Learning from a Doctoral Research Project: Structure and Content of a Research Proposal


  • Javed Iqbal


research proposal, social sciences, postgraduate study, case study


Students have to present a formal research proposal at the time of admission or at the end of their first year study in the case of a doctorate. Many of them feel uncomfortable in preparing such proposals due to lack of experience or knowledge. This paper describes the way a research proposal may be prepared for doctoral projects in social sciences. The paper provides a road map to write a suitable proposal acceptable to their supervisors or examination committee. The proposal is based on a case study undertaken by the author and addresses key issues in preparing a postgraduate proposal including researcher's professional background, selection of topic, research question, research objectives, and importance of the study, scope, methodology, conceptual framework and potential outcome. These themes have been grouped under four parts: the context, the content, the process and the product.



1 Jul 2007