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Applying for a Research Degree

The purpose of the research proposal is to guide the Schools in determining whether:

  • the proposed project aligns to the research areas of the School;
  • the project can be matched with expertise within the School;
  • the project is an appropriate scope and level for the degree being applied for, and is likely to contribute to new knowledge and have impact; and
  • the resources, infrastructure, and support required to complete the project are available.

You may consult with a member of academic staff on developing the proposal, however the proposal must be written and referenced by you.

A proposal should be a maximum of two pages in length. There is no set template for writing a proposal, but it should include, as a guide:

  1. Project Title
  2. Project Summary and alignment to the research areas of the School
    1. What is it you intend to investigate?
    2. Describe how the proposed research project links to research in the School. <insert link to each School’s research activity pages>
  3. Project Aims, Significance and Impact
    1. Provide context/background to the project via a short review of existing literature.
    2. Outline the research problem/research questions/hypotheses.
    3. What do you think will be the main contribution to new knowledge?
    4. Why is this important? Are there possible societal, economic or other beneficiaries to the proposed research?
  4. Broad/brief outline of methodology
    1. General research approach (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, creative practice)
    2. Data collection and analysis
    3. Theoretical frameworks (if applicable)
  5. Other factors for consideration (if applicable)
    1. Special resources (e.g. specialist software, equipment)
    2. Ethical considerations
    3. Field work

Further information about ECU's Research Institutions, Centres and Supervisors can be found in the school brochures under the "Downloads" menu.

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