If you plan to start a Ph.D. dissertation, your supervisor might ask you to write a research proposal for it. At the latest, as a PostDoc, you are usually dependent on funds from these applications to finance your research and advance your career.
So it’s an issue to be taken seriously. It’s just that it’s often difficult to come up with an interesting topic, and you find yourself stuck. This article is to help you to come up with creative ideas and choose the research proposal topic to propel your academic career.
What Is a Research Proposal?
A research proposal is a formally structured presentation of the idea of a study. In other words, it is a brief description of what the main question of this study is based on. Apart from that, it is a well-founded estimate of what financial resources are required to achieve the research goal within a given period of time – the term of the proposal.
Research proposals can be submitted by universities, individual departments, faculties, or individuals.
To summarize, a research proposal:
- Is a promotional document submitted by an applicant
- Is formulated in a generally comprehensible manner
- Is subject to the strict formal requirements of the respective funder
- Always contains the information on the current status of the research, an applicant’s own preliminary work, the objectives, and the work program, as well as the resulting request for funds.
- Promises to answer the main idea or the question of a study that necessarily results from the state of research and the applicant’s own preliminary work
How to Choose a Research Proposal Topic
Selecting the right topic isn’t easy. There’s lots of opportunity for fresh viewpoints that are worth discussing. Besides, you want to build your proposal so that it can be approved. In short, there are many factors you have to consider.
This is why it might be so difficult to choose a topic when the time comes without the help of a PhD dissertation writing service. The sheer volume of information might make your choice a daunting task. To make your job a little easier, here are some important tips on how to choose a topic for your research proposal.
Learn About the Latest Trends in Your Area of Study
Keeping up with the current advances in the world of science is critical. It doesn’t stay still. There is always something new to learn. Look for recent sources that can help you generate ideas.
Look for the Amount of Information Available
Some lines of research are more developed than others. Even if there is a topic that interests you a lot, it’s possible that you don’t have enough information to investigate with the media you have. Look for meta-analyses on the topic, quality exploration of that starting question, etc.
Select the Most Interesting Topics
Your research topic must speak to you on many levels. Choose the topics that motivate you the most.
Imagine Interactions Between Variables
Think of an original question that has not been directly addressed by other researchers. For example, you can see if a phenomenon studied by others holds true in a region of the planet that no one has focused on before.
Being detailed might help you express authenticity and make your idea look fascinating. Don’t generalize by discussing your area of research in its entirety. Find some niche studies and try to understand how to relate them to other elements of your ideas.
Review Your Own Previous Work
Ph.D. students who follow the same research direction throughout their academic career are always successful because their own studies become the basis for further work.
What Does a Good Research Proposal Topic Include?
A research proposal topic shouldn’t be too wordy. And yet there are important elements it must include. They are as follows:
- Research focus (reduction of financial/labor costs, process optimization, increase in efficiency, etc.)
- The object of study (a phenomenon, device, method, a particular area of knowledge)
- The subject of study (the main focus on the way of interaction, the chosen model, the methodology of work, the concept of building something, etc.)
Choosing the right research proposal topic doesn’t guarantee it will be approved. However, it’s an important stage that determines the further stages of work. Don’t spare energy and time to search for the best relevant topic and to phrase it properly.