As part of the online application, all potential Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates must submit a research proposal. It is highly recommended that you discuss your research proposal with your potential principal supervisor before completing your application.
The research proposal should be approximately 5 pages or 2000 words, accompanied by a covering letter and a reference list. It should include:
Title of your proposed project: This should be a clear description of your proposed research project.
Introduction: This section should provide a brief summary of the proposed project, explaining the background and context of the proposed research work and indicating why this topic is an important area for research – that is, the significance of the project. It may include a list of your proposed research questions.
Literature review: This section should give an overview of the current and/or relevant research on your topic area. It should identify a gap in the research. This is important because it shows why your topic is of interest and provides a rationale for why this topic should be researched further.
Research design/methodology: This section should describe the type of study you propose to do as well as how you will go about doing it. This may include:
- research methodology
- any broad theoretical framework you may be using (if known at this stage)
- if data is to be collected, a description of your participants/subjects, your data collection procedure and method of data analysis, and any potential ethical considerations
- the limitations of your project.
Research plan and timeframe: This section should summarise the steps and approximate timing using six-monthly intervals over the number of years of candidature for your degree.
Expected outcomes: In this section you should spell out the specific aims/objectives for your research, explaining what you hope to achieve - that is, what contribution your project will make to the your chosen field in higher education studies.
References: This section is a list of all the references that have been referred to in the proposal. This is not included in your page or word count. The Author-date (Harvard) is the recommended style (although not mandatory).