Writing a Research Proposal
Guidelines for students studying in Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and Neuroscience.
These guidelines are intended to help students write the research proposal for their first TAC Meeting. These guidelines do not apply for the progress report and research proposal for the transfer from MSc to PhD program.
- The supervisor must help the student by revising the research proposal and by suggesting changes if necessary.
- The research proposal should be typed and double-spaced.
- The research proposal must be submitted a minimum of 1 week prior to the TAC Meeting.
Part 1: Introduction
The Introduction must include a review of the pertinent literature and a critical evaluation of previous studies.
The last part of your Introduction must clearly lead to the problems or questions you intend to study. The Introduction is expected to be between 4-5 pages.
Part 2: Objectives and Hypothesis
Each objective and hypothesis must be clear, concise and short; i.e., no more than 2 lines.
Part 3: Research Plan
Describe the experimental approach you intend to use to test your hypotheses.
Describe in general the experimental conditions (e.g. drugs to be used, time of exposure, specific conditions that animals are exposed to) and techniques to be used (e.g. RT-PCR for measurement of mRNA, Western blot to quantify proteins, measurement of membrane potential using patch clamp technique, etc.)
Do not include details like how RT-PCR and Western-blot are done, or the description of saline solutions that will be used to measure membrane potential.
The Research plan is expected to be between 4-5 pages.
Part 4: Results
If preliminary data are available, then present them as it is done in a manuscript to be submitted. That is, describe briefly and concisely your data in a "Results" section.
Figures and tables must be added at the end of the proposal. Each table and figure must have a legend. The legend must briefly describe the methods used.
Do not describe the results because it will be redundant to your Results section. If preliminary data are not available, then briefly describe the results that are expected
Part 5: Conclusion
The conclusion should be a short paragraph that summarizes the objectives and significance of the research in terms of new knowledge to the field.