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17 Research Proposal Examples

17 Research Proposal Examples

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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research proposal example sections definition and purpose, explained below

A research proposal systematically and transparently outlines a proposed research project.

The purpose of a research proposal is to demonstrate a project’s viability and the researcher’s preparedness to conduct an academic study. It serves as a roadmap for the researcher.

The process holds value both externally (for accountability purposes and often as a requirement for a grant application) and intrinsic value (for helping the researcher to clarify the mechanics, purpose, and potential signficance of the study).

Key sections of a research proposal include: the title, abstract, introduction, literature review, research design and methods, timeline, budget, outcomes and implications, references, and appendix. Each is briefly explained below.

Watch my Guide: How to Write a Research Proposal

Get your Template for Writing your Research Proposal Here (With AI Prompts!)

Research Proposal Sample Structure

Title: The title should present a concise and descriptive statement that clearly conveys the core idea of the research projects. Make it as specific as possible. The reader should immediately be able to grasp the core idea of the intended research project. Often, the title is left too vague and does not help give an understanding of what exactly the study looks at.

Abstract: Abstracts are usually around 250-300 words and provide an overview of what is to follow – including the research problem , objectives, methods, expected outcomes, and significance of the study. Use it as a roadmap and ensure that, if the abstract is the only thing someone reads, they’ll get a good fly-by of what will be discussed in the peice.

Introduction: Introductions are all about contextualization. They often set the background information with a statement of the problem. At the end of the introduction, the reader should understand what the rationale for the study truly is. I like to see the research questions or hypotheses included in the introduction and I like to get a good understanding of what the significance of the research will be. It’s often easiest to write the introduction last

Literature Review: The literature review dives deep into the existing literature on the topic, demosntrating your thorough understanding of the existing literature including themes, strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in the literature. It serves both to demonstrate your knowledge of the field and, to demonstrate how the proposed study will fit alongside the literature on the topic. A good literature review concludes by clearly demonstrating how your research will contribute something new and innovative to the conversation in the literature.

Research Design and Methods: This section needs to clearly demonstrate how the data will be gathered and analyzed in a systematic and academically sound manner. Here, you need to demonstrate that the conclusions of your research will be both valid and reliable. Common points discussed in the research design and methods section include highlighting the research paradigm, methodologies, intended population or sample to be studied, data collection techniques, and data analysis procedures . Toward the end of this section, you are encouraged to also address ethical considerations and limitations of the research process , but also to explain why you chose your research design and how you are mitigating the identified risks and limitations.

Timeline: Provide an outline of the anticipated timeline for the study. Break it down into its various stages (including data collection, data analysis, and report writing). The goal of this section is firstly to establish a reasonable breakdown of steps for you to follow and secondly to demonstrate to the assessors that your project is practicable and feasible.

Budget: Estimate the costs associated with the research project and include evidence for your estimations. Typical costs include staffing costs, equipment, travel, and data collection tools. When applying for a scholarship, the budget should demonstrate that you are being responsible with your expensive and that your funding application is reasonable.

Expected Outcomes and Implications: A discussion of the anticipated findings or results of the research, as well as the potential contributions to the existing knowledge, theory, or practice in the field. This section should also address the potential impact of the research on relevant stakeholders and any broader implications for policy or practice.

References: A complete list of all the sources cited in the research proposal, formatted according to the required citation style. This demonstrates the researcher’s familiarity with the relevant literature and ensures proper attribution of ideas and information.

Appendices (if applicable): Any additional materials, such as questionnaires, interview guides, or consent forms, that provide further information or support for the research proposal. These materials should be included as appendices at the end of the document.

Research Proposal Examples

Research proposals often extend anywhere between 2,000 and 15,000 words in length. The following snippets are samples designed to briefly demonstrate what might be discussed in each section.

1. Education Studies Research Proposals

See some real sample pieces:

  • Assessment of the perceptions of teachers towards a new grading system
  • Does ICT use in secondary classrooms help or hinder student learning?
  • Digital technologies in focus project
  • Urban Middle School Teachers’ Experiences of the Implementation of
  • Restorative Justice Practices
  • Experiences of students of color in service learning

Consider this hypothetical education research proposal:

The Impact of Game-Based Learning on Student Engagement and Academic Performance in Middle School Mathematics

Abstract: The proposed study will explore multiplayer game-based learning techniques in middle school mathematics curricula and their effects on student engagement. The study aims to contribute to the current literature on game-based learning by examining the effects of multiplayer gaming in learning.

Introduction: Digital game-based learning has long been shunned within mathematics education for fears that it may distract students or lower the academic integrity of the classrooms. However, there is emerging evidence that digital games in math have emerging benefits not only for engagement but also academic skill development. Contributing to this discourse, this study seeks to explore the potential benefits of multiplayer digital game-based learning by examining its impact on middle school students’ engagement and academic performance in a mathematics class.

Literature Review: The literature review has identified gaps in the current knowledge, namely, while game-based learning has been extensively explored, the role of multiplayer games in supporting learning has not been studied.

Research Design and Methods: This study will employ a mixed-methods research design based upon action research in the classroom. A quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test control group design will first be used to compare the academic performance and engagement of middle school students exposed to game-based learning techniques with those in a control group receiving instruction without the aid of technology. Students will also be observed and interviewed in regard to the effect of communication and collaboration during gameplay on their learning.

Timeline: The study will take place across the second term of the school year with a pre-test taking place on the first day of the term and the post-test taking place on Wednesday in Week 10.

Budget: The key budgetary requirements will be the technologies required, including the subscription cost for the identified games and computers.

Expected Outcomes and Implications: It is expected that the findings will contribute to the current literature on game-based learning and inform educational practices, providing educators and policymakers with insights into how to better support student achievement in mathematics.

2. Psychology Research Proposals

See some real examples:

  • A situational analysis of shared leadership in a self-managing team
  • The effect of musical preference on running performance
  • Relationship between self-esteem and disordered eating amongst adolescent females

Consider this hypothetical psychology research proposal:

The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions on Stress Reduction in College Students

Abstract: This research proposal examines the impact of mindfulness-based interventions on stress reduction among college students, using a pre-test/post-test experimental design with both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods .

Introduction: College students face heightened stress levels during exam weeks. This can affect both mental health and test performance. This study explores the potential benefits of mindfulness-based interventions such as meditation as a way to mediate stress levels in the weeks leading up to exam time.

Literature Review: Existing research on mindfulness-based meditation has shown the ability for mindfulness to increase metacognition, decrease anxiety levels, and decrease stress. Existing literature has looked at workplace, high school and general college-level applications. This study will contribute to the corpus of literature by exploring the effects of mindfulness directly in the context of exam weeks.

Research Design and Methods: Participants ( n= 234 ) will be randomly assigned to either an experimental group, receiving 5 days per week of 10-minute mindfulness-based interventions, or a control group, receiving no intervention. Data will be collected through self-report questionnaires, measuring stress levels, semi-structured interviews exploring participants’ experiences, and students’ test scores.

Timeline: The study will begin three weeks before the students’ exam week and conclude after each student’s final exam. Data collection will occur at the beginning (pre-test of self-reported stress levels) and end (post-test) of the three weeks.

Expected Outcomes and Implications: The study aims to provide evidence supporting the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in reducing stress among college students in the lead up to exams, with potential implications for mental health support and stress management programs on college campuses.

3. Sociology Research Proposals

  • Understanding emerging social movements: A case study of ‘Jersey in Transition’
  • The interaction of health, education and employment in Western China
  • Can we preserve lower-income affordable neighbourhoods in the face of rising costs?

Consider this hypothetical sociology research proposal:

The Impact of Social Media Usage on Interpersonal Relationships among Young Adults

Abstract: This research proposal investigates the effects of social media usage on interpersonal relationships among young adults, using a longitudinal mixed-methods approach with ongoing semi-structured interviews to collect qualitative data.

Introduction: Social media platforms have become a key medium for the development of interpersonal relationships, particularly for young adults. This study examines the potential positive and negative effects of social media usage on young adults’ relationships and development over time.

Literature Review: A preliminary review of relevant literature has demonstrated that social media usage is central to development of a personal identity and relationships with others with similar subcultural interests. However, it has also been accompanied by data on mental health deline and deteriorating off-screen relationships. The literature is to-date lacking important longitudinal data on these topics.

Research Design and Methods: Participants ( n = 454 ) will be young adults aged 18-24. Ongoing self-report surveys will assess participants’ social media usage, relationship satisfaction, and communication patterns. A subset of participants will be selected for longitudinal in-depth interviews starting at age 18 and continuing for 5 years.

Timeline: The study will be conducted over a period of five years, including recruitment, data collection, analysis, and report writing.

Expected Outcomes and Implications: This study aims to provide insights into the complex relationship between social media usage and interpersonal relationships among young adults, potentially informing social policies and mental health support related to social media use.

4. Nursing Research Proposals

  • Does Orthopaedic Pre-assessment clinic prepare the patient for admission to hospital?
  • Nurses’ perceptions and experiences of providing psychological care to burns patients
  • Registered psychiatric nurse’s practice with mentally ill parents and their children

Consider this hypothetical nursing research proposal:

The Influence of Nurse-Patient Communication on Patient Satisfaction and Health Outcomes following Emergency Cesarians

Abstract: This research will examines the impact of effective nurse-patient communication on patient satisfaction and health outcomes for women following c-sections, utilizing a mixed-methods approach with patient surveys and semi-structured interviews.

Introduction: It has long been known that effective communication between nurses and patients is crucial for quality care. However, additional complications arise following emergency c-sections due to the interaction between new mother’s changing roles and recovery from surgery.

Literature Review: A review of the literature demonstrates the importance of nurse-patient communication, its impact on patient satisfaction, and potential links to health outcomes. However, communication between nurses and new mothers is less examined, and the specific experiences of those who have given birth via emergency c-section are to date unexamined.

Research Design and Methods: Participants will be patients in a hospital setting who have recently had an emergency c-section. A self-report survey will assess their satisfaction with nurse-patient communication and perceived health outcomes. A subset of participants will be selected for in-depth interviews to explore their experiences and perceptions of the communication with their nurses.

Timeline: The study will be conducted over a period of six months, including rolling recruitment, data collection, analysis, and report writing within the hospital.

Expected Outcomes and Implications: This study aims to provide evidence for the significance of nurse-patient communication in supporting new mothers who have had an emergency c-section. Recommendations will be presented for supporting nurses and midwives in improving outcomes for new mothers who had complications during birth.

5. Social Work Research Proposals

  • Experiences of negotiating employment and caring responsibilities of fathers post-divorce
  • Exploring kinship care in the north region of British Columbia

Consider this hypothetical social work research proposal:

The Role of a Family-Centered Intervention in Preventing Homelessness Among At-Risk Youthin a working-class town in Northern England

Abstract: This research proposal investigates the effectiveness of a family-centered intervention provided by a local council area in preventing homelessness among at-risk youth. This case study will use a mixed-methods approach with program evaluation data and semi-structured interviews to collect quantitative and qualitative data .

Introduction: Homelessness among youth remains a significant social issue. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of family-centered interventions in addressing this problem and identify factors that contribute to successful prevention strategies.

Literature Review: A review of the literature has demonstrated several key factors contributing to youth homelessness including lack of parental support, lack of social support, and low levels of family involvement. It also demonstrates the important role of family-centered interventions in addressing this issue. Drawing on current evidence, this study explores the effectiveness of one such intervention in preventing homelessness among at-risk youth in a working-class town in Northern England.

Research Design and Methods: The study will evaluate a new family-centered intervention program targeting at-risk youth and their families. Quantitative data on program outcomes, including housing stability and family functioning, will be collected through program records and evaluation reports. Semi-structured interviews with program staff, participants, and relevant stakeholders will provide qualitative insights into the factors contributing to program success or failure.

Timeline: The study will be conducted over a period of six months, including recruitment, data collection, analysis, and report writing.

Budget: Expenses include access to program evaluation data, interview materials, data analysis software, and any related travel costs for in-person interviews.

Expected Outcomes and Implications: This study aims to provide evidence for the effectiveness of family-centered interventions in preventing youth homelessness, potentially informing the expansion of or necessary changes to social work practices in Northern England.

Research Proposal Template

Get your Detailed Template for Writing your Research Proposal Here (With AI Prompts!)

This is a template for a 2500-word research proposal. You may find it difficult to squeeze everything into this wordcount, but it’s a common wordcount for Honors and MA-level dissertations.

Title – Ensure the single-sentence title clearly states the study’s focus
Abstract (Words: 200) – Briefly describe the research topicSummarize the research problem or question
– Outline the research design and methods
– Mention the expected outcomes and implications
Introduction (Words: 300) – Introduce the research topic and its significance
– Clearly state the research problem or question
– Explain the purpose and objectives of the study
– Provide a brief overview of
Literature Review (Words: 800) – Gather the existing literature into themes and ket ideas
– the themes and key ideas in the literature
– Identify gaps or inconsistencies in the literature
– Explain how the current study will contribute to the literature
Research Design and Methods (Words; 800) – Describe the research paradigm (generally: positivism and interpretivism)
– Describe the research design (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods)
– Explain the data collection methods (e.g., surveys, interviews, observations)
– Detail the sampling strategy and target population
– Outline the data analysis techniques (e.g., statistical analysis, thematic analysis)
– Outline your validity and reliability procedures
– Outline your intended ethics procedures
– Explain the study design’s limitations and justify your decisions
Timeline (Single page table) – Provide an overview of the research timeline
– Break down the study into stages with specific timeframes (e.g., data collection, analysis, report writing)
– Include any relevant deadlines or milestones
Budget (200 words) – Estimate the costs associated with the research project
– Detail specific expenses (e.g., materials, participant incentives, travel costs)
– Include any necessary justifications for the budget items
– Mention any funding sources or grant applications
Expected Outcomes and Implications (200 words) – Summarize the anticipated findings or results of the study
– Discuss the potential implications of the findings for theory, practice, or policy
– Describe any possible limitations of the study

Your research proposal is where you really get going with your study. I’d strongly recommend working closely with your teacher in developing a research proposal that’s consistent with the requirements and culture of your institution, as in my experience it varies considerably. The above template is from my own courses that walk students through research proposals in a British School of Education.


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8 thoughts on “17 Research Proposal Examples”

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Very excellent research proposals

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very helpful

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Very helpful

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Dear Sir, I need some help to write an educational research proposal. Thank you.

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Hi Levi, use the site search bar to ask a question and I’ll likely have a guide already written for your specific question. Thanks for reading!

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very good research proposal

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Thank you so much sir! ❤️

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Examples of research proposals

How to write your research proposal, with examples of good proposals.

Research proposals

Your research proposal is a key part of your application. It tells us about the question you want to answer through your research. It is a chance for you to show your knowledge of the subject area and tell us about the methods you want to use.

We use your research proposal to match you with a supervisor or team of supervisors.

In your proposal, please tell us if you have an interest in the work of a specific academic at York St John. You can get in touch with this academic to discuss your proposal. You can also speak to one of our Research Leads. There is a list of our Research Leads on the Apply page.

When you write your proposal you need to:

  • Highlight how it is original or significant
  • Explain how it will develop or challenge current knowledge of your subject
  • Identify the importance of your research
  • Show why you are the right person to do this research
  • Research Proposal Example 1 (DOC, 49kB)
  • Research Proposal Example 2 (DOC, 0.9MB)
  • Research Proposal Example 3 (DOC, 55.5kB)
  • Research Proposal Example 4 (DOC, 49.5kB)

Subject specific guidance

  • Writing a Humanities PhD Proposal (PDF, 0.1MB)
  • Writing a Creative Writing PhD Proposal (PDF, 0.1MB)
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Research Method

Home » How To Write A Proposal – Step By Step Guide [With Template]

How To Write A Proposal – Step By Step Guide [With Template]

Table of Contents

How To Write A Proposal

How To Write A Proposal

Writing a Proposal involves several key steps to effectively communicate your ideas and intentions to a target audience. Here’s a detailed breakdown of each step:

Identify the Purpose and Audience

  • Clearly define the purpose of your proposal: What problem are you addressing, what solution are you proposing, or what goal are you aiming to achieve?
  • Identify your target audience: Who will be reading your proposal? Consider their background, interests, and any specific requirements they may have.

Conduct Research

  • Gather relevant information: Conduct thorough research to support your proposal. This may involve studying existing literature, analyzing data, or conducting surveys/interviews to gather necessary facts and evidence.
  • Understand the context: Familiarize yourself with the current situation or problem you’re addressing. Identify any relevant trends, challenges, or opportunities that may impact your proposal.

Develop an Outline

  • Create a clear and logical structure: Divide your proposal into sections or headings that will guide your readers through the content.
  • Introduction: Provide a concise overview of the problem, its significance, and the proposed solution.
  • Background/Context: Offer relevant background information and context to help the readers understand the situation.
  • Objectives/Goals: Clearly state the objectives or goals of your proposal.
  • Methodology/Approach: Describe the approach or methodology you will use to address the problem.
  • Timeline/Schedule: Present a detailed timeline or schedule outlining the key milestones or activities.
  • Budget/Resources: Specify the financial and other resources required to implement your proposal.
  • Evaluation/Success Metrics: Explain how you will measure the success or effectiveness of your proposal.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the main points and restate the benefits of your proposal.

Write the Proposal

  • Grab attention: Start with a compelling opening statement or a brief story that hooks the reader.
  • Clearly state the problem: Clearly define the problem or issue you are addressing and explain its significance.
  • Present your proposal: Introduce your proposed solution, project, or idea and explain why it is the best approach.
  • State the objectives/goals: Clearly articulate the specific objectives or goals your proposal aims to achieve.
  • Provide supporting information: Present evidence, data, or examples to support your claims and justify your proposal.
  • Explain the methodology: Describe in detail the approach, methods, or strategies you will use to implement your proposal.
  • Address potential concerns: Anticipate and address any potential objections or challenges the readers may have and provide counterarguments or mitigation strategies.
  • Recap the main points: Summarize the key points you’ve discussed in the proposal.
  • Reinforce the benefits: Emphasize the positive outcomes, benefits, or impact your proposal will have.
  • Call to action: Clearly state what action you want the readers to take, such as approving the proposal, providing funding, or collaborating with you.

Review and Revise

  • Proofread for clarity and coherence: Check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
  • Ensure a logical flow: Read through your proposal to ensure the ideas are presented in a logical order and are easy to follow.
  • Revise and refine: Fine-tune your proposal to make it concise, persuasive, and compelling.

Add Supplementary Materials

  • Attach relevant documents: Include any supporting materials that strengthen your proposal, such as research findings, charts, graphs, or testimonials.
  • Appendices: Add any additional information that might be useful but not essential to the main body of the proposal.

Formatting and Presentation

  • Follow the guidelines: Adhere to any specific formatting guidelines provided by the organization or institution to which you are submitting the proposal.
  • Use a professional tone and language: Ensure that your proposal is written in a clear, concise, and professional manner.
  • Use headings and subheadings: Organize your proposal with clear headings and subheadings to improve readability.
  • Pay attention to design: Use appropriate fonts, font sizes, and formatting styles to make your proposal visually appealing.
  • Include a cover page: Create a cover page that includes the title of your proposal, your name or organization, the date, and any other required information.

Seek Feedback

  • Share your proposal with trusted colleagues or mentors and ask for their feedback. Consider their suggestions for improvement and incorporate them into your proposal if necessary.

Finalize and Submit

  • Make any final revisions based on the feedback received.
  • Ensure that all required sections, attachments, and documentation are included.
  • Double-check for any formatting, grammar, or spelling errors.
  • Submit your proposal within the designated deadline and according to the submission guidelines provided.

