Research proposal

A research proposal is a document that proposes a research project, typically in the sciences or academics, and typically serves as a request for funding. Proposals are evaluated based on the cost and possible effect of the proposed study, as well as the feasibility of the planned implementation plan. Typically, research proposals cover many crucial points:

  1. What research question(s) will be investigated, and how will they be investigated?
  2. How much time and money will be needed to do the research?
  3. What past study exists on the subject?
  4. How the study outcomes will be assessed
  5. Benefits of the research to the funding organization and other parties


Research proposals may be solicited, i.e., presented in response to a request with stated requirements, such as a request for proposal, or unsolicited, i.e., submitted without previous request. Other types of proposals include “preproposals,” in which a letter of intent or brief abstract is submitted for review prior to submitting a full proposal; continuation proposals, which re-iterate an original proposal and its funding requirements to ensure continued funding; and renewal proposals, which seek continued sponsorship of a project that would otherwise be terminated.

Generally, academic research proposals are created as part of the prerequisites for producing a thesis, research paper, or dissertation. In general, they adhere to the same structure as a research paper, including an introduction, a literature review, a description of the study technique and objectives, and a conclusion. This fundamental framework may differ between projects and disciplines, with each having its own specifications.

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