How to Write a Winning Research Proposal

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How to Write a Winning Research Proposal. Prof. Dr. Benyamin Kusumoputro Computational Intelligence Research Lab. Faculty of Computer Science University of Indonesia. Research Problem. Problem Solver. Research Design. Principal Components of Research Proposals.
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How to Write a Winning Research ProposalProf. Dr. Benyamin KusumoputroComputational Intelligence Research Lab.Faculty of Computer ScienceUniversity of IndonesiaResearch ProblemProblem SolverResearch DesignPrincipal Components of Research ProposalsProperly fit with sponsorship view points
  • Represented by examiners (refer the winning proposals)
  • Weaknesses in Research Proposals
  • Research Problem
  • Unfocused Research Theme (difficult to evaluate)
  • Problem Statement too complex
  • Unimportant Methods (see reference)
  • Limited relevance, benefits
  • Not properly fit with sponsorship
  • Represented by examiners (refer the winning proposals)
  • Weaknesses in Research Proposals
  • Research Design
  • Unfocused Research Design (difficult to evaluate)
  • Inappropriate design, produce impossible data
  • Inappropriate procedures for problem
  • Lacking controls
  • Not properly fit with sponsorship
  • Represented by examiners (refer the winning proposals
  • Proposal Characteristics
  • Straightforward document
  • No extraneous or irreverent material
  • The first words are the most important
  • Not a literary production
  • Clear, sharp and precise
  • economy of words; no rambling sentences
  • Clearly organized
  • Structurally outline your thinking (heading etc)
  • Components of the Research ProposalSecond Part
  • Deliverables
  • Schedule
  • Facilities and Special Resources
  • References
  • Budget Appendix
  • First Part
  • Research Problem Description
  • Research Objectives
  • Literature Review
  • Importance/Benefits of the Study
  • Research Design
  • 1. Problem Statement
  • What is the ‘Current Status of Problem’
  • Current Problem, Current Methods, Current Analysis,
  • Scope of your focus on ‘Current Status of Problem’ (nationally, internationally)
  • Why change the ‘current status’ and how
  • What the dilemma behind (current methods, analysis)
  • Why we like to change (current methods, analysis)
  • How we change the ‘Current Status’
  • Brief explanation, explain thoroughly in methods
  • Tricks on Writing Problem Statement
  • Reread and adjust your proposal to the ‘need of the problem’ of the sponsor
  • Convince the ‘sponsor’ to continue reading your proposal
  • Your method ‘self explanatory’ about ‘your ability’ to solve the problem
  • Purpose of the Problem Statement
  • Clearly write your own ‘angle’ on the problem
  • Clearly state the reason behind your proposal
  • Specifies the condition(s) you want to change
  • Supported by evidence (prior research by you)
  • Show your prior research on the topic (results, publish paper)
  • Even if the problem is obvious, your reviewers want to know how clearly you can state it
  • 2. Research Objectives
  • How you like to change ‘current status’
  • state your hypotheses clearly
  • give the reviewer a concrete, achievable goal
  • Verify the consistency of the proposal
  • checking to see that each objective is discussed in the research design, data analysis and results sections
  • Tricks on Research Objectives
  • Flows naturally from Problem Statement to Research Objectives
  • Focus, concise and logically explained
  • Consistent with your ability in the real problem (track record, publish paper etc)
  • Take a look at the winning proposal for each sponsorship… reflecting their ‘way of thinking’
  • Scope of the Sponsor about those ideas (your idea and ability must be properly match)
  • Purpose of the Research Objectives Section
  • Specify the outcome of your project, the end product(s)
  • Keep you objectives
  • Specific: indicate precisely what you intend to change through your project
  • Measurable –what you accept as proof of project success
  • Logical – how each objective contributes to systematically to achieving your overall goal
  • Writing Tips for Objectives Section
  • Don’t confuse your objectives (ends) with you methods (means).
  • A good objective emphasizes what will be done, whereas a method will explain why or how it will be done.
  • Include goals (ultimate) and objectives (immediate)
  • 3. Literature Review
  • Recent or historically significant research studies
  • Always refer to the original source
  • Discuss how the literature applies, show the weaknesses in the design, discuss how you would avoid similar problems
  • Where is your position on this issue
  • How is your idea different/better?
  • Write down what you already gain in the first session of this workshop4. Importance/Benefits of the Study
  • Importance of the doing the study
  • Time and Place, Facilities
  • What are the potential impact on
  • Research community
  • Applications community
  • If you find this difficult to write, then most likely you have not understood the problem
  • 5. Research Design
  • What you are going to do in technical terms.