Proposal Format

The format of a proposal can vary depending on the specific requirements of the organization or institution you are submitting it to. However, here is a general proposal format that you can follow:

1. Title Page:

  • Include the title of your proposal, your name or organization’s name, the date, and any other relevant information specified by the guidelines.

2. Executive Summary:

  •  Provide a concise overview of your proposal, highlighting the key points and objectives.
  • Summarize the problem, proposed solution, and anticipated benefits.
  • Keep it brief and engaging, as this section is often read first and should capture the reader’s attention.

3. Introduction:

  • State the problem or issue you are addressing and its significance.
  • Provide background information to help the reader understand the context and importance of the problem.
  • Clearly state the purpose and objectives of your proposal.

4. Problem Statement:

  • Describe the problem in detail, highlighting its impact and consequences.
  • Use data, statistics, or examples to support your claims and demonstrate the need for a solution.

5. Proposed Solution or Project Description:

  • Explain your proposed solution or project in a clear and detailed manner.
  • Describe how your solution addresses the problem and why it is the most effective approach.
  • Include information on the methods, strategies, or activities you will undertake to implement your solution.
  • Highlight any unique features, innovations, or advantages of your proposal.

6. Methodology:

  • Provide a step-by-step explanation of the methodology or approach you will use to implement your proposal.
  • Include a timeline or schedule that outlines the key milestones, tasks, and deliverables.
  • Clearly describe the resources, personnel, or expertise required for each phase of the project.

7. Evaluation and Success Metrics:

  • Explain how you will measure the success or effectiveness of your proposal.
  • Identify specific metrics, indicators, or evaluation methods that will be used.
  • Describe how you will track progress, gather feedback, and make adjustments as needed.
  • Present a detailed budget that outlines the financial resources required for your proposal.
  • Include all relevant costs, such as personnel, materials, equipment, and any other expenses.
  • Provide a justification for each item in the budget.

9. Conclusion:

  •  Summarize the main points of your proposal.
  •  Reiterate the benefits and positive outcomes of implementing your proposal.
  • Emphasize the value and impact it will have on the organization or community.

10. Appendices:

  • Include any additional supporting materials, such as research findings, charts, graphs, or testimonials.
  •  Attach any relevant documents that provide further information but are not essential to the main body of the proposal.

Proposal Template

Here’s a basic proposal template that you can use as a starting point for creating your own proposal:

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I am writing to submit a proposal for [briefly state the purpose of the proposal and its significance]. This proposal outlines a comprehensive solution to address [describe the problem or issue] and presents an actionable plan to achieve the desired objectives.

Thank you for considering this proposal. I believe that implementing this solution will significantly contribute to [organization’s or community’s goals]. I am available to discuss the proposal in more detail at your convenience. Please feel free to contact me at [your email address or phone number].

Yours sincerely,

Note: This template is a starting point and should be customized to meet the specific requirements and guidelines provided by the organization or institution to which you are submitting the proposal.

Proposal Sample

Here’s a sample proposal to give you an idea of how it could be structured and written:

Subject : Proposal for Implementation of Environmental Education Program

I am pleased to submit this proposal for your consideration, outlining a comprehensive plan for the implementation of an Environmental Education Program. This program aims to address the critical need for environmental awareness and education among the community, with the objective of fostering a sense of responsibility and sustainability.

Executive Summary: Our proposed Environmental Education Program is designed to provide engaging and interactive educational opportunities for individuals of all ages. By combining classroom learning, hands-on activities, and community engagement, we aim to create a long-lasting impact on environmental conservation practices and attitudes.

Introduction: The state of our environment is facing significant challenges, including climate change, habitat loss, and pollution. It is essential to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to understand these issues and take action. This proposal seeks to bridge the gap in environmental education and inspire a sense of environmental stewardship among the community.

Problem Statement: The lack of environmental education programs has resulted in limited awareness and understanding of environmental issues. As a result, individuals are less likely to adopt sustainable practices or actively contribute to conservation efforts. Our program aims to address this gap and empower individuals to become environmentally conscious and responsible citizens.

Proposed Solution or Project Description: Our Environmental Education Program will comprise a range of activities, including workshops, field trips, and community initiatives. We will collaborate with local schools, community centers, and environmental organizations to ensure broad participation and maximum impact. By incorporating interactive learning experiences, such as nature walks, recycling drives, and eco-craft sessions, we aim to make environmental education engaging and enjoyable.

Methodology: Our program will be structured into modules that cover key environmental themes, such as biodiversity, climate change, waste management, and sustainable living. Each module will include a mix of classroom sessions, hands-on activities, and practical field experiences. We will also leverage technology, such as educational apps and online resources, to enhance learning outcomes.

Evaluation and Success Metrics: We will employ a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Pre- and post-assessments will gauge knowledge gain, while surveys and feedback forms will assess participant satisfaction and behavior change. We will also track the number of community engagement activities and the adoption of sustainable practices as indicators of success.

Budget: Please find attached a detailed budget breakdown for the implementation of the Environmental Education Program. The budget covers personnel costs, materials and supplies, transportation, and outreach expenses. We have ensured cost-effectiveness while maintaining the quality and impact of the program.

Conclusion: By implementing this Environmental Education Program, we have the opportunity to make a significant difference in our community’s environmental consciousness and practices. We are confident that this program will foster a generation of individuals who are passionate about protecting our environment and taking sustainable actions. We look forward to discussing the proposal further and working together to make a positive impact.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Should you have any questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at [your email address or phone number].

About the author

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Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

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Proposal – Types, Examples, and Writing Guide

Reference management. Clean and simple.

How to write a research proposal

give an example of research proposal

What is a research proposal?

What is the purpose of a research proposal , how long should a research proposal be, what should be included in a research proposal, 1. the title page, 2. introduction, 3. literature review, 4. research design, 5. implications, 6. reference list, frequently asked questions about writing a research proposal, related articles.

If you’re in higher education, the term “research proposal” is something you’re likely to be familiar with. But what is it, exactly? You’ll normally come across the need to prepare a research proposal when you’re looking to secure Ph.D. funding.

When you’re trying to find someone to fund your Ph.D. research, a research proposal is essentially your “pitch.”

A research proposal is a concise and coherent summary of your proposed research.

You’ll need to set out the issues that are central to the topic area and how you intend to address them with your research. To do this, you’ll need to give the following:

  • an outline of the general area of study within which your research falls
  • an overview of how much is currently known about the topic
  • a literature review that covers the recent scholarly debate or conversation around the topic

➡️  What is a literature review? Learn more in our guide.

Essentially, you are trying to persuade your institution that you and your project are worth investing their time and money into.

It is the opportunity for you to demonstrate that you have the aptitude for this level of research by showing that you can articulate complex ideas:

It also helps you to find the right supervisor to oversee your research. When you’re writing your research proposal, you should always have this in the back of your mind.

This is the document that potential supervisors will use in determining the legitimacy of your research and, consequently, whether they will invest in you or not. It is therefore incredibly important that you spend some time on getting it right.

Tip: While there may not always be length requirements for research proposals, you should strive to cover everything you need to in a concise way.

If your research proposal is for a bachelor’s or master’s degree, it may only be a few pages long. For a Ph.D., a proposal could be a pretty long document that spans a few dozen pages.

➡️ Research proposals are similar to grant proposals. Learn how to write a grant proposal in our guide.

When you’re writing your proposal, keep in mind its purpose and why you’re writing it. It, therefore, needs to clearly explain the relevance of your research and its context with other discussions on the topic. You need to then explain what approach you will take and why it is feasible.

Generally, your structure should look something like this:

  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Research Design
  • Implications

If you follow this structure, you’ll have a comprehensive and coherent proposal that looks and feels professional, without missing out on anything important. We’ll take a deep dive into each of these areas one by one next.

The title page might vary slightly per your area of study but, as a general point, your title page should contain the following:

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

Tip: Keep in mind any departmental or institutional guidelines for a research proposal title page. Also, your supervisor may ask for specific details to be added to the page.

The introduction is crucial   to your research proposal as it is your first opportunity to hook the reader in. A good introduction section will introduce your project and its relevance to the field of study.

You’ll want to use this space to demonstrate that you have carefully thought about how to present your project as interesting, original, and important research. A good place to start is by introducing the context of your research problem.

Think about answering these questions:

  • What is it you want to research and why?
  • How does this research relate to the respective field?
  • How much is already known about this area?
  • Who might find this research interesting?
  • What are the key questions you aim to answer with your research?
  • What will the findings of this project add to the topic area?

Your introduction aims to set yourself off on a great footing and illustrate to the reader that you are an expert in your field and that your project has a solid foundation in existing knowledge and theory.

The literature review section answers the question who else is talking about your proposed research topic.

You want to demonstrate that your research will contribute to conversations around the topic and that it will sit happily amongst experts in the field.

➡️ Read more about how to write a literature review .

There are lots of ways you can find relevant information for your literature review, including:

  • Research relevant academic sources such as books and journals to find similar conversations around the topic.
  • Read through abstracts and bibliographies of your academic sources to look for relevance and further additional resources without delving too deep into articles that are possibly not relevant to you.
  • Watch out for heavily-cited works . This should help you to identify authoritative work that you need to read and document.
  • Look for any research gaps , trends and patterns, common themes, debates, and contradictions.
  • Consider any seminal studies on the topic area as it is likely anticipated that you will address these in your research proposal.

This is where you get down to the real meat of your research proposal. It should be a discussion about the overall approach you plan on taking, and the practical steps you’ll follow in answering the research questions you’ve posed.

So what should you discuss here? Some of the key things you will need to discuss at this point are:

  • What form will your research take? Is it qualitative/quantitative/mixed? Will your research be primary or secondary?
  • What sources will you use? Who or what will you be studying as part of your research.
  • Document your research method. How are you practically going to carry out your research? What tools will you need? What procedures will you use?
  • Any practicality issues you foresee. Do you think there will be any obstacles to your anticipated timescale? What resources will you require in carrying out your research?

Your research design should also discuss the potential implications of your research. For example, are you looking to confirm an existing theory or develop a new one?

If you intend to create a basis for further research, you should describe this here.

It is important to explain fully what you want the outcome of your research to look like and what you want to achieve by it. This will help those reading your research proposal to decide if it’s something the field  needs  and  wants,  and ultimately whether they will support you with it.

When you reach the end of your research proposal, you’ll have to compile a list of references for everything you’ve cited above. Ideally, you should keep track of everything from the beginning. Otherwise, this could be a mammoth and pretty laborious task to do.

Consider using a reference manager like Paperpile to format and organize your citations. Paperpile allows you to organize and save your citations for later use and cite them in thousands of citation styles directly in Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or LaTeX.

Paperpile reference manager

Your project may also require you to have a timeline, depending on the budget you are requesting. If you need one, you should include it here and explain both the timeline and the budget you need, documenting what should be done at each stage of the research and how much of the budget this will use.

This is the final step, but not one to be missed. You should make sure that you edit and proofread your document so that you can be sure there are no mistakes.

A good idea is to have another person proofread the document for you so that you get a fresh pair of eyes on it. You can even have a professional proofreader do this for you.

This is an important document and you don’t want spelling or grammatical mistakes to get in the way of you and your reader.

➡️ Working on a research proposal for a thesis? Take a look at our guide on how to come up with a topic for your thesis .

A research proposal is a concise and coherent summary of your proposed research. Generally, your research proposal will have a title page, introduction, literature review section, a section about research design and explaining the implications of your research, and a reference list.

A good research proposal is concise and coherent. It has a clear purpose, clearly explains the relevance of your research and its context with other discussions on the topic. A good research proposal explains what approach you will take and why it is feasible.

You need a research proposal to persuade your institution that you and your project are worth investing their time and money into. It is your opportunity to demonstrate your aptitude for this level or research by showing that you can articulate complex ideas clearly, concisely, and critically.

A research proposal is essentially your "pitch" when you're trying to find someone to fund your PhD. It is a clear and concise summary of your proposed research. It gives an outline of the general area of study within which your research falls, it elaborates how much is currently known about the topic, and it highlights any recent debate or conversation around the topic by other academics.

The general answer is: as long as it needs to be to cover everything. The length of your research proposal depends on the requirements from the institution that you are applying to. Make sure to carefully read all the instructions given, and if this specific information is not provided, you can always ask.

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How to Create an Expert Research Proposal (+Templates)

How to Create an Expert Research Proposal (+Templates)

Written by: Idorenyin Uko

give an example of research proposal

Beyond serving as a blueprint for the entire study, it lays the groundwork for a smooth and efficient research process.

Research proposals detail what you’ll cover in a larger research project. Whether you're a graduate student or a seasoned professor seeking to expand your current project, you’re going to need one to secure approvals from relevant committees and request funding for the project.

With a solid proposal in place, your research project can proceed with confidence, clarity and focus.

However, writing a research proposal is daunting and can overwhelm even the most seasoned researchers. In this comprehensive guide, we'll share expert research proposal templates to spotlight your project.

We'll also share tips and best practices to help you create a proposal that will impress reviewers and secure funding for your project.

Let’s get to it.

Table of Contents

What should a research proposal include, research proposal examples, how to create a research proposal with visme, best practices when writing a research proposal.

  • A research proposal is a document that outlines the strategy and justification for a research project. It is usually submitted to gain approval and funding for conducting the research.
  • This document provides a detailed description of the research question, the methodology, the expected outcomes and the potential contributions of the research.
  • A research proposal aims to persuade the reader, usually a funding agency or a research committee, that the proposed research is worthwhile and deserves support.
  • To create a research proposal in Visme, use premade templates, write the content, visualize important data, customize your research proposal, download it and share it with relevant stakeholders
  • Here are tips and best practices for creating a research proposal: understand the requirements, get feedback from peers and mentors, revise and edit your proposal and incorporate relevant visual aids.
  • Visme has a wide range of proposal template s, tools and features to help you create winning research proposals.

First of all, what is a research proposal? A research proposal is a structured document that outlines the plan and rationale for a research project. It is typically submitted to gain approval and funding for conducting the research.

The specific requirements might vary depending on the institution, field of study and purpose of the research.

However, a comprehensive research proposal generally includes the following components:

Made with Visme Infographic Maker

The title page is the first thing readers see when they open your research proposal. It should contain the following details:

  • The proposed title of your research proposal
  • The institution and department
  • Contact details
  • Your supervisor's or advisor’s name Date of submission

If an external organization is sponsoring your research, provide client or funder details.

When crafting the title of your research proposal, keep it concise yet informative. Also, make sure it accurately reflects the focus of your research project.

Abstract and Table of Contents

If your proposal is lengthy, consider adding an abstract and table of contents.

A table of contents provides readers (such as reviewers, advisors, or funding committee members) with an organized overview of the proposal's structure. They can easily navigate and find specific information without flipping through the entire document.

  • List all the major sections and subsections of your proposal
  • Use clear and concise headings that represent the content of each section
  • Provide page numbers for each section so that readers can easily locate them
  • Keep the table of contents updated if you change the document's structure or page numbers


The introduction is a critical part of your research proposal. It sets the tone for the rest of the document and provides a framework for understanding the research. Make sure it piques your audience's interest and briefly explains what you want to achieve and why.

Here are some details you should include in your introduction:

  • Background information on the topic
  • Relevant literature, theories and existing research in the field
  • The objectives of the study and motivations
  • Problem statement or research questions
  • The significance of the research
  • Previous research or studies that have been conducted in the area
  • A brief summary of the research methodology being used and how the data will be analyzed

When building your introduction, here are some ideas or questions to guide your thoughts:

  • Why is the research necessary?
  • How much work has already been done on the topic?
  • How does it contribute to the existing body of knowledge?
  • What is the gap in knowledge or the specific problem that your research aims to address?
  • Who might be interested in this topic? (e.g., Industries and corporations, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), think tanks and academia?)

Literature Review

The literature is where you demonstrate your understanding of the existing knowledge in the field. In addition, a well-written literature review achieves these things:

  • Justifies the need for your research
  • Summarize the key findings and arguments of relevant studies
  • Identify gaps in current knowledge and explain how your research will address these gaps

To write a compelling literature review, conducting thorough research beyond a narrow focus on just a few studies is essential. Instead, aim to investigate a broad range of theories, methods and debates within your field.

Not only will this help you identify the similarities and differences between various approaches, but it will also enable you to critically evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. You'll also be able to demonstrate how your own research builds upon, challenges, or synthesizes prior studies.

This approach will enrich your understanding of the subject matter and lend credibility and depth to your review. To provide a comprehensive overview of the subject matter, tap into different information sources, such as:

  • Scholarly articles
  • Conference papers and proceedings
  • Journal publications
  • Government statistics and data
  • Industry reports and whitepapers
  • Surveys and peer group sessions
  • Textbooks, monographs and edited volumes
  • Online search engines
  • News articles
  • ​​Social media and online communities
  • Professional associations and networks and much more.

Research Design and Methodology

The research methodology is the backbone of any research project. Whether you’re preparing a research proposal or research presentation , it not only shapes the entire research process but also determines the quality, reliability and credibility of the study's outcomes.

The section should outline the specific methods and practical steps you plan to use to conduct your research. Describe the overall approach, including the research design, methods, data collection and analysis techniques and procedures for data interpretation.

Specifically, this section should capture these details:

Research Approach

  • Qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods?
  • Data sources—primary, secondary and tertiary sources, archival data, unpublished data
  • Chosen research designs—experimental, non-experimental, descriptive, correlational, retrospective, prospective, cross-sectional, etc.?

Population and Sample

  • Who or what will you study? (individuals, groups, objects, phenomena, or concepts)
  • How will you select your subjects, items, or data points from a larger population? Sampling strategy examples include random, non-random, systematic, probability, non-probability, cluster sampling, etc.
  • What will the size of the sample be?
  • When, where and how will you collect your data?

Research Methods

  • What data collection procedures and tools will you use (e.g., surveys, interviews, observations and experiments)?
  • Why are you using this design and data collection method?

Data Analysis

  • How you will analyze the collected data (e.g., statistical techniques, content analysis, thematic analysis)?
  • What data analysis tools are you using?

Ethical Considerations

  • How will you get informed consent from participants?
  • What approach will you take to protect vulnerable populations, like minors, seniors, or those lacking autonomy?
  • How will you respect participants' privacy and prevent unauthorized access to their information?
  • What steps will you take to manage and disclose any potential conflicts of interest?


  • What is the anticipated timeframe for data collection, analysis and reporting?
  • How do you plan to secure access to the target population for your research?
  • How will you facilitate effective communication channels among team members, collaborators and stakeholders involved in the research?
  • How will you address logistical considerations such as travel, fieldwork arrangements and scheduling interviews or surveys?
  • What strategies will you employ to overcome any challenges or barriers?

Contribution to Knowledge

This section should explain how your research addresses the identified gap and its potential contributions and impact on the field of study, policy or society.

To make a compelling case for your research, identify practical applications and policy implications of your study. Also, describe how your research will advance knowledge or understanding in the field.

For example, your research has the potential to make a significant impact in various ways, such as:

  • Enhancing best practices in the field
  • Informing policy decisions with evidence-based insights
  • Contributing to the development or refinement of theoretical models
  • Challenging prevailing beliefs or assumptions in the scientific community
  • Laying the groundwork for future research initiatives

Reference List

List all the sources cited in your research proposal. Your references must be formatted according to the appropriate citation style (APA, MLA, or Chicago). In the reference list, make sure to include a mix of primary and secondary sources and recent and classic works.

