A research proposal needs to be a convincing argument for the need for your research and its significance, so keep it coherent, clear and compelling. The goal of your research proposal is to convince others that you have a worthwhile research project and the ability to fully follow it through to completion within a timely manner.
A strong, clearly-written, well-reasoned proposal is more likely to be funded than one, which is complex, contorted and jargon-riddled. Make a case for how your proposal is ground breaking, unique, necessary, and timely or has greater scope for a good outcome. Show why you and your team are best placed to deliver.
Lastly, think about your proposal as a business case or product you need to present before a sponsor. You need to be able to sell your idea on paper within minutes.
Try this exercise to test your project’s feasibility:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- What do you want to do?
- Where do you want to do it?
- How do you plan to do it?
- When will you do it (timeline)?
- Why should someone give you money for it (care)?
Ensure your proposed research project is aligned with the purpose of the grant you are applying for. If it is not, seek out funding opportunities that are a better match.
You should provide enough information for the ALIA Research Advisory Committee to make an informative decision on your proposal and we would therefore suggest you address such things as:
- Details of the project you will undertake
- A suitably descriptive title
- What earlier work has been undertaken on a project like the one you propose; why is yours different?
- What you plan to accomplish - why it is important, ; what will the outcome be for whom?
- How are you going to execute it?
- When do you anticipate the project will start / end? Provide an estimated timeline including at least one status reporting date included.
*Checklist, things to do*
First things first, read the ALIA research awards terms and conditions before you begin writing your proposal. Follow the guidelines – respond to all questions and include details relating to:
- Outline of proposed research project including aims and objectives
- Concise and properly referenced literature review to show what work, if any, has already been carried out on your chosen research topic
- How you plan to evaluate the outcomes of your research
- How you plan to disseminate the results of your research (e.g., conference paper, journal article)
- Itemised budget (see below)
- Curriculum vitae
- References from two referees
- Other related information to assist in the evaluation of your application
- Ask someone (e.g. an experienced/acknowledged researcher) to critique your proposal and heed their advice
- Submit nomination by no later than advertised closing date
Tips on what to provide