Writing An Undergraduate Research Proposal

Your research proposal is an integral part of the Research Degree application process, and as such, it is worth investing time and energy to ensure that your proposal is strong, clear and effective.Your proposal needs to outline the nature of your proposed research project, identify your knowledge of existing literature and provide an indication of how you will conduct your research project.Starting early will also give you time to seek feedback, which is a necessary part of proposal writing.

Give the reader enough background information to understand the importance of the research or project without overwhelming them with technical details.

You can have a well-developed idea or solid research question, but if you fail to clearly articulate how you plan to execute your idea or answer your research question, the feasibility of your proposal will be questioned. If you intend to bring speakers to campus, indicate who you hope to bring and why you chose those individuals.

While there is no magic formula to follow for a successful proposal, following these general guidelines will help you develop a thorough, well-developed proposal.

The applications for OUR programs will ask you to answer specific questions relating to your project, including some combination of the following: A good proposal clearly outlines the project or research question and convinces others of its merits.

This session will provide answers to these questions: What is a research grant proposal? We will begin by discussing the strengths and weaknesses of sample proposals.

Then we’ll break up into guided groups so everyone can get some feedback on 2-3 of the most important aspects of their proposals.Plan ahead; a well-written proposal doesn’t emerge overnight.Perfunctory proposals rarely excite anyone, and if your proposal comes across as a last-minute endeavor it may signal a lack of sincere investment in your project.Research proposals are also used to correctly match you with an appropriate supervisor/supervision team.If you are interested in the work of a specific potential supervisor, and especially if you have already discussed your proposed project with this person, be sure to make reference to this in your proposal.If you are applying for OUR Programs you should also review the criteria specific to the program to which you are applying to ensure your proposal is appropriately tailored.Start by brainstorming answers to the following questions: Use your answers, in conjunction with the guidelines below, to develop the first draft of your proposal.Neglecting to answer or not focusing on the questions at hand will hurt your proposal.Word and character limits, as well as format requirements, are given for a reason. Though you may think it won’t matter if you are 10 words over the limit, or your font size is .5 smaller than instructed, it does matter.Not following the guidelines indicates to the reviewers that you are either unable to follow directions or that you did not read the directions carefully. At UConn, the review committees are composed of faculty and professional staff from across the University.They are not experts in every field of study and may not be familiar with the topic of study or type of project you are proposing.

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