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As you progress in your research career, it will become more and more important to be able to write about your research, especially when it comes to seeking financial support for your research. There are many funding opportunities available, both at Ohio State and elsewhere, and most of them require a research proposal.

Even for experienced researchers, these proposals can be confusing. Once you understand the purpose and format, however, the proposal is much easier to write. In essence, the proposal is a formal, detailed description of the research you intend to conduct, with a number of standard components. Although standards vary across disciplines, all research proposals include certain basic information:

  • Title

  • Introduction

  • Background

  • Preliminary Studies

  • Research Methodology

  • Significance of the Proposed Project

Depending on your field of study and the requirements of the funding organization, the research proposal might also need to include other sections, such as an abstract, budget, and/or appendix.

For more information on all of these proposal components, explore the following links:

  • WebGURU: Research Proposals - This webpage, like the rest of the WebGURU site, is focused on the lab sciences. One of the most important sections if the "Typical Proposal Format."

  • Suad Joseph, professor at UC-Davis, maintains a website on Social & Behavioral Sciences and Humanities research proposals. Two of the most helpful sections are, "Components of a Research Proposal" and "Tips for Proposal Writing."