Elements of Your Research Proposal

1) Title Page:

  • Title of study
  • Name and affiliation of faculty mentor
  • Student name
  • Class year
  • Date

2) Abstract:

  • Should be a summary of what you are going to do, why, and what its value is. Only 1-2 paragraphs long. Will include details of the methods, expected outcomes and potential value of the research.
  • Written last

3) Research Question:

  • The specificquestion that you aim to investigate in your research:
    • o What is the problem or patient group you are interested in? (P)
    • o What is the intervention that will be tested? (I)
    • o What is the usual treatment or factor you wish to compare with? (C)
    • o What is the desired outcome? (O)

4) Hypothesis and/or specific aims:

  • Pose the null hypothesis that will be statistically tested
  • Qualitative or exploratory research may not use a hypothesis, but the research question can be broken into several parts and made explicit as aims.

5) Background and significance:

  • This section should be a summary of what research has been done so far relevant to the proposal, what gaps are present in the current knowledge, and how your research will add to the body of knowledge.
  • Recommended length: 1-2 pages

6) Research Design and Methods:

  • Should include:
    • o An overview of the experimental design
    • o A description of specific methods used
    • o A detailed discussion of how the results will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted
    • o A timetable or work plan
  • Recommended length: 2-3 pages

7) References:

  • List all literature used in writing your proposal

8) Appendices:

  • If you will be using any surveys or questionnaires in your research, attach copies in the appendix.