of obtaining funding and completing your research project.

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VIDEO

  1. Proposal Writing Format

  2. How to Write a Successful Research Proposal| Tips to write Research proposal

  3. Writing a research proposal

  4. How to write Research Proposal for Foreign Scholarships

  5. Research Paper Proposal for IMRaD format

  6. Upwork Proposal and Cover Letter Sample for Beginners: Practice and Tips for Content Writers

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Research Proposal

    The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements: Title page Introduction Literature review Research design Reference list While the sections may vary, the overall objective is always the same.

  2. Academic Proposals

    Introduction An important part of the work completed in academia is sharing our scholarship with others. Such communication takes place when we present at scholarly conferences, publish in peer-reviewed journals, and publish in books. This OWL resource addresses the steps in writing for a variety of academic proposals.

  3. How to Write a Research Proposal

    Write with Grammarly What is the goal of a research proposal? In a research proposal, the goal is to present the author's plan for the research they intend to conduct. In some cases, part of this goal is to secure funding for said research.

  4. Writing a Scientific Research Project Proposal

    Abstract: This is a brief (300-500 words) summary that includes the research question, your rationale for the study, and any applicable hypothesis. You should also include a brief description of your methodology, including procedures, samples, instruments, etc.

  5. Sample Academic Proposals

    Select the Sample Academic Proposals PDF in the Media box above to download this file and read examples of proposals for conferences, journals, and book chapters.

  6. How to Write a Research Proposal: Structure, Examples & Common Mistakes

    If you are looking for a research proposal example for students, here are some made for various disciplines and levels of study that you can emulate or derive valuable ideas from: Postgraduate Research. Sample proposal for a Clinical Health Project; Sample proposal for Social Policy and Criminology; Sample research proposal for Ph.D. Politics 1

  7. Writing Research Proposals

    The research proposal is your opportunity to show that you—and only you!—are the perfect person to take on your specific project. After reading your research proposal, readers should be confident that… You have thoughtfully crafted and designed this project; You have the necessary background to complete this project;

  8. How To Write A Research Proposal

    1. Title and Abstract Choose a concise and descriptive title that reflects the essence of your research. Write an abstract summarizing your research question, objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes. It should provide a brief overview of your proposal. 2. Introduction:

  9. PDF Research Proposal Format Example

    1. Research Proposal Format Example. Following is a general outline of the material that should be included in your project proposal. I. Title Page II. Introduction and Literature Review (Chapters 2 and 3) A. Identification of specific problem area (e.g., what is it, why it is important). B. Prevalence, scope of problem.

  10. Free Download: Research Proposal Template

    The cleanly-formatted Word document is fully editable, so you can use it for your proposal, copy over the contents to a fresh document, or convert to LaTeX. Download The Research Proposal Template (FREE) PS - you can also download our dissertation/thesis chapter templates here. Your content goes here.

  11. How to write a research proposal?

    A proposal needs to show how your work fits into what is already known about the topic and what new paradigm will it add to the literature, while specifying the question that the research will answer, establishing its significance, and the implications of the answer. [ 2]

  12. How to Write a Great PhD Research Proposal

    Applications Advice You'll need to write a research proposal if you're submitting your own project plan as part of a PhD application. A good PhD proposal outlines the scope and significance of your topic and explains how you plan to research it.

  13. How to write a research proposal

    Process_ How to write a research proposal A guide to preparing a strong research proposal Applying for a PhD or research master's degree and not sure where to start with your research proposal? Follow our guide. What is a research proposal?

  14. Research Proposal Example (PDF + Template)

    Proposal template (Fully editable) If you're working on a research proposal for a dissertation or thesis, you may also find the following useful: Research Proposal Bootcamp: Learn how to write a research proposal as efficiently and effectively as possible. 1:1 Proposal Coaching: Get hands-on help with your research proposal.

  15. PDF A Sample Research Proposal with Comments

    For those who plan to start in the spring semester, the proposal deadline is December 1. During the proposal stage, students should discuss their research interests with CM faculty members, identify a research topic, conduct preliminary literature review and develop a project proposal.

  16. How to Write a Perfect Proposal Letter: Step-by-Step (Examples)

    Salutation: Start with a formal greeting, addressing the recipient by their full name or title. Introduction: Introduce the purpose of your letter, highlighting the central theme of your proposal. Body: Explain your proposal in detail, including benefits, costs, timeline, and any other vital information.

  17. Writing a Letter of Intent

    A letter of intent is a proposal describing and explaining your intentions. The letter is a formal and professional document, focusing on a specific audience and purpose. ... it may be required before beginning work on a large academic research project. The letter of intent would require approval from an instructor or program chair before the ...

  18. 40 Best Research Proposal Templates & Format Examples

    40 Best Research Proposal Templates & Format Examples If you are doing academic research or any research for the company you work for, you will need to present the material in a professional fashion. A research proposal will help explain the intention behind the research you plan to conduct.

  19. How to Write a Proposal Letter (With Template and Example)

    According to Rutgers University, the four C's of a proposal letter include:. Clear: Make your proposal letter clear by quickly identifying your goals. Follow a logical organization to make your proposal letter easy to scan and understand. Concise: Provide a good mix of research and purpose. Highlight the essential points by choosing a few key elements to include.

  20. 9 Free Research Proposal Templates (with Examples)

    Free Templates Research Proposal Template 01 Research Proposal Template 02 Research Proposal Template 03 Research Proposal Template 04 Research Proposal Template 05 Research Proposal Template 06 Purpose of the Research Proposal

  21. NIH Proposals with International Subrecipients Sample Language for

    Sample Language for Letters of Support - NIH Proposals with International Subrecipients. Specifically, we recommend international subrecipients use the following language in their letter of support when they will be included in UW NIH proposals: "The appropriate programmatic and administrative personnel involved in this grant application ...

  22. Research Proposal Letter in Word and Pdf formats

    1 SAMPLE Research Proposal Letter (Business Letter Format) -remove before printing Sally Smith 2007 Lake Circle Vestavia Hills, AL 35216 [email protected] 28 October 2009 Mrs. Jackson Spain Park High School 4700 Jaguar Drive Hoover, AL 35242 [email protected] Dear Mrs. Jackson:

  23. Dear Colleague Letter: Funding Opportunities for Engineering Research

    December 22, 2023. Dear Colleague: With this Dear Colleague Letter, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Engineering (ENG) encourages the submission of research and education proposals related to Biotechnology as an Emerging Industry.. The U.S. is a world leader in biotechnology, a field that comprises the data, tools, research infrastructure, workforce capacity, and ...

  24. Research Proposal Letter

    A research proposal letter is a document which is written by a prospective researcher or research team to a funding agency, or to agencies that will, in any way, affect the progress and outcome of the research. It must be well written as decisions will be taken based on the research proposal letter. More importantly, the purpose and scope of the research must be clearly explained in such a letter.

  25. Writing a Cover Letter for a Research Proposal: How To, Examples

    Bookmark Writing a Cover Letter for a Research Proposal: A Guide and Examples for Students When submitting a research proposal, a cover letter is the first document that the reader will see and is therefore crucial in creating the right impression.