Research Proposal Tips

As you progress in your research career, it will become more and more important to be able to write about your research, especially when it comes to seeking financial support. There are many funding opportunities available, and most of them will want you to submit a research proposal.

Even for experienced researchers, these proposals can be confusing. Once you understand the purpose and format, however, the proposal is much easier to write. In essence, the proposal is a formal, detailed description of the research you intend to conduct, with a number of standard components. Although standards vary across disciplines, all research proposals include certain basic information:

  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Preliminary Studies
  • Research Methodology

Depending on your field of study and the requirements of the funding organization, the research proposal might also need to include other sections, such as an abstract, vitae, budget, and/or appendix.

For more information on all of these proposal components, explore  WebGURU: Research Proposals. This webpage, like the rest of the WebGURU site, is focused on the lab sciences, but the information can be applied to many disciplines. See "Typical Proposal Format."

Page last modified December 1, 2010