Properly reference your sources to avoid plagiarism and credit the original authors. This will show your commitment to academic integrity and ensure that your research is built on a solid foundation of existing knowledge.

Research Schedule and Timeline

When writing your research proposal, provide a detailed timeline for completing each stage of the research process. Create a table with activities on one side and estimated completion dates on the other. Allow for flexibility in case unexpected issues arise during the research process.

Here’s an example of a research schedule:

When applying for research funding, a detailed budget is typically required. This document outlines your estimated costs and resources needed to complete each aspect of your project,

Before drafting your budget, verify the types of expenses that the funding body will cover. Then, for each item, include the following information:

  • Cost: Specify the exact amount of funds requested.
  • Justification: Explain why this cost is essential to the research's success.
  • Source: Describe how you calculated the amount.

To determine your budget, consider the following categories:

  • Travel costs: Will you need to travel to gather data? If so, factor in transportation, accommodation and subsistence expenses. Also, account for the time spent traveling and the specific activities you plan to conduct at each location (e.g., interviews, archival research).
  • Materials: Are there any tools or technologies you need access to? Include costs for equipment, software, or other materials essential to your research.
  • Assistance: Will you require research assistants for tasks such as data collection, analysis, or transcription? Specify the number of assistants needed, their roles and the compensation they will receive.

Remember to include contingencies and unexpected expenses that may arise during the research process.

Attach any additional materials that support your proposal, such as survey questionnaires, informed consent forms, or supplementary information.

The appendices should be well organized, labeled and easy to navigate. Make sure to only include supplementary materials or documents that:

  • Provide additional information to support your proposal
  • Enhance the understanding of your research proposal
  • Serve as a valuable reference for future use

Wondering what great research proposals look like. Here are a few research proposal examples and templates to help you start on the right foot.

1. Research Proposal Presentation Template

Are you tired of boring research proposals that put your audience to sleep? Look no further! This research proposal sample is just what you need to create a presentation that stands out from the crowd. Not only does our template feature a stylish blend of blue and white color themes, but it also incorporates eye-catching red bars in each slide to grab your audience's attention.

The subtle background images add a touch of elegance. The circular images and icons drive visual interest, while the table helps you visualize the proposed research timeline easily.

But that's not all—the template is also fully customizable, so you can easily tailor it to fit your specific research project.

You can edit content, swap image(s), apply custom colors, use your own fonts and logo and more. Plus, it's easy to follow and navigate, ensuring your audience stays engaged and interested throughout your presentation.

And don't forget about the content! Our template includes sections to help you articulate your research background, questions, objectives, literature review, methods and plan in a concise manner.

give an example of research proposal

2. Research Grant Proposal Template

Unlock the door to funding success with our cutting-edge research proposal template. This template features a bold and modern design with vibrant colors, compelling images, and dynamic graphics.

With a professional layout and engaging visual elements, this template is the perfect tool to help you showcase your ideas and make a lasting impression on funding agencies.

Feel free to change colors or fonts and stand out from the crowd. Take advantage of customizable charts and widgets to help you visualize key data. Download this template and increase your chances of securing the grants you need to drive your research forward.

give an example of research proposal

3. Health Care Research Proposal Template

Get ready to take your research to the next level with the help of our innovative one-page proposal template.

This template distills your ideas into a concise summary. But despite its brevity, this template captures the essence of a research project, conveying the key elements in a concise and compelling way.

Another key feature of this template is its clean and elegant layout. The structure is organized into clear and logical sections, each building on the previous one to create a coherent narrative.

​​These visuals are well-designed and easy to interpret. But you can spice it up further with Visme's interactive elements . You have the option of adding hover effects or pop-ups to reveal additional information. Or just add hotspots that link to the full research proposal, website or landing page

Whether you're a seasoned researcher or just starting out, this template will inspire your proposals and help you secure funding for your next research project.

4. Sales Research Proposal Template

Confidently present your request for research funding focused on sales-based topics or survey proposals by using this research proposal template.

give an example of research proposal

Its minimalist layout with monochromatic tones allows you to eloquently lay out background information, objectives, methodology, budget, as well as the expected impact, key performance indicators (KPIs), and your research expectations.

You can also change the color palette of the template to a much brighter tone or to match your brand colors with ease. Visme provides a wide range of color palette options you can instantly change your template to or allow you to customize manually.

In addition to customizing it to your brand, you can also add dynamic fields. Dynamic fields enable you to instantly update information, data, dates, and more across multiple projects with just one click. You can use dynamic fields for your company details, results, or modify the proposal's recipient should you plan on sending multiple proposals to prospective funders or clients.

5. General Funding Research Proposal Template

Maybe you're looking for a template that comes with a striking design, one that is sure to create a great first impression with your potential sponsors. This general funding research proposal aligns with all these requirements.

give an example of research proposal

This contemporary design features a soft pink color scheme with black accents and fonts, complemented by warm and brown-toned images. It also incorporates ample empty space, ensuring a clutter-free and straightforward layout to enhance readability while directing the reader's attention to key aspects of the provided text.

This template is not only customizable but can also be effortlessly adapted for any topic, regardless of the type of research request you have in mind. Edit, add, or remove pages as needed until you have completed your research proposal to complete satisfaction.

6. Product Research Proposal Template

As a product manager or expert, you want to ensure that your product research is positioned in a way that stands out against the competition. Here's a product research proposal template that not only neatly packages your request but also leverages the power of storytelling and dynamic graphics and designs to persuade readers to support your proposal.

give an example of research proposal

This template is designed with black tones and fun accents of yellow and white. Each element is balanced to provide a futuristic yet vibrant look and feel.

The pages feature tech-forward and focused layouts, enabling you to present key objectives, use structured flowcharts or diagrams to illustrate your methodology, and include a timeline tree that outlines the entire execution process from start to finish.

7. Tech Research Proposal Template

Most people are visual learners and are more likely to remember your proposals and their content through the visuals you use. If you’re looking for a proposal that smartly uses visuals to make your content more memorable, then this tech research proposal template takes a brilliant approach to balancing text and the heavy use of imagery.

give an example of research proposal

The theme features strong tones of purple, complemented by white and yellow accents. Each page is presented with beautiful visuals that match the content presented. It is also accompanied by simple icons, charts, and graphs that align with the overall theme.

You can easily replace the current images by uploading your own. Maybe the images you have look great but need a bit of editing. Use Visme's AI Touch-Up Tools to quickly unblur, sharpen, remove backgrounds, or erase and replace items until your image is perfect and ready to be used in your template.

8. Marketing Research Proposal Template

For marketers who need a tech-focused design approach to impress potential clients and attract sponsors for funding, this template is tailor-made for you. It was designed with marketers in mind, offering sections for the scope of work, budget overview, research timeline. It includes placeholders for you to add your website, company logo, or brand colors.

give an example of research proposal

Visme allows you to elevate your presentation game, whether you're presenting your research proposal in person or virtually. With Visme, you can:

  • Publish your proposals as a live webpage that reflects real-time updates.
  • Use Visme's presenter studio to record your proposal presentation and send it to prospective clients or sponsors as an MP4.
  • Download it as a PDF for online or print, giving your readers the flexibility to review it as they prefer.
  • And so much more.

9. Environmental Research Proposal Template

This environmental research proposal template is an excellent choice for nonprofits and environmentalists who want to create effective proposals without resorting to overused, boring, or rigid designs.

give an example of research proposal

The template features a white background with green tones and imagery. Its composition is separate, spacious, and filled with clean empty spaces, making it easy to read. It also conveys a calm and peaceful tone that complements any environmental or non-profit topic you intend to use it for.

If you're working on this environmental research proposal with a team, utilize Visme's Workflow feature . This feature helps you eliminate endless email chains and Slack messages, allowing you to manage roles, tasks, progress, and deadlines all in one place. You can set deadlines, add and reply to comments, and even work on your proposal simultaneously without conflicts.

10. General Approval Research Proposal Template

If you are a professional in the medical field seeking to craft a research proposal for approval, this template offers a compelling design layout tailored to the aesthetics of your industry. It has been meticulously designed with a minimalist approach, enabling you to present your request in a polished layout while incorporating vivid and stunning imagery.

give an example of research proposal

Not to mention, for any section of your research proposal where you need to showcase previous data or results, you can seamlessly import your data from sources such as Google Sheets, Excel, or other tools directly into your charts and graphs.

Watch the video below to see how the feature works.

Once your data sources are linked, your charts and graphs will automatically update to reflect any changes made in the external data sources, ensuring that your information remains organized and up-to-date. This functionality enhances the professional presentation of your research proposal while streamlining data management.

A research proposal doesn’t have to be a long, boring document.

With the wide variety of features and templates available in Visme, you can whip up a visually appealing and professional-looking research proposal.

Here’s how to write a research proposal using Visme.

Step 1: Register or Log in to your Visme Account

Sign up for a new Visme account or log into your account (if you’re an existing user). Fill in your login details in the form and you’ll be redirected to the dashboard.

Either way, you'll be able to start exploring all the amazing features and tools that Visme has to offer!

give an example of research proposal

Step 2: Use Premade Templates or Start from Scratch

The next step is to create your proposal. You have the option of starting from scratch or using premade templates.

But why start from scratch when you can build on research proposal examples?

Take advantage of Visme's customizable research proposal templates to streamline your workflow and easily create a professional-looking proposal.

By using a pre-designed research project proposal template, you'll save time and effort while ensuring that your proposal adheres to the standard guidelines and best practices of the research community.

With a wide range of templates available in Visme’s library, you're sure to find a research proposal sample that fits your needs

In the Visme dashboard, click Create New>Project and scroll to the category–Proposal . Browse through the collection of templates until you find one that best fits your industry or company.

Step 3: Write the Content

Once you’ve selected your template, the next move is to write the content.

We’ve already broken down the key elements in a professional research proposal. But stick to the sections recommended by the funding agency or academic institution.

All you need to do is swap out the template’s placeholder content with yours. Visme’s intuitive editor makes it easy for you to add, edit or remove content or move design elements around the canvas.

You can modify your text, including adding, removing and adjusting the font size, style and color. The editor also includes options for changing text alignment and arrangement and animating your text.

When it comes to writing content, the Visme AI writer ensures you never run out of ideas. Simply input your prompt and the tool will generate a high-quality copy for you in minutes. You can even prompt the tool to improve your grammar or help flesh out your ideas.

Step 4: Visualize Data

Data visualization is a powerful tool for your research proposal. With Visme’s data visualization software , you can communicate complex ideas and provide context. To access data visualization features in Visme, click “Data” on the left tab. You’ll find options for

  • Charts and Graphs
  • Data Widgets

In the methodology section, use diagrams , flowcharts , or infographics to illustrate complex concepts and methods.

Incorporate charts , graphs , or tables to display data and visualize your findings or expected outcomes.

Create a section for the timeline and milestones. Use a Gantt chart or calendar to show the start and end dates for each task and milestone. Include key events such as data collection, data analysis and report submission.

Step 5: Customize Your Research Proposal

Enhance the visual appeal of your proposal with the customization features in Visme.

Keep your proposal's branding consistent with Visme’s Brand Design Tool .

Just input your website URL and the wizard will pull up your logo, colors, fonts and other design elements. With your brand assets saved in your brand kit , you can apply your branding to your proposal in one click.

Incorporate high-quality images and graphics to make your proposal captivating. You can reach into Visme’s library of stock photos, icons, graphics and more. Or better yet, generate unique and high-quality ​​photos, paintings, pencil drawings, 3D graphics, icons and abstract art using Visme’s AI image generator .

Engage readers and keep them interested in the proposal with Visme’s interactive elements, including pop ups, hover effects, clickable menus, hotspots and the flipbook effect. You can even embed videos and incorporate animated icons, illustrations and special effects.

To customize this proposal for multiple agencies without breaking a sweat, use dynamic fields to change key details. Set it up so it's easy for you to change information in seconds.

Step 6: Download and Share Your Proposal

Once you’re sold on your design, you can share it with your stakeholders by generating an online link. This option enables you to retain all the interactive elements in your design.

give an example of research proposal

Also, you can download it as a high-resolution JPEG, PNG, PDF or HTML5 file and share it offline.

give an example of research proposal

With Visme’s analytics tool , you can track how many people have viewed, engaged, or taken other actions.

Writing a successful research proposal requires careful planning, attention to detail and a clear and compelling argument for the importance of your research. Here are some best practices to help you write a strong research proposal:

1. Understand the Requirements

Before you start work on your research proposal, review and understand the specific requirements and guidelines set forth by your university or funding agency.

Although we’ve covered the essentials here, every institution has its own set of expectations.

Pay close attention to the requested format, structure and content expectations. Find out about the citation style, page length, word count limit, font size and type, etc.

Find out about their review process. What do they look for? How will they judge your work?

Understanding these details will help you write a better proposal. You can tailor your proposal to meet the needs of the reviewers and maximize your chances of getting funding or support for your research.

2. Get Feedback from Peers and Mentors

Before you send out your reports, share them with colleagues, advisors, or peers. Ask them to review your proposal and provide feedback. Use their suggestions to improve your proposal and make it more competitive.

The best part is that Visme’s collaboration tool makes this process seamless. You can add multiple people to your workspace and set permissions. Depending on their access level, your team members can edit your proposal, leave feedback, reply to comments, draw annotations and much more.

3. Revise and Edit Your Proposal

Academic writing often requires multiple drafts and research proposals are no exception. To ensure that your proposal is clear, coherent and persuasive, revise it multiple times. And if necessary, rewrite sections to make them even better.

Don't be afraid to make significant changes to the proposal. For example, this may entail reorganizing sections, revising the methodology, or even adjusting the research question entirely.

Thoroughly edit your proposal to correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax errors. Also, ensure that your proposal maintains consistent formatting, styling and terminology. This can significantly enhance the quality and effectiveness of your proposal.

4. Incorporate Visual Aids

When writing a proposal , incorporate visual aids like tables, graphs and figures. They enhance the clarity and impact of your proposal. Visual aids simplify complex data and ideas, making it easier for reviewers to understand key findings, trends and patterns.

However, you want to use them sparingly for data storytelling as well. The rule of thumb is to use relevant types of visual aids. Also, visualize the most critical data and concepts that require illustration.

For instance, tables are useful for comparing data, while graphs and charts are ideal for showing trends and patterns. Diagrams and flowcharts can help explain complex processes or systems. Images and photographs are perfect for illustrating specific phenomena or contexts.

Remember, visual aids should supplement and reinforce your argument, not replace it. Embed them seamlessly into the text, providing context and explanation where necessary. This helps the reviewer connect the dots between your arguments and the supporting evidence.

RELATED: 5 Data Storytelling Tips for Creating More Persuasive Charts and Graphs

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Assignments

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  • Acknowledgments

The goal of a research proposal is twofold: to present and justify the need to study a research problem and to present the practical ways in which the proposed study should be conducted. The design elements and procedures for conducting research are governed by standards of the predominant discipline in which the problem resides, therefore, the guidelines for research proposals are more exacting and less formal than a general project proposal. Research proposals contain extensive literature reviews. They must provide persuasive evidence that a need exists for the proposed study. In addition to providing a rationale, a proposal describes detailed methodology for conducting the research consistent with requirements of the professional or academic field and a statement on anticipated outcomes and benefits derived from the study's completion.

Krathwohl, David R. How to Prepare a Dissertation Proposal: Suggestions for Students in Education and the Social and Behavioral Sciences . Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2005.

How to Approach Writing a Research Proposal

Your professor may assign the task of writing a research proposal for the following reasons:

  • Develop your skills in thinking about and designing a comprehensive research study;
  • Learn how to conduct a comprehensive review of the literature to determine that the research problem has not been adequately addressed or has been answered ineffectively and, in so doing, become better at locating pertinent scholarship related to your topic;
  • Improve your general research and writing skills;
  • Practice identifying the logical steps that must be taken to accomplish one's research goals;
  • Critically review, examine, and consider the use of different methods for gathering and analyzing data related to the research problem; and,
  • Nurture a sense of inquisitiveness within yourself and to help see yourself as an active participant in the process of conducting scholarly research.

A proposal should contain all the key elements involved in designing a completed research study, with sufficient information that allows readers to assess the validity and usefulness of your proposed study. The only elements missing from a research proposal are the findings of the study and your analysis of those findings. Finally, an effective proposal is judged on the quality of your writing and, therefore, it is important that your proposal is coherent, clear, and compelling.

Regardless of the research problem you are investigating and the methodology you choose, all research proposals must address the following questions:

  • What do you plan to accomplish? Be clear and succinct in defining the research problem and what it is you are proposing to investigate.
  • Why do you want to do the research? In addition to detailing your research design, you also must conduct a thorough review of the literature and provide convincing evidence that it is a topic worthy of in-depth study. A successful research proposal must answer the "So What?" question.
  • How are you going to conduct the research? Be sure that what you propose is doable. If you're having difficulty formulating a research problem to propose investigating, go here for strategies in developing a problem to study.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Failure to be concise . A research proposal must be focused and not be "all over the map" or diverge into unrelated tangents without a clear sense of purpose.
  • Failure to cite landmark works in your literature review . Proposals should be grounded in foundational research that lays a foundation for understanding the development and scope of the the topic and its relevance.
  • Failure to delimit the contextual scope of your research [e.g., time, place, people, etc.]. As with any research paper, your proposed study must inform the reader how and in what ways the study will frame the problem.
  • Failure to develop a coherent and persuasive argument for the proposed research . This is critical. In many workplace settings, the research proposal is a formal document intended to argue for why a study should be funded.
  • Sloppy or imprecise writing, or poor grammar . Although a research proposal does not represent a completed research study, there is still an expectation that it is well-written and follows the style and rules of good academic writing.
  • Too much detail on minor issues, but not enough detail on major issues . Your proposal should focus on only a few key research questions in order to support the argument that the research needs to be conducted. Minor issues, even if valid, can be mentioned but they should not dominate the overall narrative.

Procter, Margaret. The Academic Proposal.  The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Sanford, Keith. Information for Students: Writing a Research Proposal. Baylor University; Wong, Paul T. P. How to Write a Research Proposal. International Network on Personal Meaning. Trinity Western University; Writing Academic Proposals: Conferences, Articles, and Books. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Writing a Research Proposal. University Library. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Structure and Writing Style

Beginning the Proposal Process

As with writing most college-level academic papers, research proposals are generally organized the same way throughout most social science disciplines. The text of proposals generally vary in length between ten and thirty-five pages, followed by the list of references. However, before you begin, read the assignment carefully and, if anything seems unclear, ask your professor whether there are any specific requirements for organizing and writing the proposal.

A good place to begin is to ask yourself a series of questions:

  • What do I want to study?
  • Why is the topic important?
  • How is it significant within the subject areas covered in my class?
  • What problems will it help solve?
  • How does it build upon [and hopefully go beyond] research already conducted on the topic?
  • What exactly should I plan to do, and can I get it done in the time available?

In general, a compelling research proposal should document your knowledge of the topic and demonstrate your enthusiasm for conducting the study. Approach it with the intention of leaving your readers feeling like, "Wow, that's an exciting idea and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!"

Most proposals should include the following sections:

I.  Introduction

In the real world of higher education, a research proposal is most often written by scholars seeking grant funding for a research project or it's the first step in getting approval to write a doctoral dissertation. Even if this is just a course assignment, treat your introduction as the initial pitch of an idea based on a thorough examination of the significance of a research problem. After reading the introduction, your readers should not only have an understanding of what you want to do, but they should also be able to gain a sense of your passion for the topic and to be excited about the study's possible outcomes. Note that most proposals do not include an abstract [summary] before the introduction.

