instrutions:The full research proposal will contain the following sections in the following order:Section 1: Introduction
Introduce the reader to the research problem. Indicate clearly what the research problem is. Set the scene for the reader in a clear and concise way. Establish a clear research area, research questions and research hypotheses or themes/ aims from the start.
Section 2: Recipients for the Research
The primary recipient is your academic institution and your thesis supervisor. Additional recipients may include company or industry personnel. Clearly identifying key recipients for the research helps to emphasize the relevance of the research.
Section 3: Suitability of Researcher for the Research
This section indicates your suitability as the researcher associated with your chosen research topic and research approach. You should also discuss relevant aspects of you academic and work background as related to the topic.
Section 4: Literature Review/ Overview
Your proposal should reveal evidence that the relevant sources of secondary data have been consulted and a relevant level of background knowledge is held. This section will involve a discussion of the literature from primarily academic sources on the underlying theory and specific theory relating to your research area. The section will clearly indicate the gap in the literature that you will develop in your primary research. You do not give your own opinion. Emphasis is on academic literature. You use government reports, industry sources etc. to compliment your academic review only. Interpret the academic material rather than list numerous quotes. Do not overuse quotes.
Section 5: Research Methodology
This section should be clear and rational, demonstrating sound understanding of research design. A critical evaluation of process and selection of methodology with sound rationale and appropriate references are necessary. Your research question, research objectives and research hypotheses or research themes/ aims should be clearly presented. Use academic literature to support your methodology. There should also be a sub-section on Ethical Issues.
Section 6: Population and Sample
Describe and clearly outline the population relevant to your research. Outline your chosen method of and approach to sampling for your research. You should provide a comprehensive outline of your sampling frame, including an estimate of total sample size you are aiming to get. Limit your population to an industry or sector.
Section 7: Data Collection, Editing and Coding
A description of how the data editing, coding and analysis will be accomplished is required. Outline the method to be used for data collection, e.g. questionnaire, interview, focus group. Clearly outline the rationale for your data collection method, discuss the nature of the questions to be asked and the aim of the questions. A thorough understanding of the research data with a range of suggested statistical techniques / qualitative approaches needs to be demonstrated. May contain a draft of the chosen data collection method in the appendix, e.g. questionnaire, interview outline, etc. (if a draft questionnaire is to be included you should include material to illustrate how you worked through the questionnaire design process or provide reference source for a pre-existing questionnaire you are proposing to use).
Section 8: Time, Cost and Project Management
You should provide a rationale for the timetabling of the project/ thesis. The time scales should be realistic with target dates incorporated. A costing schedule for the research should be outlined. A detailed project management schedule should be developed and presented as an appendix to the proposal (Gantt Chart/ Research Log).
Section 9: New and Relevant Research
Indicate the need for your research and discuss how it has a fresh or new approach. Discuss how a major part, of all the research, is new. This must be a well thought out section with support from your literature review and business practice as applicable.
Section 10: Appendices
Draft data collection instrument (e.g. information requirements, interview outline, questionnaire, etc.); Detailed project management schedule (Gantt Chart/ Research Log); Outline contents of thesis literature review; References (This is a complete and correct list of all references appearing in the research proposal. Students must follow the Harvard referencing system. Do not take references sources that are unobtainable to others, e.g. you cannot use references from lecture notes or study guides or from in-house company documentation – these are not acceptable as academic references and if quoted will lose you marks).

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