How To Write An Undergraduate Research Proposal

Eos spotlights the novel approach of undergrad Mackenzie Kohler and her mentor Adrian Harpold in their study of mountain snowmelt and precipitation effects on runoff. At this stage, you need only give some thought to a brief title that communicates an overview of the project you have in mind. The problem should be focused enough that it is able to be researched in a single Ph D study. Remember that you will be working largely on your own with limited financial resources. In addition, try and define the major concepts embodied in your project. You may also need to consider whether your plan is feasible. For example, it might include the following: Think about how you will collect data to answer your research question?

Take feedback into consideration, but make sure that you don’t lose your voice in the process. Read your proposal aloud; this will help you catch spelling, grammatical, and word use errors.

Your proposal needs to be genuine and sincere, accurately representing your interests, goals, and intentions, and not those of well-meaning reviewers. Spelling errors, grammatical errors, and poor word choice are the quickest ways to undermine the effectiveness of your proposal.

Where possible, try and identify one or two research questions. Describe how you think you could investigate your topic. In this section you should pay particular attention to formulating a plan of action that you can pursue, bearing in mind the time available and costs involved.

Why do you think this issue needs to be investigated? Will your approach be qualitative, quantitative or mixed? You are not expected to be too prescriptive here as you would receive guidance from a supervisor once you embarked on the study.

If you propose to travel to archives to conduct research, describe why you chose those archives and what special collections you plan to access at the archives.

If you intend to conduct focus groups, indicate why you chose to do focus groups and how you plan to recruit participants.Starting early will also give you time to seek feedback, which is a necessary part of proposal writing.Ask for a critique from faculty mentors, advisors, and writing tutors to assure your intended message is clear and that your proposal addresses the key points.Here you should list those sources to which you have referred and that have informed your thinking.In addition, list sources that you feel would be key texts in embarking on the study.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.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.Where possible, think about the ways in which you would analyse the data that you produce.We would expect you to have done some initial reading around your topic area.


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