How To Write An Undergraduate Research 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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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.

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 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.The proposal should demonstrate why the project is worthy of support, and why the topic is of interest to you, the applicant.Avoid simply writing a summary of what you’ve done (unless specifically asked to do so); rather, focus on your project or research, and what you’re hoping to accomplish.The advice given in this section is geared towards the proposals you will be required to submit when applying for OUR programs and funding opportunities.Though much of this information will be useful when writing proposals or personal statements for non-OUR applications, we recommend you refer to the guidelines in the application you are working on and the advice provided by the UConn Writing Center to guide the development of your proposal.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.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.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.


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