Think about your introduction as a narrative written in two to four paragraphs that succinctly answers the following four questions :

  • What is the central research problem?
  • What is the topic of study related to that research problem?
  • What methods should be used to analyze the research problem?
  • Answer the "So What?" question by explaining why this is important research, what is its significance, and why should someone reading the proposal care about the outcomes of the proposed study?

II.  Background and Significance

This is where you explain the scope and context of your proposal and describe in detail why it's important. It can be melded into your introduction or you can create a separate section to help with the organization and narrative flow of your proposal. Approach writing this section with the thought that you can’t assume your readers will know as much about the research problem as you do. Note that this section is not an essay going over everything you have learned about the topic; instead, you must choose what is most relevant in explaining the aims of your research.

To that end, while there are no prescribed rules for establishing the significance of your proposed study, you should attempt to address some or all of the following:

  • State the research problem and give a more detailed explanation about the purpose of the study than what you stated in the introduction. This is particularly important if the problem is complex or multifaceted .
  • Present the rationale of your proposed study and clearly indicate why it is worth doing; be sure to answer the "So What? question [i.e., why should anyone care?].
  • Describe the major issues or problems examined by your research. This can be in the form of questions to be addressed. Be sure to note how your proposed study builds on previous assumptions about the research problem.
  • Explain the methods you plan to use for conducting your research. Clearly identify the key sources you intend to use and explain how they will contribute to your analysis of the topic.
  • Describe the boundaries of your proposed research in order to provide a clear focus. Where appropriate, state not only what you plan to study, but what aspects of the research problem will be excluded from the study.
  • If necessary, provide definitions of key concepts, theories, or terms.

III.  Literature Review

Connected to the background and significance of your study is a section of your proposal devoted to a more deliberate review and synthesis of prior studies related to the research problem under investigation . The purpose here is to place your project within the larger whole of what is currently being explored, while at the same time, demonstrating to your readers that your work is original and innovative. Think about what questions other researchers have asked, what methodological approaches they have used, and what is your understanding of their findings and, when stated, their recommendations. Also pay attention to any suggestions for further research.

Since a literature review is information dense, it is crucial that this section is intelligently structured to enable a reader to grasp the key arguments underpinning your proposed study in relation to the arguments put forth by other researchers. A good strategy is to break the literature into "conceptual categories" [themes] rather than systematically or chronologically describing groups of materials one at a time. Note that conceptual categories generally reveal themselves after you have read most of the pertinent literature on your topic so adding new categories is an on-going process of discovery as you review more studies. How do you know you've covered the key conceptual categories underlying the research literature? Generally, you can have confidence that all of the significant conceptual categories have been identified if you start to see repetition in the conclusions or recommendations that are being made.

NOTE: Do not shy away from challenging the conclusions made in prior research as a basis for supporting the need for your proposal. Assess what you believe is missing and state how previous research has failed to adequately examine the issue that your study addresses. Highlighting the problematic conclusions strengthens your proposal. For more information on writing literature reviews, GO HERE .

To help frame your proposal's review of prior research, consider the "five C’s" of writing a literature review:

  • Cite , so as to keep the primary focus on the literature pertinent to your research problem.
  • Compare the various arguments, theories, methodologies, and findings expressed in the literature: what do the authors agree on? Who applies similar approaches to analyzing the research problem?
  • Contrast the various arguments, themes, methodologies, approaches, and controversies expressed in the literature: describe what are the major areas of disagreement, controversy, or debate among scholars?
  • Critique the literature: Which arguments are more persuasive, and why? Which approaches, findings, and methodologies seem most reliable, valid, or appropriate, and why? Pay attention to the verbs you use to describe what an author says/does [e.g., asserts, demonstrates, argues, etc.].
  • Connect the literature to your own area of research and investigation: how does your own work draw upon, depart from, synthesize, or add a new perspective to what has been said in the literature?

IV.  Research Design and Methods

This section must be well-written and logically organized because you are not actually doing the research, yet, your reader must have confidence that you have a plan worth pursuing . The reader will never have a study outcome from which to evaluate whether your methodological choices were the correct ones. Thus, the objective here is to convince the reader that your overall research design and proposed methods of analysis will correctly address the problem and that the methods will provide the means to effectively interpret the potential results. Your design and methods should be unmistakably tied to the specific aims of your study.

Describe the overall research design by building upon and drawing examples from your review of the literature. Consider not only methods that other researchers have used, but methods of data gathering that have not been used but perhaps could be. Be specific about the methodological approaches you plan to undertake to obtain information, the techniques you would use to analyze the data, and the tests of external validity to which you commit yourself [i.e., the trustworthiness by which you can generalize from your study to other people, places, events, and/or periods of time].

When describing the methods you will use, be sure to cover the following:

  • Specify the research process you will undertake and the way you will interpret the results obtained in relation to the research problem. Don't just describe what you intend to achieve from applying the methods you choose, but state how you will spend your time while applying these methods [e.g., coding text from interviews to find statements about the need to change school curriculum; running a regression to determine if there is a relationship between campaign advertising on social media sites and election outcomes in Europe ].
  • Keep in mind that the methodology is not just a list of tasks; it is a deliberate argument as to why techniques for gathering information add up to the best way to investigate the research problem. This is an important point because the mere listing of tasks to be performed does not demonstrate that, collectively, they effectively address the research problem. Be sure you clearly explain this.
  • Anticipate and acknowledge any potential barriers and pitfalls in carrying out your research design and explain how you plan to address them. No method applied to research in the social and behavioral sciences is perfect, so you need to describe where you believe challenges may exist in obtaining data or accessing information. It's always better to acknowledge this than to have it brought up by your professor!

V.  Preliminary Suppositions and Implications

Just because you don't have to actually conduct the study and analyze the results, doesn't mean you can skip talking about the analytical process and potential implications . The purpose of this section is to argue how and in what ways you believe your research will refine, revise, or extend existing knowledge in the subject area under investigation. Depending on the aims and objectives of your study, describe how the anticipated results will impact future scholarly research, theory, practice, forms of interventions, or policy making. Note that such discussions may have either substantive [a potential new policy], theoretical [a potential new understanding], or methodological [a potential new way of analyzing] significance.   When thinking about the potential implications of your study, ask the following questions:

  • What might the results mean in regards to challenging the theoretical framework and underlying assumptions that support the study?
  • What suggestions for subsequent research could arise from the potential outcomes of the study?
  • What will the results mean to practitioners in the natural settings of their workplace, organization, or community?
  • Will the results influence programs, methods, and/or forms of intervention?
  • How might the results contribute to the solution of social, economic, or other types of problems?
  • Will the results influence policy decisions?
  • In what way do individuals or groups benefit should your study be pursued?
  • What will be improved or changed as a result of the proposed research?
  • How will the results of the study be implemented and what innovations or transformative insights could emerge from the process of implementation?

NOTE:   This section should not delve into idle speculation, opinion, or be formulated on the basis of unclear evidence . The purpose is to reflect upon gaps or understudied areas of the current literature and describe how your proposed research contributes to a new understanding of the research problem should the study be implemented as designed.

ANOTHER NOTE : This section is also where you describe any potential limitations to your proposed study. While it is impossible to highlight all potential limitations because the study has yet to be conducted, you still must tell the reader where and in what form impediments may arise and how you plan to address them.

VI.  Conclusion

The conclusion reiterates the importance or significance of your proposal and provides a brief summary of the entire study . This section should be only one or two paragraphs long, emphasizing why the research problem is worth investigating, why your research study is unique, and how it should advance existing knowledge.

Someone reading this section should come away with an understanding of:

  • Why the study should be done;
  • The specific purpose of the study and the research questions it attempts to answer;
  • The decision for why the research design and methods used where chosen over other options;
  • The potential implications emerging from your proposed study of the research problem; and
  • A sense of how your study fits within the broader scholarship about the research problem.

VII.  Citations

As with any scholarly research paper, you must cite the sources you used . In a standard research proposal, this section can take two forms, so consult with your professor about which one is preferred.

  • References -- a list of only the sources you actually used in creating your proposal.
  • Bibliography -- a list of everything you used in creating your proposal, along with additional citations to any key sources relevant to understanding the research problem.

In either case, this section should testify to the fact that you did enough preparatory work to ensure the project will complement and not just duplicate the efforts of other researchers. It demonstrates to the reader that you have a thorough understanding of prior research on the topic.

Most proposal formats have you start a new page and use the heading "References" or "Bibliography" centered at the top of the page. Cited works should always use a standard format that follows the writing style advised by the discipline of your course [e.g., education=APA; history=Chicago] or that is preferred by your professor. This section normally does not count towards the total page length of your research proposal.

Develop a Research Proposal: Writing the Proposal. Office of Library Information Services. Baltimore County Public Schools; Heath, M. Teresa Pereira and Caroline Tynan. “Crafting a Research Proposal.” The Marketing Review 10 (Summer 2010): 147-168; Jones, Mark. “Writing a Research Proposal.” In MasterClass in Geography Education: Transforming Teaching and Learning . Graham Butt, editor. (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015), pp. 113-127; Juni, Muhamad Hanafiah. “Writing a Research Proposal.” International Journal of Public Health and Clinical Sciences 1 (September/October 2014): 229-240; Krathwohl, David R. How to Prepare a Dissertation Proposal: Suggestions for Students in Education and the Social and Behavioral Sciences . Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2005; Procter, Margaret. The Academic Proposal. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Punch, Keith and Wayne McGowan. "Developing and Writing a Research Proposal." In From Postgraduate to Social Scientist: A Guide to Key Skills . Nigel Gilbert, ed. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2006), 59-81; Wong, Paul T. P. How to Write a Research Proposal. International Network on Personal Meaning. Trinity Western University; Writing Academic Proposals: Conferences , Articles, and Books. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Writing a Research Proposal. University Library. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Research Proposal: A step-by-step guide with template

Making sure your proposal is perfect will drastically improve your chances of landing a successful research position. Follow these steps.

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There’s no doubt you have the most cutting-edge research idea to date, backed up by a solid methodology and a credible explanation proving its relevance! There are thousands of research ideas that could change the world with many new ideologies.

The truth is, none of this would matter without support. It can be daunting, challenging, and uncertain to secure funding for a research project. Even more so when it isn’t well-thought-out, outlined, and includes every detail.

An effective solution for presenting your project, or requesting funding, is to provide a research proposal to potential investors or financiers on your behalf.

It’s crucial to understand that making sure your proposal is perfect will drastically improve your chances of landing a successful research position. Your research proposal could result in the failure to study the research problem entirely if it is inadequately constructed or incomplete.

It is for this reason that we have created an excellent guide that covers everything you need to know about writing a research proposal, and includes helpful tips for presenting your proposal professionally and improving its likelihood of acceptance!

What Is a Research Proposal?

give an example of research proposal

Generally, a research proposal is a well-crafted, formal document that provides a thorough explanation of what you plan to investigate. This includes a rationale for why it is worth investigating, as well as a method for investigating it.

Research proposal writing in the contemporary academic environment is a challenging undertaking given the constant shift in research methodology and a commitment to incorporating scientific breakthroughs.

An outline of the plan or roadmap for the study is the proposal, and once the proposal is complete, everything should be smooth sailing. It is still common for post-graduate evaluation panels and funding applications to submit substandard proposals.

By its very nature, the research proposal serves as a tool for convincing the supervisor, committee, or university that the proposed research fits within the scope of the program and is feasible when considering the time and resources available.

A research proposal should convince the person who is going to sanction your research, or put another way, you need to persuade them that your research idea is the best.

Obviously, if it does not convince them that it is reasonable and adequate, you will need to revise and submit it again. As a result, you will lose significant time, causing your research to be delayed or cut short, which is not good.

A good research proposal should have the following structure

A dissertation or thesis research proposal may take on a variety of forms depending on the university, but  most generally a research proposal will include the following elements:

  • Titles or title pages that give a description of the research
  • Detailed explanation of the proposed research and its background
  • Outline of the research project
  • An overview of key research studies in the field
  • Description the proposed research design (approach)

So, if you include all these elements, you will have a general outline. Let’s take a closer look at how to write them and what to include in each element so that the research proposal is as robust as the idea itself.

A step-by-step guide to writing a research proposal

#1 introduction.

Researchers who wish to obtain grant funding for a project often write a proposal when seeking funding for a research-based postgraduate degree program, or in order to obtain approval for completing a thesis or PhD. Even though this is only a brief introduction, we should be considering it the beginning of an insightful discussion about the significance of a topic that deserves attention.

Your readers should understand what you are trying to accomplish after they read your introduction. Additionally, they should be able to perceive your zeal for the subject matter and a genuine interest in the possible outcome of the research.

As your introduction, consider answering these questions in three to four paragraphs:

  • In what way does the study address its primary issue?
  • Does that subject matter fall under the domain of that field of study?
  • In order to investigate that problem, what method should be used?
  • What is the importance of this study?
  • How does it impact academia and society overall?
  • What are the potential implications of the proposed research for someone reviewing the proposal?

It is not necessary to include an abstract or summary for the introduction to most academic departments and funding sources. Nevertheless, you should confirm your institution’s requirements.

#2 Background and importance

An explanation of the rationale for a research proposal and its significance is provided in this section. It is preferable to separate this part from the introduction so that the narrative flows seamlessly.

This section should be approached by presuming readers are time-pressed but want a general overview of the whole study and the research question.

Please keep in mind that this isn’t an exhaustive essay that contains every detail of your proposed research, rather a concise document that will spark interest in your proposal.

While you should try to take into account the following factors when framing the significance of your proposed study, there are no rigid rules.

  • Provide a detailed explanation of the purpose and problem of the study. Multidimensional or interdisciplinary research problems often require this.
  • Outline the purpose of your proposed research and describe the advantages of carrying out the study.
  • Outline the major issues or problems to be discussed. These might come in the form of questions or comments.
  • Be sure to highlight how your research contributes to existing theories that relate to the problem of the study.
  • Describe how your study will be conducted, including the source of data and the method of analysis.
  • To provide a sense of direction for your study, define the scope of your proposal.
  • Defining key concepts or terms, if necessary, is recommended.

The steps to a perfect research proposal all get more specific as we move forward to enhance the concept of the research. In this case, it will become important to make sure that your supervisor or your funder has a clear understanding of every aspect of your research study.

#3 Reviewing prior literature and studies

The aim of this paragraph is to establish the context and significance of your study, including a review of the current literature pertinent to it.

This part aims to properly situate your proposed study within the bigger scheme of things of what is being investigated, while, at the same time, showing the innovation and originality of your proposed work.

When writing a literature review, it is imperative that your format is effective because it often contains extensive information that allows you to demonstrate your main research claims compared to other scholars.

Separating the literature according to major categories or conceptual frameworks is an excellent way to do this. This is a more effective method than listing each study one by one in chronological order.

In order to arrange the review of existing relevant studies in an efficient manner, a literature review is often written using the following five criteria:

  • Be sure to cite your previous studies to ensure the focus remains on the research question. For more information, please refer to our guide on how to write a research paper .
  • Study the literature’s methods, results, hypotheses, and conclusions. Recognize the authors’ differing perspectives.
  • Compare and contrast the various themes, arguments, methodologies, and perspectives discussed in the literature. Explain the most prominent points of disagreement.
  • Evaluate the literature. Identify persuasive arguments offered by scholars. Choose the most reliable, valid, and suitable methodologies.
  • Consider how the literature relates to your area of research and your topic. Examine whether your proposal for investigation reflects existing literature, deviates from existing literature, synthesizes or adds to it in some way.

#4 Research questions and objectives

The next step is to develop your research objectives once you have determined your research focus.

When your readers read your proposal, what do you want them to learn? Try to write your objectives in one sentence, if you can. Put time and thought into framing them properly.

By setting an objective for your research, you’ll stay on track and avoid getting sidetracked.

Any study proposal should address the following questions irrespective of the topic or problem:

  • What are you hoping to accomplish from the study? When describing the study topic and your research question, be concise and to the point.
  • What is the purpose of the research? A compelling argument must also be offered to support your choice of topic.
  • What research methods will you use? It is essential to outline a clear, logical strategy for completing your study and make sure that it is doable.

Some authors include this section in the introduction, where it is generally placed at the end of the section.

#5 Research Design and Methods

It is important to write this part correctly and organize logically even though you are not starting the research yet.  This must leave readers with a sense of assurance that the topic is worthwhile.

To achieve this, you must convince your reader that your research design and procedures will adequately address the study’s problems. Additionally, it seeks to ensure that the employed methods are capable of interpreting the likely study results efficiently.

You should design your research in a way that is directly related to your objectives.

Exemplifying your study design using examples from your literature review, you are setting up your study design effectively. You should follow other researchers’ good practices.

Pay attention to the methods you will use to collect data, the analyses you will perform, as well as your methods of measuring the validity of your results.

If you describe the methods you will use, make sure you include the following points:

  • Develop a plan for conducting your research, as well as how you intend to interpret the findings based on the study’s objectives.
  • When describing your objectives with the selected techniques, it is important to also elaborate on your plans.
  • This section does not only present a list of events. Once you have chosen the strategy, make sure to explain why it is a good way to analyse your study question. Provide clear explanations.
  • Last but not least, plan ahead to overcome any challenges you might encounter during the implementation of your research design.

In the event that you closely follow the best practices outlined in relevant studies as well as justify your selection, you will be prepared to address any questions or concerns you may encounter.

We have an amazing article that will give you everything you need to know about research design .

#6 Knowledge Contribution and Relevance

In this section, you describe your theory about how your study will contribute to, expand, or alter knowledge about the topic of your study.

You should discuss the implications of your research on future studies, applications, concepts, decisions, and procedures. It is common to address the study findings from a conceptual, analytical, or scientific perspective.

If you are framing your proposal of research, these guide questions may help you:

  • How could the results be interpreted in the context of contesting the premises of the study?
  • Could the expected study results lead to proposals for further research?
  • Is your proposed research going to benefit people in any way?
  • Is the outcome going to affect individuals in their work setting?
  • In what ways will the suggested study impact or enhance the quality of life?
  • Are the study’s results going to have an impact on intervention forms, techniques, or policies?
  • What potential commercial, societal, or other benefits could be derived from the outcomes?
  • Policy decisions will be influenced by the outcomes?
  • Upon implementation, could they bring about new insights or breakthroughs?

Throughout this section, you will identify unsolved questions or research gaps in the existing literature. If the study is conducted as proposed, it is important to indicate how the research will be instrumental in understanding the nature of the research problem.

#7 Adherence to the Ethical Principles

In terms of scientific writing style, no particular style is generally acknowledged as more or less effective. The purpose is simply to provide relevant content that is formatted in a standardized way to enhance communication.

There are a variety of publication styles among different scholarly disciplines. It is therefore essential to follow the protocol according to the institution or organization that you are targeting.

All scholarly research and writing is, however, guided by codes of ethical conduct. The purpose of ethical guidelines, if they are followed, is to accomplish three things:

1) Preserve intellectual property right;

2) Ensure the rights and welfare of research participants;

3) Maintain the accuracy of scientific knowledge.

Scholars and writers who follow these ideals adhere to long-standing standards within their professional groups.

An additional ethical principle of the APA stresses the importance of maintaining scientific validity. An observation is at the heart of the standard scientific method, and it is verifiable and repeatable by others.

It is expected that scholars will not falsify or fabricate data in research writing. Researchers must also refrain from altering their studies’ outcomes to support a particular theory or to exclude inconclusive data from their report in an effort to create a convincing one.

