You should also talk to your supervisor as you develop the proposal – don't just present him or her with a finished document.
Sharp (2003) see the research proposal as a document which finally establishes both the need for the study and confirms that the student has or can acquire the skills or other resources required, while Punch (2000) sees it as an opportunity for the student to present ideas and share in the decision-making process.
Depending on the stage when the proposal is written it can be either a discussion document, intended to act as matchmaker between students' interests and the research facilities of the university, or a contract between the university and the student as to the scope and nature of the research to be undertaken.
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It thus gives the researcher the assurance that they are not doing a piece of research in isolation: the document outlining their research has been seen and approved by others.
Likewise, it makes sure that the university is aware of the research being carried out in its name.
A key part of your application is your research proposal.
Whether you are applying for a self-funded or studentship you should follow the guidance below.
Paul Oliver (2004) has defined a research proposal as a synopsis of proposed research which has to be submitted for approval before data collection can be started, that should set out clearly the research intended and the methods to be used.
Walliman (2001) considers it as an explanation of the nature of research, why it is needed, the likely outcomes and the resources needed.