Research proposal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A research proposal is a document proposing a research project, generally in the sciences or academia, and generally constitutes a request for sponsorship of that research.[1] Proposals are evaluated on the cost and potential impact of the proposed research, and on the soundness of the proposed plan for carrying it out.[2] Research proposals generally address several key points:[3]

  • What research question(s) will be addressed, and how they will be addressed
  • How much time and expense will be required for the research
  • What prior research has been done on the topic
  • How the results of the research will be evaluated
  • How the research will benefit the sponsoring organization and other parties


Research proposals may be solicited, meaning that they are submitted in response to a request with specified requirements, such as a request for proposal, or they may be unsolicited, meaning they are submitted without prior request. Other types of proposals include "preproposals", where a letter of intent or brief abstract is submitted for review prior to submission of a full proposal; continuation proposals, which re-iterate an original proposal and its funding requirements in order to ensure continued funding; and renewal proposals, which seek continued sponsorship of a project which would otherwise be terminated.[4]

Academic research proposals are generally written as part of the initial requirements of writing a thesis, research paper, or dissertation.[5] They generally follow the same format as a research paper, with an introduction, a literature review, a discussion of research methodology and goals, and a conclusion. This basic structure may vary between projects and between fields, each of which may have its own requirements.


  1. ^ "Research proposal". Archived from the original on 5 February 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  2. ^ Wong, Paul T. P. "How to Write a Research Proposal". International Network on Personal Meaning. Archived from the original on 4 January 2023. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  3. ^ Yousaf, Saeed T. P. "Keypoints of a Research Proposal". Archived from the original on 30 March 2023. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Writing a Research Proposal". University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Archived from the original on 22 June 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  5. ^ "How to Write Academic Research Proposal". A Jonson Hillviews Magazine Editor. Archived from the original on 20 December 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2018.