  • May contain many subsections
  • Be specific about what research methodology you will use and why
  • Provide details of your proposed solutions to the problem and sub-problems
  • Provide information for tasks such as sample selection, data collection, instrumentation, validation, procedures etc
  • Purpose of the Research Design
  • Describes your project activities in detail
  • Indicates how your objective will be accomplished
  • Description should include the sequence, flow, and interrelationship of activities
  • It should discuss the risks of your method, and indicate why your success is probable
  • Relate what is unique about your approach.
  • Writing Tips for Research Design
  • Begin with your objectives
  • Describe the precise steps you will follow to carry out each objective, including what will be done, and who will do it.
  • Keep asking and answering the “What’s next?” question.
  • Once you have determined the sequence of events, derive into a time-and-task chart
  • 5. References
  • Up-to-date
  • Highly relevant with the problem
  • Original source
  • First Order : Journal Publications and Books
  • Second Order : Proceeding Publications
  • Third Order : Technical Report
  • Don’t include private communications
  • Don’t cite support for common knowledge (weakening yourself)
  • Reference and Citation
  • Carefully relate your new work to existing work, show how your work builds on previous knowledge, and how it differs from other relevant results.
  • References – demonstrate the claims of new, knowledge of the research area, pointers to background reading
  • 6. Schedule
  • Include the major phases of the project
  • exploratory studies, data analysis, report generation
  • 7. Deliverables
  • Measurement instruments
  • Algorithms
  • Computer programs / prototypes
  • Comparative evaluation
  • Other technical reports
  • 8. Budget and Resources
  • Access to special systems or computers
  • specialized computer algorithms
  • Itemized Budget
  • Budget Narrative
  • This part is usually an appendix.
  • Suggested Organization
  • Title, Abstract, Keywords
  • Introduction and Overview
  • Background information; problem statement
  • Hypotheses and objectives
  • Assumptions and delimitations
  • Importance and benefits
  • Related Work/Literature Review
  • Research Design and Methodology
  • Plan of Work and Outcomes
  • Conclusions and Future Work
  • References
  • Budget (appendix)
  • Strengthening Your Proposal
  • Review checklist for features of proposal
  • Peer Review before submit
  • Guide to Writing the Research Proposal5 Key Questions to Answer in Your Problem Statement
  • Does your problem statement:
  • Demonstrate a precise understanding of the problem you are attempting to solve?
  • Clearly convey the focus of your project early in the narrative?
  • Indicate the relationship of your project to a larger set of problems and justify why your particular focus has been chosen?
  • Demonstrate that your problem is feasible to solve?
  • Make others what to read it further?
  • 5 Key Questions to Answer for Purpose and Objectives
  • Does this section
  • Clearly describe your project’s objective, hypotheses and/or research question?
  • Bury them in a morass of narrative?
  • Demonstrate that your objectives are important, significant and timely?
  • Include objectives that comprehensively describe the intended outcomes of the project?
  • State objectives, hypothesis or questions in a way they can be evaluated or tested later
  • Key Questions to Answer for Research Design/Data Analysis
  • Does the research design and data analysis section
  • Describe why analysis is needed in the project?
  • Clearly identify the purpose of your analysis?
  • Demonstrate that an appropriate analysis procedure is included for each project objective
  • Provide a general organizational plan or model?
  • Demonstrate what information will be needed to complete the analysis, the potential sources and the instruments that will be used to collect it.
  • Additional ConsiderationsScientific Writing
  • Prosaic
  • Clear, accurate, but not dull
  • To the point –but not over condensing
  • Ego less – you are writing for the readers not yourself
  • Scientific Tone
  • Objective and accurate
  • To inform not entertain
  • Do not over qualify – modify every claim with caveats and cautions
  • Use examples if they aid in clarification
  • Use to contrast a new idea with some impossibly bad alternative, to put the new idea in a favorable light
  • Scientific Motivation
  • Brief summaries at the beginning and end of each section
  • The connection between one paragraph and the next should be obvious
  • Make sure your reader has sufficient knowledge to understand what follows
  • Citation Style
  • References should not be anonymous
  • Other work [6] -> Marsden [6] has …
  • In self-references, readers should know that you are using yourself to support your argument not independent authorities
  • Avoid unnecessary discussion of references, Several authors …., we cite …
  • Citation style
  • Ordinal-number style, name-and-date style, superscripted ordinal numbers, and strings.
  • Use anyone, but use one!
  • Entries ordered
  • By appearance of citation
  • alphabetically
  • Acknowledgements
  • Anyone who made a contribution
  • Advice, proofreading, technical support, funding resources
  • Don’t list your family, unless they really contributed to the scientific contents
  • Ethics
  • Don’t
  • Present opinions as fact
  • Distort truths
  • Plagiarize
  • Imply that previously published results are original
  • Papers available on the internet – authors put out an informal publication and becomes accepted as a formal. It is expected that the informal version will be removed
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