#8 The budget

The need for detailed budgetary planning is not required by all universities when studying historical material or academic literature, though some do require it. In the case of a research grant application, you will likely have to include a comprehensive budget that breaks down the costs of each major component.

Ensure that the funding program or organization will cover the required costs, and include only the necessary items. For each of the items, you should include the following.

  • To complete the study in its entirety, how much money would you require?
  • Discuss the rationale for such a budget item for the purpose of completing research.
  • The source of the amount – describe how it was determined.

When doing a study, you cannot buy ingredients the way you normally would. With so many items not having a price tag, how can you make a budget? Take the following into consideration:

  • Does your project require access to any software programs or solutions? Do you need to install or train a technology tool?
  • How much time will you be spending on your research study? Are you required to take time off from work to do your research?
  • Are you going to need to travel to certain locations to meet with respondents or to collect data? At what cost?
  • Will you be seeking research assistants for the study you propose? In what capacity and for what compensation? What other aspects are you planning to outsource?

It is possible to calculate a budget while also being able to estimate how much more money you will need in the event of an emergency.

#9 Timeline

A realistic and concise research schedule is also important to keep in mind. You should be able to finish your plan of study within the allotted time period, such as your degree program or the academic calendar.

You should include a timeline that includes a series of objectives you must complete to meet all the requirements for your scholarly research. The process starts with preliminary research and ends with final editing. A completion date for every step is required.

In addition, one should state the development that has been made. It is also recommended to include other relevant research events, for instance paper or poster presentations . In addition, a researcher must update the timeline regularly, as necessary, since this is not a static document.

#10 A Concluding Statement

Presenting a few of the anticipated results of your research proposal is an effective way to conclude your proposal.

The final stage of the process requires you to reveal the conclusion and rationale you anticipate reaching. Considering the research you have done so far, your reader knows that these are anticipated results, which are likely to evolve once the whole study is completed.

In any case, you must let the supervisors or sponsors know what implications may be drawn. It will be easier for them to assess the reliability and relevance of your research.

It will also demonstrate your meticulousness since you will have anticipated and taken into consideration the potential consequences of your research.

The Appendix section is required by some funding sources and academic institutions. This is extra information that is not in the main argument of the proposal, but appears to enhance the points made.

For example, data in the form of tables, consent forms, clinical/research guidelines, and procedures for data collection may be included in this document.

Research Proposal Template

Now that you know all about each element that composes an ideal research proposal, here is an extra help: a ready to use research proposal example. Just hit the button below, make a copy of the document and start working!

give an example of research proposal

Avoid these common mistakes

In an era when rejection rates for prestigious journals can reach as high as 90 percent, you must avoid the following common mistakes when submitting a proposal:

  • Proposals that are too long. Stay to the point when you write research proposals. Make your document concise and specific. Be sure not to diverge into off-topic discussions.
  • Taking up too much research time. Many students struggle to delineate the context of their studies, regardless of the topic, time, or location. In order to explain the methodology of the study clearly to the reader, the proposal must clearly state what the study will focus on.
  • Leaving out significant works from a literature review. Though everything in the proposal should be kept at a minimum, key research studies must need to be included. To understand the scope and growth of the issue, proposals should be based on significant studies.
  • Major topics are too rarely discussed, and too much attention is paid to minor details. To persuasively argue for a study, a proposal should focus on just a few key research questions. Minor details should be noted, but should not overshadow the thesis.
  • The proposal does not have a compelling and well-supported argument. To prove that a study should be approved or funded, the research proposal must outline its purpose.
  • A typographical error, bad grammar or sloppy writing style. Even though a research proposal outlines a part of a larger project, it must conform to academic writing standards and guidelines.

A final note

We have come to the end of our research proposal guide. We really hope that you have found all the information you need. Wishing you success with the research study.

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  • How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

Published on 30 October 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on 13 June 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:


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 organised 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, frequently asked questions.

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 aims
Show your reader why your project is interesting, original, and important.
Demonstrate your comfort and familiarity with your field.
Show that you understand the current state of research on your topic.
Make a case for your .
Demonstrate that you have carefully thought about the data, tools, and procedures necessary to conduct your research.
Confirm that your project is feasible within the timeline of your program or funding deadline.

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.

Download our research proposal template

Prevent plagiarism, run a free check.

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 synthesise 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.

Building a research proposal methodology
? or  ? , , or research design?
, )? ?
, , , )?

To finish your proposal on a strong note, explore the potential implications of your research for your field. Emphasise 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

Example research schedule
Research phase Objectives Deadline
1. Background research and literature review 20th January
2. Research design planning and data analysis methods 13th February
3. Data collection and preparation with selected participants and code interviews 24th March
4. Data analysis of interview transcripts 22nd April
5. Writing 17th June
6. Revision final work 28th July

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?

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.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

McCombes, S. & George, T. (2023, June 13). How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved 24 June 2024, from

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Research Proposal Examples for Every Science Field

Looking for research funding can be a daunting task, especially when you are starting out. A great way to improve grant-writing skills is to get inspired by winning research proposal examples.

To assist you in writing a competitive proposal, I have curated a collection of real-life research proposal examples from various scientific disciplines. These examples will allow you to gain inspiration about the way research proposals are structured and written.

Structure of a Research Proposal

A research proposal serves as a road-map for a project, outlining the objectives, methodology, resources, and expected outcomes. The main goal of writing a research proposal is to convince funding agency of the value and feasibility of a research project. But a proposal also helps scientists themselves to clarify their planned approach.

While the exact structure may vary depending on the science field and institutional guidelines, a research proposal typically includes the following sections: Problem, Objectives, Methodology, Resources, Participants, Results&Impact, Dissemination, Timeline, and Budget. I will use this structure for the example research proposals in this article.

Research Proposal Example Structure including the description of a project outline:Problem: The knowledge gap that should be filledObjectives: The objectives that will help solve the identified problemMethodology: The approach that leads to reaching the objectivesResources: The resources needed to accomplish the objectivesParticipants: The research team’s qualification for implementing the research methodology and their complementary valueResults & Impact: The new knowledge that will be created and its real-world impactDissemination: The proper target audience and how you will reach themTimeline: The time required for performing each part of the research projectBudget: The cost items and the distribution of funding between participantsOn the side a PhD student is carrying a money bag.

Here is a brief description of what each of the nine proposal sections should hold.

A concise and informative title that captures the essence of the research proposal. Sometimes an abstract is required that briefly summarizes the proposed project.

Research Proposal Problem description

Clearly define the research problem or gap in knowledge that the study aims to address. Present relevant background information and cite existing literature to support the need for further investigation.

Research Proposal Objective description

State the specific objectives and research questions that the study seeks to answer. These objectives should be clear, measurable, and aligned with the problem statement.

Research Proposal Methodology description


Describe the research design, methodology, and techniques that will be employed to collect and analyze data. Justify your chosen approach and discuss its strengths and limitations.

Research Proposal Resources description

Outline the resources required for the successful execution of the research project, such as equipment, facilities, software, and access to specific datasets or archives.

Research Proposal Participants description


Describe the research team’s qualification for implementing the research methodology and their complementary value

Research Proposal Results and Impact description

Results and Impact

Describe the expected results, outcomes, and potential impact of the research. Discuss how the findings will contribute to the field and address the research gap identified earlier.

Research Proposal Dissemination description


Explain how the research results will be disseminated to the academic community and wider audiences. This may include publications, conference presentations, workshops, data sharing or collaborations with industry partners.

Research Proposal Timeline description

Develop a realistic timeline that outlines the major milestones and activities of the research project. Consider potential challenges or delays and incorporate contingency plans.

Research Proposal Budget description symbol

Provide a detailed budget estimate, including anticipated expenses for research materials, equipment, participant compensation, travel, and other relevant costs. Justify the budget based on the project’s scope and requirements.

Consider that the above-mentioned proposal headings can be called differently depending on the funder’s requirements. However, you can be sure in one proposal’s section or another each of the mentioned sections will be included. Whenever provided, always use the proposal structure as required by the funding agency.

Research Proposal template download

This research proposal template includes the nine headings that we just discussed. For each heading, a key sentence skeleton is provided to help you to kick-start the proposal writing process.

give an example of research proposal

Real-Life Research Proposal Examples

Proposals can vary from field to field so I will provide you with research proposal examples proposals in four main branches of science: social sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering and technology. For each science field, you will be able to download real-life winning research proposal examples.

To illustrate the principle of writing a scientific proposal while adhering to the nine sections I outlined earlier, for each discipline I will also provide you with a sample hypothetical research proposal. These examples are formulated using the key sentence structure that is included in the download template .

In case the research proposal examples I provide do not hold exactly what you are looking for, use the Open Grants database. It holds approved research proposals from various funding agencies in many countries. When looking for research proposals examples in the database, use the filer to search for specific keywords and organize the results to view proposals that have been funded.

Research Proposals Examples in Social Sciences

Here are real-life research proposal examples of funded projects in social sciences.

(Cultural Anthropology)

Here is an outline of a hypothetical Social Sciences research proposal that is structured using the nine proposal sections we discussed earlier. This proposal example is produced using the key sentence skeleton that you will access in the proposal template .

The Influence of Social Media on Political Participation among Young Adults

Research Proposal Problem description symbol

Social media platforms have become prominent spaces for political discussions and information sharing. However, the impact of social media on political participation among young adults remains a topic of debate.

Research Proposal Objectives description symbol

With the project, we aim to establish the relationship between social media usage and political engagement among young adults. To achieve this aim, we have three specific objectives:

  • Examine the association between social media usage patterns and various forms of political participation, such as voting, attending political rallies, and engaging in political discussions.
  • Investigate the role of social media in shaping political attitudes, opinions, and behaviors among young adults.
  • Provide evidence-based recommendations for utilizing social media platforms to enhance youth political participation.

Research Proposal Methodology description symbol

During the project, a mixed methods approach, combining quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews will be used to determine the impact of social media use on youth political engagement. In particular, surveys will collect data on social media usage, political participation, and attitudes. Interviews will provide in-depth insights into participants’ experiences and perceptions.

Research Proposal Resources description symbol

The project will use survey software, transcription tools, and statistical analysis software to statistically evaluate the gathered results. The project will also use project funding for participant compensation.

Research Proposal Participant description symbol

Principal investigator, Jane Goodrich will lead a multidisciplinary research team comprising social scientists, political scientists, and communication experts with expertise in political science and social media research.

Research Proposal Results and Impact description symbol

The project will contribute to a better understanding of the influence of social media on political participation among young adults, including:

  • inform about the association between social media usage and political participation among youth.
  • determine the relationship between social media content and political preferences among youth.
  • provide guidelines for enhancing youth engagement in democratic processes through social media use.

Research Proposal Dissemination description symbol

We will disseminate the research results within policymakers and NGOs through academic publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations at relevant conferences, and policy briefs.

Research Proposal Timeline description symbol

The project will start will be completed within two years and for the first two objectives a periodic report will be submitted in months 12 and 18.

The total eligible project costs are 58,800 USD, where 15% covers participant recruitment and compensation, 5% covers survey software licenses, 55% are dedicated for salaries, and 25% are intended for dissemination activities.

Research Proposal Examples in Life Sciences

Here are real-life research project examples in life sciences.

(postdoctoral fellowship)
(National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences)

Here is a hypothetical research proposal example in Life Sciences. Just like the previous example, it consists of the nine discussed proposal sections and it is structured using the key sentence skeleton that you will access in the proposal template .

Investigating the Role of Gut Microbiota in Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome (GUT-MET)

Obesity and metabolic syndrome pose significant health challenges worldwide, leading to numerous chronic diseases and increasing healthcare costs. Despite extensive research, the precise mechanisms underlying these conditions remain incompletely understood. A critical knowledge gap exists regarding the role of gut microbiota in the development and progression of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

With the GUT-MET project, we aim to unravel the complex interactions between gut microbiota and obesity/metabolic syndrome. To achieve this aim, we have the following specific objectives:

  • Investigate the composition and diversity of gut microbiota in individuals with obesity and metabolic syndrome.
  • Determine the functional role of specific gut microbial species and their metabolites in the pathogenesis of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

During the project, we will employ the following key methodologies:

  • Perform comprehensive metagenomic and metabolomic analyses to characterize the gut microbiota and associated metabolic pathways.
  • Conduct animal studies to investigate the causal relationship between gut microbiota alterations and the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

The project will benefit from state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, including advanced sequencing and analytical equipment, as well as access to a well-established cohort of participants with obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Research Proposal Participants description symbol

Dr. Emma Johnson, a renowned expert in gut microbiota research and Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of PeerRecognized, will lead the project. Dr. Johnson has published extensively in high-impact journals and has received multiple research grants focused on the gut microbiota and metabolic health.

The project will deliver crucial insights into the role of gut microbiota in obesity and metabolic syndrome. Specifically, it will:

  • Identify microbial signatures associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome for potential diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
  • Uncover key microbial metabolites and pathways implicated in disease development, enabling the development of targeted interventions.

We will actively disseminate the project results within the scientific community, healthcare professionals, and relevant stakeholders through publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations at international conferences, and engagement with patient advocacy groups.

The project will be executed over a period of 36 months. Key milestones include data collection and analysis, animal studies, manuscript preparation, and knowledge transfer activities.

The total eligible project costs are $1,500,000, with the budget allocated for 55% personnel, 25% laboratory supplies, 5% data analysis, and 15% knowledge dissemination activities as specified in the research call guidelines.

Research Proposals Examples in Natural Sciences

Here are real-life research proposal examples of funded projects in natural sciences.

(USGS) (Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program)
(Earth Venture Mission – 3 NNH21ZDA002O)

Here is a Natural Sciences research proposal example that is structured using the same nine sections. I created this proposal example using the key sentence skeleton that you will access in the proposal template .

Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity Dynamics in Fragile Ecosystems (CLIM-BIODIV)

Climate change poses a significant threat to global biodiversity, particularly in fragile ecosystems such as tropical rainforests and coral reefs. Understanding the specific impacts of climate change on biodiversity dynamics within these ecosystems is crucial for effective conservation and management strategies. However, there is a knowledge gap regarding the precise mechanisms through which climate change influences species composition, population dynamics, and ecosystem functioning in these vulnerable habitats.

With the CLIM-BIODIV project, we aim to assess the impact of climate change on biodiversity dynamics in fragile ecosystems. To achieve this aim, we have the following specific objectives:

  • Investigate how changes in temperature and precipitation patterns influence species distributions and community composition in tropical rainforests.
  • Assess the effects of ocean warming and acidification on coral reef ecosystems, including changes in coral bleaching events, species diversity, and ecosystem resilience.
  • Conduct field surveys and employ remote sensing techniques to assess changes in species distributions and community composition in tropical rainforests.
  • Utilize experimental approaches and long-term monitoring data to evaluate the response of coral reefs to varying temperature and pH conditions.

The project will benefit from access to field sites in ecologically sensitive regions, advanced remote sensing technology, and collaboration with local conservation organizations to facilitate data collection and knowledge sharing.

Dr. Alexander Chen, an established researcher in climate change and biodiversity conservation, will lead the project. Dr. Chen is a Professor of Ecology at the University of Peer Recognized, with a track record of three Nature publications and successful grant applications exceeding 25 million dollars.

The project will provide valuable insights into the impacts of climate change on biodiversity dynamics in fragile ecosystems. It will:

  • Enhance our understanding of how tropical rainforest communities respond to climate change, informing targeted conservation strategies.
  • Contribute to the identification of vulnerable coral reef ecosystems and guide management practices for their protection and resilience.

We will disseminate the project results to the scientific community, conservation practitioners, and policymakers through publications in reputable journals, participation in international conferences, and engagement with local communities and relevant stakeholders.

The project will commence on March 1, 2024, and will be implemented over a period of 48 months. Key milestones include data collection and analysis, modeling exercises, stakeholder engagement, and knowledge transfer activities. These are summarized in the Gantt chart.

The total eligible project costs are $2,000,000, with budget allocation for research personnel, fieldwork expenses, laboratory analyses, modeling software, data management, and dissemination activities.

Research Proposal Examples in Engineering and Technology

Here are real-life research proposal examples of funded research projects in the field of science and technology.

(USGS) (Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellowship)
(ROSES E.7 (Support for Open Source Tools, Frameworks, and Libraries))

Here is a hypothetical Engineering and Technology research proposal example that is structured using the same nine proposal sections we discussed earlier. I used the key sentence skeleton available in the proposal template to produce this example.

Developing Sustainable Materials for Energy-Efficient Buildings (SUST-BUILD)

The construction industry is a major contributor to global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Addressing this issue requires the development of sustainable materials that promote energy efficiency in buildings. However, there is a need for innovative engineering solutions to overcome existing challenges related to the performance, cost-effectiveness, and scalability of such materials.

With the SUST-BUILD project, we aim to develop sustainable materials for energy-efficient buildings. Our specific objectives are as follows:

  • Design and optimize novel insulating materials with enhanced thermal properties and reduced environmental impact.
  • Develop advanced coatings and surface treatments to improve the energy efficiency and durability of building envelopes.
  • Conduct extensive material characterization and simulation studies to guide the design and optimization of insulating materials.
  • Utilize advanced coating techniques and perform full-scale testing to evaluate the performance and durability of building envelope treatments.

The project will benefit from access to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, including material testing equipment, thermal analysis tools, and coating application setups. Collaboration with industry partners will facilitate the translation of research findings into practical applications.

Dr. Maria Rodriguez, an experienced researcher in sustainable materials and building technologies, will lead the project. Dr. Rodriguez holds a position as Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering at Peer Recognized University and has a strong publication record and expertise in the field.

The project will deliver tangible outcomes for energy-efficient buildings. It will:

  • Develop sustainable insulating materials with superior thermal performance, contributing to reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings.
  • Introduce advanced coatings and surface treatments developed from sustainable materials that enhance the durability and energy efficiency of building envelopes, thereby improving long-term building performance.

We will disseminate project results to relevant stakeholders, including industry professionals, architects, and policymakers. This will be accomplished through publications in scientific journals, presentations at conferences and seminars, and engagement with industry associations.

give an example of research proposal

The project will commence on September 1, 2024, and will be implemented over a period of 36 months. Key milestones include material development and optimization, performance testing, prototype fabrication, and knowledge transfer activities. The milestones are summarized in the Gantt chart.

The total eligible project costs are $1,800,000. The budget will cover personnel salaries (60%), materials and equipment (10%), laboratory testing (5%), prototyping (15%), data analysis (5%), and dissemination activities (5%) as specified in the research call guidelines.

Final Tips for Writing an Winning Research Proposal

Come up with a good research idea.

Ideas are the currency of research world. I have prepared a 3 step approach that will help you to come up with a research idea that is worth turning into a proposal. You can download the Research Idea Generation Toolkit in this article.

Research project idea generation in three steps: 1. Generate many ideas 2. Refine the best ones 3. Rate and select the winner

Start with a strong research outline

Before even writing one sentence of the research proposal, I suggest you use the Research Project Canvas . It will help you to first come up with different research ideas and then choose the best one for writing a full research proposal.

Research Proposal Template in the middle between a Research Project Canvas and a Full Research Proposal

Tailor to the requirements of the project funder

Treat the submission guide like a Monk treats the Bible and follow its strict requirements to the last detail. The funder might set requirements for the topic, your experience, employment conditions, host institution, the research team, funding amount, and so forth. 

What you would like to do in the research is irrelevant unless it falls within the boundaries defined by the funder.

