Research is an essential activity required for the advancement of science and improvement of human existence. To carry out a research, a proposal is mandatory. However, in spite of the widespread demand for research proposals, experience has shown that a number of them are so poorly written that they rejected by assessors. This article aims at assisting researchers develop acceptable research proposals by reviewing the different components of a research proposal.
A review of relevant literature on research proposal writing sourced from manual library and internet search was used for this review
A research proposal is a formal and detailed statement of intent to carry out a research. It presents and justifies a plan of action and shows how the investigator thinks. A research protocol on the other hand is a plan written to seek approval for research from a supervisor or an organization. It is developed as a guide for a study and helps to keep the researcher focused on the topic and scope of the research. A research proposal has the following components: The Title page; The Abstract/Executive Summary; The Introduction/Statement of the Problem; Literature Review; Information on the applicant's centre; The Objectives/Research Questions/Hypotheses; The Study Design; Methods; Plans for Analysis; Data Analysis; Plans for Data Interpretation; Plans to report. Thus, although proposals and protocols are sometimes used interchangeably, a proposal precedes a protocol.
To reduce the time wastage and frustration faced by intending researchers and their assessors it is essential that good proposals be written at all times.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.