A proposal is the first stage in the research process. Though a provisional statement of the project, it is also a foundational document: a well-developed proposal will provide a solid foundation for the first year of research leading to the confirmation panel. A research proposal may well take six to twelve weeks to develop, should go through multiple revisions, and be developed in conversation with a potential supervisor.
A typical research proposal should be approximately 2000 words and contain:
- A thesis title (provisional)
- an introduction to the “research problem” and associated “research question”;
- a “methodology” by which this problem might be investigated;
- a provisional answer to this problem, or a “thesis”;
- a sense of the “structure” needed to answer this question;
- a statement of the “originality” and significance of this problem and the research project;
- an indicative bibliography;
- a recognition of the skills needed to complete the thesis, and your current level of qualification in these skills (languages, research methodologies, etc).
- a brief description of resources needed for the project (e.g.. library, fieldwork, interviews, software
The admissions committee will consider the quality and feasibility of your proposal, as well as your previous qualifications.
To be eligible for admission you need to have completed:
- a Masters by research with a 75% average; or
- a Masters by coursework with a 75% average; or
- a Graduate Diploma with a 75% average; or
- a four year undergraduate degree with Honours with a 75% average.
- Completed a research essay or thesis of at least 12,000 words graded at or above 75%.
Sample Research Proposals
Samples of successful research proposals can be viewed below. These are intended as a guide only.