Make the reviewer’s job of finding flaws in your proposal difficult by ensuring that you have addressed each requirement clearly. If applicable, you can even use a table with requirements versus your approach. This will make your proposed approach absolutely evident for the reviewers.

Before submitting, assess your proposal using the criteria reviewers have to follow.

Conduct thorough background research

Before writing your research proposal, conduct comprehensive background research to familiarize yourself with existing literature, theories, and methodologies related to your topic. This will help you identify research gaps and formulate research questions that address these gaps. You will also establish competence in the eyes of reviewers by citing relevant literature.

Be concise and clear

Define research questions that are specific, measurable, and aligned with the problem statement.

If you think the reviewers might be from a field outside your own, avoid unnecessary jargon or complex language to help them to understand the proposal better.

Be specific in describing the research methodology. For example, include a brief description of the experimental methods you will rely upon, add a summary of the materials that you are going to use, attach samples of questionnaires that you will use, and include any other proof that demonstrates the thoroughness you have put into developing the research plan. Adding a flowchart is a great way to present the methodology.

Create a realistic timeline and budget

Develop a realistic project timeline that includes key milestones and activities, allowing for potential challenges or delays. Similarly, create a detailed budget estimate that covers all anticipated expenses, ensuring that it aligns with the scope and requirements of your research project. Be transparent and justify your budget allocations.

Demonstrate the significance and potential impact of the research

Clearly articulate the significance of your research and its potential impact on the field. Discuss how your findings can contribute to theory development, practical applications, policy-making, or other relevant areas.

Pay attention to formatting and style guidelines

Follow the formatting and style guidelines provided by your institution or funding agency. Pay attention to details such as font size, margins, referencing style, and section headings. Adhering to these guidelines demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail.

Take a break before editing

After preparing the first draft, set it aside for at least a week. Then thoroughly check it for logic and revise, revise, revise. Use the proposal submission guide to review your proposal against the requirements. Remember to use grammar checking tools to check for errors.

Finally, read the proposal out loud. This will help to ensure good readability.

Seek feedback

Share your proposal with mentors, colleagues, or members of your research community to receive constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement. Take these seriously since they provide a third party view of what is written (instead of what you think you have written).

Reviewing good examples is one of the best ways to learn a new skill. I hope that the research proposal examples in this article will be useful for you to get going with writing your own research proposal.

Have fun with the writing process and I hope your project gets approved!

Learning from research proposal examples alone is not enough

The research proposal examples I provided will help you to improve your grant writing skills. But learning from example proposals alone will take you a rather long time to master writing winning proposals.

To write a winning research proposal, you have to know how to add that elusive X-Factor that convinces the reviewers to move your proposal from the category “good” to the category “support”. This includes creating self-explanatory figures, creating a budget, collaborating with co-authors, and presenting a convincing story.

To write a research proposal that maximizes your chances of receiving research funding, read my book “ Write a Winning Research Proposal “.

Book Cover for "Write a Winning Research Proposal: How to Generate Grant Ideas and Secure Funding Using Research Project Canvas" by Martins Zaumanis. Includes research project examples.

This isn’t just a book. It’s a complete research proposal writing toolkit that includes a  project ideation canvas, budget spreadsheet, project rating scorecard, virtual collaboration whiteboard, proposal pitch formula, graphics creation cheat sheet, review checklist and other valuable resources that will help you succeed.

Martins Zaumanis

Hey! My name is Martins Zaumanis and I am a materials scientist in Switzerland ( Google Scholar ). As the first person in my family with a PhD, I have first-hand experience of the challenges starting scientists face in academia. With this blog, I want to help young researchers succeed in academia. I call the blog “Peer Recognized”, because peer recognition is what lifts academic careers and pushes science forward.

Besides this blog, I have written the Peer Recognized book series and created the Peer Recognized Academy offering interactive online courses.

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Hi Martins, I’ve recently discovered your content and it is great. I will be implementing much of it into my workflow, as well as using it to teach some graduate courses! I noticed that a materials science-focused proposal could be a very helpful addition.

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Advanced Research Methods

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What Is a Research Proposal?

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  • Writing the Research Paper
  • Presenting the Research Paper

When applying for a research grant or scholarship, or, just before you start a major research project, you may be asked to write a preliminary document that includes basic information about your future research. This is the information that is usually needed in your proposal:

  • The topic and goal of the research project.
  • The kind of result expected from the research.
  • The theory or framework in which the research will be done and presented.
  • What kind of methods will be used (statistical, empirical, etc.).
  • Short reference on the preliminary scholarship and why your research project is needed; how will it continue/justify/disprove the previous scholarship.
  • How much will the research project cost; how will it be budgeted (what for the money will be spent).
  • Why is it you who can do this research and not somebody else.

Most agencies that offer scholarships or grants provide information about the required format of the proposal. It may include filling out templates, types of information they need, suggested/maximum length of the proposal, etc.

Research proposal formats vary depending on the size of the planned research, the number of participants, the discipline, the characteristics of the research, etc. The following outline assumes an individual researcher. This is just a SAMPLE; several other ways are equally good and can be successful. If possible, discuss your research proposal with an expert in writing, a professor, your colleague, another student who already wrote successful proposals, etc.

  • Author, author's affiliation
  • Explain the topic and why you chose it. If possible explain your goal/outcome of the research . How much time you need to complete the research?
  • Give a brief summary of previous scholarship and explain why your topic and goals are important.
  • Relate your planned research to previous scholarship. What will your research add to our knowledge of the topic.
  • Break down the main topic into smaller research questions. List them one by one and explain why these questions need to be investigated. Relate them to previous scholarship.
  • Include your hypothesis into the descriptions of the detailed research issues if you have one. Explain why it is important to justify your hypothesis.
  • This part depends of the methods conducted in the research process. List the methods; explain how the results will be presented; how they will be assessed.
  • Explain what kind of results will justify or  disprove your hypothesis. 
  • Explain how much money you need.
  • Explain the details of the budget (how much you want to spend for what).
  • Describe why your research is important.
  • List the sources you have used for writing the research proposal, including a few main citations of the preliminary scholarship.

give an example of research proposal

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  • 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.


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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Object name is IJA-60-631-g001.jpg


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 ]


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 ]


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 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 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.

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Conflicts of interest.

There are no conflicts of interest.

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  • 10 Research Question Examples to Guide Your Research Project

10 Research Question Examples to Guide your Research Project

Published on October 30, 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on October 19, 2023.

The research question is one of the most important parts of your research paper , thesis or dissertation . It’s important to spend some time assessing and refining your question before you get started.

The exact form of your question will depend on a few things, such as the length of your project, the type of research you’re conducting, the topic , and the research problem . However, all research questions should be focused, specific, and relevant to a timely social or scholarly issue.

Once you’ve read our guide on how to write a research question , you can use these examples to craft your own.

Research question Explanation
The first question is not enough. The second question is more , using .
Starting with “why” often means that your question is not enough: there are too many possible answers. By targeting just one aspect of the problem, the second question offers a clear path for research.
The first question is too broad and subjective: there’s no clear criteria for what counts as “better.” The second question is much more . It uses clearly defined terms and narrows its focus to a specific population.
It is generally not for academic research to answer broad normative questions. The second question is more specific, aiming to gain an understanding of possible solutions in order to make informed recommendations.
The first question is too simple: it can be answered with a simple yes or no. The second question is , requiring in-depth investigation and the development of an original argument.
The first question is too broad and not very . The second question identifies an underexplored aspect of the topic that requires investigation of various  to answer.
The first question is not enough: it tries to address two different (the quality of sexual health services and LGBT support services). Even though the two issues are related, it’s not clear how the research will bring them together. The second integrates the two problems into one focused, specific question.
The first question is too simple, asking for a straightforward fact that can be easily found online. The second is a more question that requires and detailed discussion to answer.
? dealt with the theme of racism through casting, staging, and allusion to contemporary events? The first question is not  — it would be very difficult to contribute anything new. The second question takes a specific angle to make an original argument, and has more relevance to current social concerns and debates.
The first question asks for a ready-made solution, and is not . The second question is a clearer comparative question, but note that it may not be practically . For a smaller research project or thesis, it could be narrowed down further to focus on the effectiveness of drunk driving laws in just one or two countries.

Note that the design of your research question can depend on what method you are pursuing. Here are a few options for qualitative, quantitative, and statistical research questions.

Type of research Example question
Qualitative research question
Quantitative research question
Statistical research question

Other interesting articles

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.


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


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

Research bias

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

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Article Proposal

Ai generator.

give an example of research proposal

Writing a proposal could be one of the most essential tool in business because it helps cultivate relationships between the organization and the project to be implemented. It talks about the plan itself that gives thorough information about the exact intention of the proposal. You should be able to know about ways on how to manage and the results that will be delivered from it. A proposal is indeed a very important document that has a framework which establishes ideas to provide a better understanding with regards to the project. This article will help you know and learn about article proposals and its components.

What is an Article Proposal?

An article proposal is a document submitted to a publication to pitch a potential article. It includes a relevant topic, a strong title, a compelling introduction, the article’s purpose and scope, its relevance to the audience, an outline, research sources, a writing sample, and the author’s credentials. The proposal aims to convince editors of the article’s value.

Article Proposal Format

An article proposal helps you effectively pitch your article idea to editors and publishers. Here is a structured format to guide you:

  • Create a clear and engaging title that encapsulates the essence of your article.
  • Introduction
  • Hook the reader with an intriguing opening.
  • Provide a brief overview of the article’s topic.

Purpose and Scope

  • State the main purpose of the article.
  • Outline the key points you will discuss.
  • Explain the importance and relevance of your topic to the publication’s audience.
  • Use facts, statistics, or quotes to support your claims.

Article Structure

  • Main Points/Sections

Research and Sources

  • Mention any research or sources you will use.
  • Highlight any original research, interviews, or unique perspectives .

Writing Sample

  • Include a sample paragraph or section from the article to showcase your writing style.

Author Credentials

  • Introduce yourself briefly.
  • Highlight your relevant experience or expertise .
  • Mention any previous publications or related work .

Conclusion and Call to Action

  • Conclude with a call to action , inviting the editor to contact you.
  • Thank the editor for considering your proposal.

Article Proposal Sample

Title: The Impact of Social Media on Teen Mental Health Introduction: Social media has become an integral part of teenagers’ lives. This article explores the positive and negative impacts of social media on teen mental health. Purpose and Scope: The article will discuss how social media influences teen behavior, self-esteem, and mental health. It will provide strategies for parents and educators to mitigate negative effects. Relevance: With the rising use of social media among teens, understanding its impact is crucial for parents, educators, and policymakers. Structure: Introduction to Social Media Usage Among Teens Positive Effects of Social Media Negative Effects of Social Media Case Studies and Research Findings Strategies for Mitigation Conclusion Research and Sources: The article will reference studies from the American Psychological Association, interviews with psychologists, and surveys conducted among teens. Writing Sample: [Include a sample paragraph here] Author Credentials: I am a freelance writer with a Master’s degree in Psychology. I have written for publications like Psychology Today and The Huffington Post. Conclusion and Call to Action: I look forward to your feedback and am excited about the possibility of contributing to your publication. Thank you for considering my proposal.

Examples of Article Proposal

Example of article proposal for students.

Title: The Impact of Online Learning on Student Performance Introduction: Online learning has become increasingly prevalent, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This article explores the impact of online learning on student performance, focusing on academic outcomes, engagement, and mental health. Purpose and Scope: The article will examine how online learning affects students’ academic performance, engagement levels, and mental health. It will also discuss the benefits and challenges of online learning and provide strategies for improving online education. Relevance: With the shift towards online education, understanding its impact on students is crucial for educators, parents, and policymakers. This article will provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of online learning and ways to enhance it. Structure: Introduction to Online Learning Academic Outcomes Student Engagement Mental Health Effects Benefits of Online Learning Challenges of Online Learning Strategies for Improvement Conclusion Research and Sources: The article will reference studies from educational journals, surveys conducted among students and teachers, and interviews with education experts. It will also include data from institutions that have successfully implemented online learning programs. Writing Sample: Online learning offers flexibility and accessibility, but it also presents challenges in maintaining student engagement and ensuring effective communication. Research indicates that students in well-structured online programs can perform as well as their peers in traditional classrooms, provided they have the necessary support and resources. Author Credentials: I am an education major with a focus on technology in education. I have conducted research on online learning platforms and have experience in both online and in-person teaching environments. Conclusion and Call to Action: I look forward to your feedback and am excited about the possibility of contributing to your publication. Thank you for considering my proposal.

Example of Article Proposal for Research

Title: The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Modern Healthcare Introduction: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various industries, with healthcare being one of the most impacted. This article explores the role of AI in modern healthcare, focusing on diagnostic accuracy, treatment personalization, and administrative efficiency. Purpose and Scope: The article will examine how AI technologies are enhancing diagnostic processes, personalizing treatment plans, and improving administrative operations in healthcare settings. It will also address ethical considerations and potential challenges. Relevance: With the increasing integration of AI in healthcare, understanding its benefits and limitations is crucial for medical professionals, policymakers, and technology developers. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of AI applications in healthcare. Structure: Introduction to AI in Healthcare Enhancing Diagnostic Accuracy Personalizing Treatment Plans Improving Administrative Efficiency Ethical Considerations and Challenges Case Studies of Successful AI Implementations Future Prospects and Innovations Conclusion Research and Sources: The article will reference studies from medical journals, interviews with healthcare professionals and AI experts, and reports from institutions that have successfully integrated AI technologies. Additionally, it will include data from recent advancements and clinical trials involving AI. Writing Sample: AI technologies, such as machine learning algorithms and natural language processing, are significantly improving diagnostic accuracy by analyzing vast amounts of medical data quickly and accurately. For instance, AI-driven tools can detect early signs of diseases like cancer, enabling timely intervention and improving patient outcomes. Author Credentials: I am a researcher with a background in computer science and a focus on healthcare technologies. I have published articles on AI applications in peer-reviewed journals and have collaborated with healthcare professionals on AI integration projects. Conclusion and Call to Action: I look forward to your feedback and am excited about the possibility of contributing to your publication. Thank you for considering my proposal.

Example of Article Proposal for Business

Title: The Future of Remote Work: Trends and Predictions for 2025 Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work, leading to significant changes in business operations worldwide. This article explores the future of remote work, focusing on emerging trends, technological advancements, and predictions for 2025. Purpose and Scope: The article will examine the key trends shaping the future of remote work, the technological tools facilitating this shift, and the potential challenges businesses may face. It will also provide actionable insights for business leaders to adapt to these changes. Relevance: With remote work becoming a permanent fixture in many industries, understanding its future implications is crucial for business leaders, HR professionals, and employees. This article aims to equip readers with the knowledge needed to navigate the evolving remote work landscape. Structure: Introduction to the Rise of Remote Work Key Trends Shaping Remote Work Technological Advancements Enabling Remote Work Benefits and Challenges of Remote Work Case Studies of Successful Remote Work Implementations Predictions for Remote Work in 2025 Actionable Insights for Business Leaders Conclusion Research and Sources: The article will reference studies from business journals, surveys conducted among remote workers and employers, and interviews with industry experts. It will also include data from companies that have successfully transitioned to remote work models. Writing Sample: Remote work is no longer just a temporary solution but a long-term strategy for many companies. Advancements in collaboration tools, such as video conferencing platforms and project management software, are enabling teams to work efficiently from any location. However, businesses must also address challenges such as maintaining company culture and ensuring cybersecurity. Author Credentials: I am a business analyst with expertise in workplace trends and organizational behavior. I have published articles in business magazines and have consulted with companies on implementing remote work strategies. Conclusion and Call to Action: I look forward to your feedback and am excited about the possibility of contributing to your publication. Thank you for considering my proposal.

Example of Journal Article Proposal

Title: Exploring the Effects of Climate Change on Coastal Ecosystems Introduction: Climate change is profoundly impacting coastal ecosystems, leading to significant ecological and socio-economic consequences. This article examines the effects of climate change on coastal ecosystems, focusing on biodiversity loss, habitat degradation, and community resilience. Purpose and Scope: The article will analyze how rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, and ocean acidification are affecting coastal ecosystems. It will also discuss mitigation and adaptation strategies to enhance the resilience of these ecosystems. Relevance: Understanding the impacts of climate change on coastal ecosystems is critical for developing effective conservation and management strategies. This article aims to provide comprehensive insights for environmental scientists, policymakers, and conservationists. Structure: Introduction to Climate Change and Coastal Ecosystems Impact on Biodiversity Habitat Degradation Community Resilience Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies Case Studies of Affected Regions Future Research Directions Conclusion Research and Sources: The article will reference peer-reviewed studies from environmental science journals, reports from international organizations such as the IPCC, and interviews with marine biologists and ecologists. Additionally, it will include data from field studies and climate models. Writing Sample: Rising sea levels are causing significant habitat loss for many coastal species, leading to declines in biodiversity. For example, mangrove forests, which provide critical nursery habitats for fish, are being submerged, resulting in a decrease in fish populations and affecting local fisheries. Author Credentials: I am an environmental scientist with a Ph.D. in Marine Biology. I have published multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals and have conducted extensive research on the effects of climate change on marine and coastal ecosystems. Conclusion and Call to Action: I look forward to your feedback and am excited about the possibility of contributing to your journal. Thank you for considering my proposal.

More Article Proposal Samples & Examples

1. article proposal cover letter.

Article Proposal Cover Letter

2. Formal Article Proposal

Article, Proposal Report

3. Article Proposal Template

Article Proposal Template

4. Article Proposal Form

Article Proposal Form

5. Professional Article Proposal

Professional Article Proposal

6. General Article Proposal

General Article Proposal

7. Draft Article Proposal

Draft Article Proposal

8. Journal Article Proposal

Journal Article Proposal

9. Family Article Proposal

Proposal to Submit an Quarterly Article

10. Basic Article Proposal

Document Article Proposal

Components of a Article Proposal

Every writer should be knowledgeable about the components of a proposal. It helps in getting the interest of the readers more.

Abstract – this is considered to be the most important part of a proposal. Develop the best title and use bold subheadings. You should also include the highlights in your topic sentence and discuss what should be done, what is the problem and what will be the benefit?

Statement of the need – you have to start preparing for answers to these questions: “what is the issue?”, “why does the issue matter?”, “who can benefit?”, “who else is working in this field?”, and “what have they done?”

Methodology – state why you choose to address this matter and what approach you used that you think is applicable and appropriate for the situation. Also state the activities that are involved in the process and the outcomes that needs to be achieved.

Evaluation – you should provide an evaluation of your report and if feasible, do it in qualitative or quantitative manner.

Dissemination – this should be linked into your project goals. Don’t forget to describe your communication strategy and be creative. When you are to send an article, you may consider engaging yourself in community outreach activities, conference presentations, interviews, launch a blog post, create papers and press releases and the like.

Budget or Funds – present your budget in a graphic organizer . A table is best to use. Explain each one of them. Take note that you should only include the source of your budget if it is being mandated. Also indicate how a particular project is being funded after the funds have run out.

These components are necessary to the writing process of your article proposal. Your proposal wouldn’t be called a proposal and will be considered lacking if one of these components are missing.

How to write an Article Proposal

How to write an Article Proposal

Writing an article proposal is a crucial step in getting your work published. It helps you organize your ideas, demonstrate the relevance of your topic, and convince editors or publishers of your article’s value. Follow these steps to craft a compelling article proposal.

1. Understand the Guidelines

Before you start, review the submission guidelines of the publication to which you are pitching. Different publications have varying requirements regarding word count, style, and format.

