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Confirmation of candidature

Prior to beginning data collection you will need to have your candidature confirmed. This involves preparing your research proposal and a subsequent seminar where you will explain your proposed research and obtain feedback.

Research proposal and thesis writing

A research proposal should state the research questions and explain how you will answer them.

You should prepare the research proposal after:

  • finalising the research questions;
  • conducting a literature review; and
  • selecting an appropriate research design.

The research proposal is a blueprint for the development of your research project. A well-prepared proposal places boundaries on the study, enables your supervisor to guide and assist you and helps with focusing on addressing the research questions.

In addition, sections of a research proposal can be incorporated into the final thesis/project.

Research proposals should:

  • ensure that the problem has been adequately defined;
  • ensure that the research questions or hypotheses are defined and able to be answered;
  • justify the significance of the research and the original contribution that is expected to be made by the research.
  • access and summarising literature relevant both to the research questions and methodologies;
  • detail data collection methodologies most appropriate to answer the research questions;
  • consider of issues of reliability and validity in the collection and analysis of data; and
  • explain approaches to the analysis of the collected data.

Your supervisor can advise on the required word length of your research proposal. It should be written in sufficient detail to ensure that others can fully understand the proposed research study.

The Research proposal seminar

Prior to commencing research you are expected to give a proposal seminar to explain your proposed research and receive feedback. The reviewers will provide you with a formal report and recommendation on your proposal.

For more information on the requirements of a seminar, please contact your School Honours Coordinator.

Research proposal review process

The research proposal review process is undertaken at school level. Each school has a different review process, and it is your responsibility to understand how it operates in your school. Contact your Honours Coordinator or your supervisor for more information. 

The school usually nominates at least two qualified reviewers, who are sent your research proposal prior to your seminar. The reviewers are required to give feedback, either in posing questions or making comments on sections. The review process usually takes around two weeks. 

On completion of the review process, you, in consultation with your supervisor, need to consider these comments/questions and revise your research proposal accordingly. Please ensure that your supervisor reviews your final revised research proposal before you apply for ethics clearance.

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