2. Choose a Relevant Topic

Select a topic that is timely, relevant, and interesting to the publication’s audience. Ensure it aligns with the publication’s focus and style.

3. Craft a Strong Title

Create a clear and engaging title that captures the essence of your article. The title should grab attention and provide a snapshot of your topic.

4. Write a Compelling Introduction

Begin with a hook that draws the reader in. Introduce the main topic and provide a brief overview of what the article will cover. Highlight the importance and relevance of the topic.

5. State the Purpose and Scope

Clearly state the purpose of your article . What is the main argument or point you want to convey? Outline the scope by mentioning the key points you will discuss.

6. Explain the Relevance

Explain why your article is important and relevant to the publication’s audience. Use facts, statistics, or quotes to support your claims.

7. Outline the Structure

Provide a brief outline of the article . Mention the main sections or points you will cover. This helps the editor understand the flow and organization of your article.

8. Showcase Your Research

Mention any research or sources you will use to back up your points. Highlight any original research, interviews, or unique perspectives you will bring to the article.

9. Provide a Writing Sample

If possible, include a sample paragraph or section from the article. This gives the editor a taste of your writing style and the quality of your work.

10. Highlight Your Credentials

Briefly introduce yourself and highlight your relevant experience or expertise. Mention any previous publications or related work.

11. Conclude with a Call to Action

End with a call to action , inviting the editor to contact you if they are interested in your proposal. Thank them for considering your pitch.

How do I choose a topic for my article proposal?

Select a topic that is relevant, timely, and aligns with the publication’s focus and audience interests.

What should be included in the introduction of an article proposal?

The introduction should hook the reader, provide a brief overview, and highlight the topic’s importance and relevance.

How detailed should the article structure be?

Provide a clear outline with main sections and key points to help the editor understand the article’s flow and organization.

What type of research should I include in my proposal?

Include references to studies, interviews, and data relevant to your topic to showcase thorough research and credibility.

What tone should I use in my article proposal?

Maintain a professional and respectful tone throughout, ensuring clarity and conciseness in your writing.

How long should an article proposal be?

Keep the proposal concise, ideally one to two pages, focusing on clarity and relevance.

Why is the author’s credentials section important?

It establishes your expertise and credibility, showing why you are qualified to write on the proposed topic.

What is the purpose of the writing sample in the proposal?

It showcases your writing style and quality, giving editors a glimpse of what to expect in the final article.

How do I address potential challenges in my article proposal?

Acknowledge possible challenges related to the topic and briefly suggest how you will address or overcome them.

How important is the title in an article proposal?

A strong, engaging title is crucial as it captures attention and provides a snapshot of the article’s content.


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How to write a research proposal: top tips for busy students

How to write a research proposal: a detailed guide for students


A professional writer with ten years of experience and a Ph.D. in Modern History, Catharine Tawil writes engaging and insightful papers for academic exchange. With deep insight into the impact of historical events on the present, she provides a unique perspective in giving students a feel for the past. Her writing educates and stimulates critical thinking, making her a treasure to those wading through the complexities of history.

How to write a research proposal? Although writing academic papers and completing projects is part of the routine of any young learner, this assignment can often be troublesome. Still, if you are looking for professional research proposal guidelines, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll go down the rabbit hole and discover all the best ways to complete this assignment easily and quickly. 

Research proposal: meaning and description

Research proposals are not easy to write. However, if you follow our tips and tricks, you will achieve all your academic goals. As a rule, you need to develop a strong research proposal before you start working on your research paper. In other words, it’s like preparing a list of ingredients for cooking your main course. 

Your paper will generally contain a topic (well, that’s the most straightforward component), your research questions, methodology, and the significance of the chosen field. However, the requirements might differ depending on your academic level and the overall complexity of your paper. 

Why a good research proposal matters

What do I need to compose a proposal writing? Many bright minds ask this question. The answer is that it has many goals. First and foremost, it allows learners to clarify their ideas and get approval from their teachers or professors. The second thing about this writing is that it helps students create a well-structured and properly formatted paper before diving too deep into the research paper. As a rule, you must submit your proposal before you start working on your research project, thesis, or dissertation. 

Top components of a research proposal

Your research proposal must cover many experts. For your convenience, we’ve prepared a list of top features you are expected to have in this type of writing. 

  • Topic: Similar to a research paper, your proposal must have a precise topic. It should be understandable, fresh, and sharp. And, of course, it should be focused on your research for 100%.
  • Intro: This is background info for your topic. In most cases, it highlights the importance of your study and describes the research objectives. 
  • Literature review: What literature is related to the chosen niche? What unresolved questions does your field have? Why do you need to conduct the research? Your literature review helps you prove that you have already conducted the primary research and understand the selected topic well. This point is a must-to-write for all research proposals.
  • Research questions: What questions will your study address? Make sure they are unique, measurable, and achievable.
  • Methodology: In this field, you must specify the methods and techniques you will use to collect and process your findings. 
  • Timeline: Every project has its deadlines and milestones. You will need to create an approximate schedule for completing your assignment. This schedule must include time for collecting information, advanced data analysis, and writing. 
  • Reference: As with the other academic assignments, you must develop a reference list for your paper proposal. 
  • Appendices: This is the best place to provide your supplementary artifacts and other materials. 

How can you understand your research problem 

Now that you have a better understanding of a research proposal, what’s next? Below is a simple step-by-step solution for writing a research proposal. 

Spotlighting the research gap

Identifying a research gap for a research proposal involves several stages. Firstly, you will need to review existing literature in your field. This will allow you to pinpoint areas where knowledge is lacking or contradictory. For example, you can search for some unanswered questions that require more investigation. After that, you may consider recent developments or emerging trends that created new gaps in existing research. Finally, you should critically evaluate your expertise and interests. 

Developing your main research question

Developing your main research question for a research proposal usually involves the following critical steps: 

  • Brainstorming ideas and narrowing down your topic to a specific field. 
  • Clarify the gaps you’ve discovered in the previous stage.
  • Formulate your main research question.
  • Double-check your question for relevance and clarity.
  • Refine your research question and make sure it fully aligns with your goals. 

Choosing your top-notch research objectives

Now, it’s time to dive into the ocean of your research proposal objectives. Although there might be too many goals, you must select only the most important ones. Moreover, it requires careful consideration and strategic planning. The best approach to this task is to start by identifying the main purpose of your research. After that, you may try to connect your goals with the main questions and the research gap. Not to mention, make sure to focus only on realistic goals during your objective’s research design. 

Working on your literature review

If you look at any good-written research proposal example, you will notice that it always has a literature review section. To complete it easily, feel free to follow these easy steps:

  • Gather articles and texts that address these themes.
  • Critically analyze and synthesize the findings from the chosen sources.
  • Organize your literature review thematically or chronologically.
  • Conclude by summarizing the current state of knowledge and explaining your proposed research's contribution.

Selecting the research methodology 

When choosing the most fitting research methodology, consider the following parameters: 

  • Define the research questions to guide your methodology selection.
  • Evaluate different research methodologies (for example, you can choose quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods.)
  • Consider practical factors, including resources, time constraints, and access to participants.
  • Choose a methodology that aligns with your research goals and theoretical framework.
  • Explain how the chosen methodology enables you to collect relevant data and generate insights for your research proposal.

Developing the introduction

There is nothing new about the introduction being one of the most impactful parts of any academic paper. To succeed in writing your assignment, you must follow many rules and requirements. So, here is a quick start on how to complete this part like a real pro. 

Collecting the background information

Writing a research proposal is never an easy task. However, a good introduction with properly arranged background information is one of the keys to success. You can begin by introducing the broad study area and its significance in the academic or practical realm. After that, you can provide historical context or foundational theories relevant to the research topic. It is always a brilliant idea to summarize past research and scholarly discussions related to the subject and highlight your key findings and knowledge gaps. After all, connect your background info and the proposed research. You can also add a smooth transition to your problem statements and research proposal purpose. 

Arranging the study context

This part of writing is one of the most complicated. However, the tips below might help you cope with it more easily. 

  • Describe your research's social, cultural, economic, or environmental context.
  • Identify any trends, developments, or events that underscore the relevance of the research significance.
  • Highlight any specific challenges or opportunities presented by the research context.
  • Emphasize the need to address the identified research problem.

Describing the research problem and objectives

This section articulates the specific research problem the proposal aims to address. The research problem is the focal point of the study, representing the gap or issue in knowledge that the research seeks to explore. Always make sure your objectives provide clear and measurable targets for the study.

Demonstrating the significance of the study

All excellent research proposal examples can boast of having an outstanding demonstration of the significance of the study. And you can do that, too! For these purposes, follow this easy schema: 

  • Discuss the broader significance of the research topic within its field or discipline, emphasizing its relevance and timeliness.
  • Identify the potential contributions that the proposed research is expected to make.

Composing the research methodology

You might feel tired of all the rules, but it’s not the time to give up. Your research proposal template desperately needs a sound research methodology. So, let’s get started! 

Determining the right research design

When determining the right research design for your proposal, consider the following tips:

  • Clarify your research questions and objectives.
  • Explore various research designs and methodologies that can fit the research proposal structure well. This approach will help you identify the best options for your research aims.
  • Consider practical constraints. You need to consider time, budget, access to participants or data, and ethical considerations.
  • Pilot-test your research design. It is always good to conduct a pilot study or small-scale test to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of your chosen research design in the primary stage of the research proposal template development. 

Choosing the research participants

Always consider the practical aspects of participant selection, such as accessibility and feasibility. Finally, be transparent about the participant selection process in your research proposal.

Collecting data: your most fitting methods

Any student is required to select the most suitable methods of data collection for their assignment. Here are a few tips for your convenience: 

  • Choose methods that best capture the data needed to address your research questions and objectives.
  • Assess the practicality of each method in terms of resources, time, and access to participants or data sources.
  • Select methods that yield data with high reliability and validity.

The truth is that every research proposal format requires diverse methods of collecting data. So, always adapt them to your specific writing. 

Creating the plan for data analysis

In this step, you will outline the specific techniques and procedures you will use to analyze your research data. This includes selecting appropriate statistical or qualitative analysis methods and organizing and coding your data. The data analysis plan should align with your research objectives. This is the essential feature of all research proposals.

Ensuring the validity and reliability of your research

Ensuring validity and reliability means making sure your research methods accurately measure what they're supposed to and produce consistent results. Remember that ensuring research study validity is a must for this type of academic paper. 

Crafting the literature review

According to research proposal format rules, your paper must contain a literature review. Some students believe that completing this task during the data collection step is easier, while others admit they usually craft it at the final steps of writing a proposal. Anyway, the process usually has several steps. 

Choosing the relevant literature

Identifying the foundational studies and key sources that will guide your research is essential. Although you can look for some research proposal examples, it is still good to follow this plan during writing:

  • Search academic databases and scholarly sources related to your research topic.
  • Look for key studies, articles, and books that provide insights into your research area.
  • Focus on literature that directly addresses your research questions and objectives.

Summarizing the literature lists

Once you've gathered relevant literature for your paper proposal, synthesizing it will be your next step. Here's how to approach it:

  • Summarize the main findings and arguments of the chosen literature list.
  • Identify common themes, trends, and patterns in different sources.
  • Analyze how the literature contributes to the understanding of your research topic.

Evaluating the literature sources

Now, it's high time to evaluate the resources’ quality and relevance critically:

  • Assess each source's credibility, relevance, and methodological rigor for your proposal writing.
  • Consider the strengths and weaknesses of different research methods used in the literature.

Exploring the research gaps

At the final step of working with your literature sources, you need to find out the areas for further investigation: 

  • Evaluate the existing literature to identify unanswered questions.
  • Look for contradictions, inconsistencies, or limitations in the current research.
  • Consider emerging trends, recent developments, or advancements in your field.

Now, the work with literature lists for your research proposal is done. 

Note: Failure to effectively analyze your sources is one of the most common mistakes in writing a research proposal, so don’t underestimate it. 

Creating the conclusion 

Every research proposal has a conclusion. Although many students don’t like this part of writing, it is still necessary to pay attention to it. Here is how to do that. 

Summarizing your findings

  • Condense the primary outcomes of your study into clear statements.
  • Make sure that your summary captures the essential research findings derived from your research.

Adding recommendations for future research

  • Suggest areas for further investigation based on the limitations identified in your research proposal.
  • Offer suggestions or directions for future research.

Showing off the implications of your study

  • Discuss the broader significance and relevance of your study's findings for theory, practice, or policy.
  • Articulate the potential impact or practical applications of your research results.

Note: The conclusion is a must-have writing piece in every research proposal format. Always add it to your paper. 

Composing the abstract

If you look at any professionally written research proposal example, you will discover it also has an abstract. 

Offering a concise study overview

Start your abstract with a brief overview of the study. In other words, you can provide a snapshot of your paper’s purpose and significance. You will also need to summarize the main topic and objectives. If you are feeling a bit lost in what to write in this part, read the introduction of your research proposal once more - you will find some basic info to write about. 

Introducing the research problem and objectives

Regardless of your writing style, it is crucial to add your research paper objectives to your abstract: 

  • Clearly present your research problem and objectives.
  • Define the research problem, emphasizing its importance.
  • Clearly state the specific research questions that your study aims to address.

Detailing the research methodology

  • Ensure the credibility of your study by providing a detailed overview of your research methodology.
  • Describe your research design and methods used while composing a research proposal briefly.
  • Justify your methodology choice.
  • Briefly outline your data collection, analysis, and interpretation procedures.

Recapping the research findings

  • Summarize your key findings.
  • Outline the main outcomes of your study in clear and straightforward language.
  • Highlight how your findings address the research objectives and contribute to filling the research gap.

Note: According to research proposal format requirements, all these abstract parts are obligatory.

Style and formatting

If you look for a fresh and up-to-date research proposal example online, you will likely discover they all have different formats. However, there are still some rules you are expected to follow. 

Following the research proposal guidelines

Employing clear and concise writing, proofreading and editing the proposal, conclusion .

Of course, writing papers is usually a tricky process. Fortunately, you can always get professional help and pay for essay online. Still, if you want to complete it by yourself, remember about these critical aspects. 

Most universities and colleges have a solid view of the components of the proposal:

  • Introduction;
  • Literature Review;
  • Methodology;
  • Research Timeline;
  • References;
  • Appendices.

A perfectly written research proposal is a roadmap for the entire research project. In other words, it guides the researcher in defining objectives, methods, and expected outcomes. A research proposal is also necessary to secure funding, gain approval from ethics committees, and attract collaborators or participants.

Final thoughts and recommendations

The best recommendation for creating this type of writing is to begin far in advance and follow all the professor’s requirements. Still, if you have an urgent deadline or writing difficulties, you can always rely on the Write my paper for me professional service. So, how to write a research proposal? It’s up to you!

What is the main goal of a research proposal?

The purpose of a research proposal is to outline the planned research project, including its objectives, methodology, and significance.

How long should a typical research proposal be?

Research proposal length typically ranges from 1500 to 2500 words.

What are the common mistakes to avoid when composing a research proposal?

The list of mistakes includes unclear objectives, inadequate literature review, and lack of coherence in the methodology.

Can I revise a research proposal after submission?

Yes, a research proposal can be revised after submission based on reviewer feedback or research plan changes.

How is it better to ensure the validity and reliability of my research study?

Use appropriate research designs and methods, maintain consistency in data collection and analysis, and address potential sources of bias.


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What’s Included: Research Proposal Template

Our free dissertation/thesis proposal template covers the core essential ingredients for a strong research proposal. It includes clear explanations of what you need to address in each section, as well as straightforward examples and links to further resources.

The research proposal template covers the following core elements:

  • Introduction & background (including the research problem)
  • Literature review
  • Research design / methodology
  • Project plan , resource requirements and risk management

The cleanly-formatted Google Doc can be downloaded as a fully editable MS Word Document (DOCX format), so you can use it as-is or convert it to LaTeX.

PS – if you’d like a high-level template for the entire thesis, you can we’ve got that too .

Research Proposal Template FAQS

What types of research proposals can this template be used for.

The proposal template follows the standard format for academic research projects, which means it will be suitable for the vast majority of dissertations and theses (especially those within the sciences), whether they are qualitative or quantitative in terms of design.

Keep in mind that the exact requirements for the introduction chapter/section will vary between universities and degree programs. These are typically minor, but it’s always a good idea to double-check your university’s requirements before you finalise your structure.

Is this template for an undergrad, Master or PhD-level proposal?

This template can be used for a research project at any level of study. Doctoral-level projects typically require the research proposal to be more extensive/comprehensive, but the structure will typically remain the same.

How long should my research proposal be?

The length of a research proposal varies by institution and subject, but as a ballpark, it’s usually between 1,500 and 3,000 words.

To be safe, it’s best to check with your university if they have any preferences or requirements in terms of minimum and maximum word count for the research propsal.

How detailed should the methodology of the proposal be?

You don’t need to go into the fine details of your methodology, but this section should be detailed enough to demonstrate that your research approach is feasible and will address your research questions effectively. Be sure to include your intended methods for data collection and analysis.

Can I include preliminary data or pilot study results in my proposal?

Generally, yes. This can strengthen your proposal by demonstrating the feasibility of your research. However, make sure that your pilot study is approved by your university before collecting any data.

Can I share this template with my friends/colleagues?

Yes, you’re welcome to share this template in its original format (no editing allowed). If you want to post about it on your blog or social media, we kindly request that you reference this page as your source.

What format is the template (DOC, PDF, PPT, etc.)?

The research proposal template is provided as a Google Doc. You can download it in MS Word format or make a copy to your Google Drive. You’re also welcome to convert it to whatever format works best for you, such as LaTeX or PDF.

Do you have templates for the other chapters?

Yes, we do. We are constantly developing our collection of free resources to help students complete their dissertations and theses. You can view all of our template resources here .

Can Grad Coach help me with my dissertation/thesis?

Yes, you’re welcome to get in touch with us to discuss our private coaching services .

Further Resources: Proposal Writing

The template provides step-by-step guidance for each section of your research proposal, but if you’d like to learn more about how to write up a high-quality research proposal, check out the rest of our free proposal-related resources:

  • Research Proposal 101
  • Examples of research proposals
  • How To Find A Research Topic
  • How To Find A Research Gap
  • Developing Your Golden Thread
  • How To Write A Research Proposal
  • 8 Common Proposal Writing Mistakes

You can also visit the Grad Coach blog for more proposal-related resources.

Free Webinar: How To Write A Research Proposal

If you’d prefer 1-on-1 support with your research proposal, have a look at our private coaching service , where we hold your hand through the research process, step by step.

36+ SAMPLE Research Budgets in PDF | MS Word

Research budgets | ms word, 36+ sample research budgets, what is a research budget, the components of a complete research budget, how to set a research budget, why is a research budget important in a grant application, what are the types of budgeting schemes, how much is the standard research project grant amount.

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Why is a research budget important, step 1: brainstorm all research activities, step 2: consider the rules and regulations, step 3: insert the associated costs for each item, step 4: download a sample research budget, step 5: organize your data and format, step 6: justify your research budget.

  • Incremental budgeting – this form of budgeting tackles a previous year’s actual figures while you add or subtract a percentage to answer the acquired budget of the current year. Also, this is the simplest and most common form of budgeting scheme.
  • Activity-based budgeting – the next example focuses on getting the number of inputs necessary to provide the outputs and targets implemented by an organization. A common example is when a business should start recognizing the necessary tasks to take first that will meet the sales target until the costs for each activity to do will be determined.
  • Value proposition budgeting – another budgeting scheme answers the reason for inputting the amount you estimated in a budget, how a value outweighs the expenses, or even why the budget should be justified. And as much as possible, do not include irrelevant expenditures in this section.
  • Zero-based budgeting – lastly, this budgeting plan assumes that every department in a budget is zero and should be rebuilt from the very beginning. But, the expenses should be justified. And this strategy is helpful when you need costs quickly, particularly if a business undergoes an economic downturn.

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Tailored Business Proposals: 19 Examples for Different Industries

give an example of research proposal

The cornerstone of winning any new business lies in the strength of your proposal. The aim? To not only outline your offer, but to paint a picture so vivid your prospects can see the brighter future your partnership could bring.

In this guide, we unpack everything you need to paint this picture. First, we’ll work through the theory: showing how to structure your proposal for maximum impact. Then, we’ll see how these look in practice with 19 industry-tailored, time-tested business proposal examples.

In short, everything you need to take your proposal game to the next level.

Key Takeaways

  • A Strong Start is Half the Battle: Your proposal's introduction should grab attention like a headline does. Think of it as the trailer to the blockbuster that is your proposal.
  • Clarity is King: Aim for a fluff-free zone. We'll show you how to be crystal clear about what you're offering and why it matters.
  • Tailor Made to Fit: Like a bespoke suit, your proposal should be customized to fit your potential client's needs. Leave the cookie-cutting to the competition.
  • Evidence, Please: Back up your claims with solid proof. Testimonials, case studies, and data are your best friends.
  • A Call to Action That Calls Out: Don't leave your reader hanging. A compelling call to action prompts their next move - so it's imperative that you're crystal clear about what you want them to do next to move things forward.

How to structure your business proposal

Every element of a great business proposal should serve the overall objective. Clarity and concision are your priorities. In the spirit of being direct, here's a blueprint (as well as some tips) to get you there:

Executive Summary : After your title page, begin with an executive summary that captures the essence of your proposal. This section should be compelling, providing a clear snapshot of the client's problem and your proposed solution, setting the stage for the details that follow.

Define the Problem : Show your deep understanding of the challenges your potential client is facing, showing empathy and insight. This reassures the client that you grasp the nitty-gritty and the nuances of their situation.

Propose Your Solutions : In this section, outline your proposed solutions. Each solution should directly address a facet of the client's problem, clearly explaining how your services or products fit their needs. Focus on how you solve the problem, not just the features and benefits of your product or service.

Methodology and Timeline : Discuss your methodology and project timeline, providing a clear roadmap of how and when you plan to implement your solutions. This section should reassure the client of your project management skills, communication and planning abilities and that you have a realistic approach.

Pricing: Transparently outline your pricing structure while emphasizing the value provided. It’s crucial to balance cost with the benefits your client will gain, presenting your proposal as a strategic investment. Remember to include any add-on services or additional charges to avoid surprising your client later on in the process.

Proof of Success : Support your proposal with concrete evidence of your past successes. Include case studies, testimonials, and relevant data that validate your claims and demonstrate your capability and experience. If it's appropriate, you can provide some references your prospect can reach out to.

Conclusion and Call to Action : Conclude with a strong call to action. Clearly state what steps you want the reader to take next, whether it’s scheduling a meeting, signing a contract, or any other specific requirements.

This structured approach ensures that your proposal is a persuasive, coherent argument that effectively communicates why you are the best choice for the client.

19 Business proposal examples to use

When it comes to your unique needs, you're the expert. But, in order to get you started or inspire you to sell in new ways, we offer a robust library of business proposal templates . Each one is tailored to a different sector, showcasing how to apply the structure we've just outlined in real-world scenarios. Here are 19 different sample proposals, so you have plenty of choices to use or peruse!

1. SaaS Proposal

When writing a SaaS proposal , you must detail the office chaos your software will calm. Show them a future where productivity soars, thanks to your cloud-based wizardry. Be specific about features, but link each one to a benefit. "Our feature X means your team can do Y, leading to Z% more sales." Don't forget to sprinkle in client testimonials from other businesses that have achieved zen thanks to your help! Look at our SaaS Proposal Template to see exactly what I mean.

SaaS Proposal Template

Propel your business forward with our SaaS Proposal Template – present a persuasive case for adopting your solution to prospects.

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2. Mobile App Development Proposal

Here, you're the architect of the next app everyone can't live without. Your mobile app proposal should start with the vision: the gap in the market your app fills beautifully. Describe how smooth and intuitive the user journey is. Outline the development timeline and the rigor of your testing and quality assurance strategy. Then, pull out the portfolio and social proof to show that you have the experience to match the vision. Our Mobile App development template will give you a better idea of how to tell your story in a way prospective clients won't be able to refuse an opportunity to work with you.

Mobile App Development Proposal Template

Secure projects with a compelling and persuasive Mobile App Development Proposal Template– craft a comprehensive, innovative, and tailored pitch swiftly.

Mobile App Development Proposal Template

3. Enterprise Sales Proposal

This is where you think big - there are so many proposal creation possibilities. You're addressing companies with complex needs and multiple stakeholders. Your sales proposa l should reflect that. Start with an executive summary that speaks their language—efficiency, scalability, ROI. Dive deep into how your solution aligns with their strategic goals. Use data to lead them to the inevitable conclusion that your solution isn't just the best option; it's the only one that makes sense. Our enterprise sales template belongs in your proposal kit and shows how this is done well.

Grab our Enterprise Sales Template

Get to 'yes' faster by captivating your buyer with web-based sales assets

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4. Software Development Proposal

This one's all about transformation. Your opening should paint a picture for a prospective buyer of the digital makeover their business will undergo. Detail the technical wizardry you'll employ in your software development proposal, but take the time to demystify all of it. Break your process into clear, digestible phases, showing milestones and success at each turn. When discussing costs, emphasize the long-term value of custom software—like investing in a high-quality tool that pays for itself over time. Our software proposal template shows what this all looks like in practice.

Software Development Proposal Template

Win development projects with a thorough and persuasive software pitch – prepare a comprehensive, detailed, and tailored proposal quickly.

Software Development Proposal Template

5. Investment Proposal

Here, you're wooing investors with a unique idea that's as solid as it is exciting: your business model, your market analysis, and your growth projections. These are particularly crucial for larger projects that require significant capital. So, you need to present a clear and concise outline of the opportunity, the potential ROI, and the associated risks. Look at how Qwilr’s investment proposal template establishes a clear understanding between the investor and the opportunity. It also leaves space for all of the important contractual language to ensure you're staying compliant while you pitch.

Grab our Investment Proposal Template

investment proposal template preview

6. Marketing Proposal

Imagine you’re crafting a strategy to turn a brand from a wallflower into the life of the party. Your marketing proposal should delve into the current market position and paint a picture of the potential you can help them realize. Outline a multi-channel approach, weaving in success stories like proof points in your narrative. Include your proposed project scope and include the deliverables like brand guidelines, design assets, copy and strategy work. Show them how your unique blend of creativity and analytics will boost their visibility and engagement, leading to a measurable uptick in sales and brand loyalty. Our marketing proposal template shows you exactly how it's done.

Marketing Proposal Template

Win clients with a clear and convincing Marketing Proposal – craft an engaging, goal-driven, and results-focused proposal in no time.

Marketing Proposal Template

7. SEO Proposal

Your SEO proposal acts as their map, guiding them through the winding terrain of search engine algorithms to the pinnacle of those Page 1 rankings. Start by laying out the stark reality of their current online presence and its untapped potential. Break down your strategy into tangible steps—keyword research, on-page optimization, content marketing. Use case studies to illustrate the climb from obscurity to prominence. Make it clear that investing in SEO is not a cost but a growth catalyst. How do you do it? Use our SEO proposal template. It's designed for engagement and interactive storytelling.

SEO Proposal Template

Gain clients with a captivating and persuasive SEO Proposal – design a strategic, data-driven, and results-focused proposal quickly.

SEO Proposal Template

8. Paid Search Proposal (PPC or Google Ads)

Think of this as plotting a direct route to sales growth. Your opening? It highlights the inefficiency of their current advertising efforts compared to the precision targeting Google Ads offers. Your PPC proposal should map out a campaign that targets their ideal customers with laser focus, promising better conversion rates at a lower cost. Include projections to illustrate the potential return on ad spend, turning skepticism into anticipation- as this Google Ads proposal template neatly demonstrates.

PPC Proposal Template

Craft a winning PPC strategy with the comprehensive PPC Proposal Template – efficiently develop targeted and result-oriented campaigns

PPC Proposal Template

9. Influencer Marketing Proposal

Begin your influencer marketing proposal by introducing yourself, your brand, and your audience. Then, demonstrate your understanding of the target brand's needs and how your content and audience can help service those needs. Drill down into the metrics that will define success for them here: people interacting with the content, website visitors, sales, new followers, etc. Showcase success stories as evidence that this approach isn't just trendy; it's transformative.

This influencer marketing proposal template helps you create a data-driven, results-orientated proposal in a fraction of the time.

Influencer Proposal Template

Showcase your expertise in influencer marketing with our dynamic Influencer Proposal Template. Designed for accuracy and impact, it enables you to create a data-driven, results-oriented proposal tailored to your potential partner's goals.

Influencer Proposal Template

10. Branding Proposal

You're the artist envisioning a brand's rebirth. Start your branding proposal with a critique of the current brand identity and its market perception. Propose a rebranding strategy that promises to not just change looks but revitalize the brand's story, making it resonate with today’s audience. Include mood boards, success stories, and market research to back your vision. Paint a picture of the future where their brand isn’t just seen but felt deeply by its audience. Our brand identity proposal template helps highlight the unique approach to identity, positioning, and messaging that you bring to the table.

Branding Proposal Template

Win clients with a compelling and persuasive brand strategy – craft a clear, consistent, and impactful brand proposal quickly.

Branding Proposal Template

11. Sponsorship Proposal

Position your sponsorship proposal as a win-win partnership that elevates both parties. Begin with an analysis of the potential partner’s audience and how it overlaps with your client’s target market. Propose a sponsorship deal that feels less like a transaction and more like a collaboration towards a shared goal. Highlight past sponsorship successes as proof of concept, ensuring the partner feels confident in the mutual benefits. Our sponsorship proposal template helps you create a detailed, goal-orientated and mutually beneficial pitch in minutes.

Grab our Sponsorship Proposal Template

sponsorship proposal template preview

12. Content Marketing Proposal

With your content marketing proposal , you're the storyteller proposing a saga that captures and holds the audience's attention. Start with the harsh reality of their current content's performance—or lack thereof. Lay out a content strategy that spans blog posts, videos, and social media, all designed to engage and convert. Use metrics from past campaigns to underscore the value of quality content, positioning it as the cornerstone of digital marketing success. Qwilr’s content marketing proposal template helps your team close impactful, high-value clients and expand your business.

Grab our Content Marketing Proposal Template

Drive content success with our Content Marketing Proposal Template – win high value clients by presenting a comprehensive content offering.

a content marketing proposal is prepared by your company name and date

13. Email Marketing Proposal

With your email marketing proposal , you’re connecting your knowledge of email marketing to the potential client's needs. Showcase your content plan, focussing on segmentation and personalization methods aimed at deepening relationships and driving sales. Present data from successful email campaigns to illustrate the potential for increased open rates and conversions. Our email marketing proposal template can be the shortcut to your success.

Email Marketing Proposal Template

Win clients with an engaging and convincing Email Marketing Proposal – craft a targeted, data-driven, and results-oriented proposal in no time.

Email Marketing Proposal Template

14. Website Design Proposal

Here, you're the digital renovator, promising a website that wows and works hard. With your website design proposal , it's no surprise that aesthetics are important. Use rich media, interactive elements, and high-quality images to heighten engagement. Show mockups or case studies to illustrate the transformative power of good design, framing the website not just as a cost but as an investment in the brand’s digital footprint. Our website proposal template will help you land clients while showcasing your expertise.

Grab our Website Design Proposal Template

proposal template

15. “Spin Selling” Proposal

Adopt the role of a sales strategist, advocating for a method that spins ordinary conversations into sales opportunities. Highlight the inefficiencies in their current sales approach with empathy. Introduce SPIN Selling as a proven methodology focussing on Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-payoff questions, promising to elevate your sales professionals to the trusted advisors the modern buyer prefers. Use success stories to cement the credibility of this approach and our SPIN selling template to help you do it all in a fraction of the time.

Grab our Spin Selling Proposal Template

spin selling proposal template preview

16 & 17. “MeddPicc” and “Meddicc” Proposals

For these, position yourself as a sales transformation guru. Each proposal should dissect the current sales process, revealing gaps and missed opportunities. Present MEDDPICC/MEDDIC as comprehensive frameworks that ensure thorough qualification and a deeper understanding of customer needs, leading to more predictable and successful sales outcomes. Bolster your case with testimonials and metrics from businesses that have seen significant improvements after adopting these methodologies. Our MeddPicc and Meddicc proposal templates can prove invaluable allies here.

Grab our MEDDPICC Proposal Template

sales meddic template preview

18. “Challenger Sales” Proposal

Here, you're advocating for a bold, assertive approach to sales that challenges prospects’ preconceptions. Begin by illustrating the limitations of their current sales strategy with real-world examples. Introduce the Challenger Sales model as the game-changer, emphasizing its focus on teaching, tailoring, and taking control of the sales conversation. Highlight the success stories of companies that have embraced this model, showcasing impressive results. Qwilr’s Challenger Sales Methodology template embraces this solution-focussed sales approach.

Grab our Challenger SaaS Proposal Template

challenger saas proposal template preview

19. “Mutual Action Plan” Proposal

Imagine guiding your client toward a collaborative sales strategy that maps out the path to a closed deal. Start with the pitfalls of traditional, one-sided sales plans. Present the Mutual Action Plan as a partnership between seller and buyer, creating a shared roadmap towards decision-making. Highlight its benefits—increased transparency, alignment, and a higher rate of successful closures—backed by case studies of successful implementations. Look how this Mutual Action Plan template fosters collaboration with its shared goals, milestones, and commitments.

Grab our Mutual Action Plan Template

proposal template

Start Using Qwilr to Create Your Business Proposal Template

With Qwilr, gone are the days of one-size-fits-all PDF templates that blend into the background noise of your prospect's inbox. Here’s how Qwilr’s proposal software turbo-charges your efficiency and creativity:

  • Tailor-Made Templates: Jumpstart your sales proposal process with business communications templates that are as flexible as they are beautiful. Customize to your heart's content, ensuring every proposal (and proposal template) reflects your unique brand and message. Our proposal samples showcase how you can create a robust and winning proposal efficiently each and every time.
  • Interactive Quotes: Transform bland, static quotes into interactive, engaging elements that allow your prospects to customize their options.
  • Seamless Integrations: Connect Qwilr with your CRM, accounting software, and more of your best sales tools to streamline your workflow. It’s like having a team of assistants at your beck and call, ensuring every part of the proposal process is in sync.
  • Real-Time Notifications: Receive alerts the moment your proposal is viewed. It's like having ESP, giving you a decent gauge on buyer intent , plus the perfect timing to follow up, answer questions, or just give a gentle nudge.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Learn what works and what doesn’t. Qwilr’s analytics give you a behind-the-scenes look at how your proposals perform, turning data into actionable insights.

The best proposal software should not just be a tool but a member of your team- one that works tirelessly to ensure your proposals stand out and deliver results. Qwilr isn't just a step toward more effective proposals; it's a leap into a future where your proposals do more than speak for you—they impress, they engage, and (most importantly) they close deals .

Final Thoughts

The path to creating proposals that not only capture attention but also win hearts (and deals) is intricate yet immensely rewarding. Explore Qwilr’s Proposal Software to create proposals that stand out and deliver real results. Let's make every proposal your stepping stone to success.

About the author

Marissa Taffer, Founder & President of M. Taffer Consulting

Marissa Taffer | Founder & President of M. Taffer Consulting

Marissa Taffer is the Founder & President of M. Taffer Consulting. She brings over 15 years of sales and marketing experience across various industries to a broad range of clients.

Frequently asked questions

How long should a business proposal be.

A proposal should be as long as necessary to convey your value proposition clearly and compellingly. That said, aim for brevity and relevance. If you can say it powerfully in five pages, don't stretch it to ten.

How can I make my proposal stand out?

In a world of black and white, be a burst of color. Use visuals, infographics, and even videos if your platform allows it. Tailor your proposal to speak directly to your prospect's needs and pain points. And don’t forget the power of a compelling story—people remember stories far longer than specs and numbers.

What's the biggest mistake to avoid in a business proposal?

Overlooking the 'why.' It's easy to get caught up in the what and the how (what you're offering and how you'll do it), but if you forget to explain why it matters to them, you've lost before you've begun. Always link your services or products back to their benefits.

Should pricing always be included in a proposal?

Yes, but with a twist. Pricing should be transparent but also flexible. Use interactive pricing tables that allow your prospects to adjust scope based on their budget.

How important are follow-ups after sending a proposal?

Imagine planting a seed and not watering it… Follow-ups with your prospective client are crucial. They show you're genuinely interested in their business and open the door for feedback or questions. Timing is key, though—wait a day or two, not an hour (and definitely not a week!)

SME definition

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent 99% of all businesses in the EU. The definition of an SME is important for access to finance and EU support programmes targeted specifically at these enterprises.

What is an SME?

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are defined in the EU recommendation 2003/361 .

The main factors determining whether an enterprise is an SME are

  • staff headcount
  • either turnover or balance sheet total



< 250

≤ € 50 m

≤ € 43 m


< 50

≤ € 10 m

≤ € 10 m


< 10

≤ € 2 m

≤ € 2 m

These ceilings apply to the figures for individual firms only. A firm that is part of a larger group may need to include staff headcount/turnover/balance sheet data from that group too.

Further details include

  • The revised user guide to the SME definition (2020) (2 MB, available in all EU languages)
  • Declaring your enterprise to be an SME (the form is available in all languages as an annex in the revised user guide)
  • The SME self-assessment tool which you can use to determine whether your organisation qualifies as a small and medium-sized enterprise

What help can SMEs get?

There are 2 broad types of potential benefit for an enterprise if it meets the criteria

  • eligibility for support under many EU business-support programmes targeted specifically at SMEs: research funding, competitiveness and innovation funding and similar national support programmes that could otherwise be banned as unfair government support ('state aid' – see block exemption regulation )
  • fewer requirements or reduced fees for EU administrative compliance

Monitoring of the implementation of the SME definition

The Commission monitors the implementation of the SME definition and reviews it in irregular intervals. Pursuant to the latest evaluation, the Commission concluded that there is no need for a revision.

On 25 October 2021, we informed stakeholders by holding a webinar with presentations on the SME evaluation's results and next steps.

Supporting documents

  • Study to map, measure and portray the EU mid-cap landscape (2022)
  • Staff working document on the evaluation of the SME definition  (2021)
  • Executive summary on the evaluation of the SME definition  (2021)
  • Q&A on the evaluation of the SME definition  (2021)
  • Final report on evaluation of the SME definition  (2018) (10 MB)
  • Final report on evaluation of the SME definition (2012)  (1.8 MB)
  • Executive summary on evaluation of the SME definition (2012)  (345 kB)
  • Implementing the SME definition (2009)  (50 kB)
  • Implementing the SME definition (2006)  (40 kB)

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  27. SME definition

    eligibility for support under many EU business-support programmes targeted specifically at SMEs: research funding, competitiveness and innovation funding and similar national support programmes that could otherwise be banned as unfair government support ('state aid' - see block exemption regulation)