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An Introduction to Clinical Research$
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Piers Page, James Carr, William Eardley, David Chadwick, and Keith Porter

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570072

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199570072.001.0001

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Writing your research proposal

Writing your research proposal

Chapter:
(p.87) Chapter 4 Writing your research proposal
Source:
An Introduction to Clinical Research
Author(s):

William Eardley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199570072.003.0009

In many ways it’s a reflection of yourself as a researcher and an insight into your proposed work. A poorly written proposal has the ability to wreck a project and embarrass the researcher before it has even begun. Similarly, a well-constructed proposal bodes well for the success of the project and displays the researcher in a good light amongst their peers and supervisors. The research proposal identifies: • What the topic is, both in terms of background and the individual area of interest. • What you plan to accomplish and why it needs doing. • What in particular you are trying to find out, i.e. the research question. • How you will get the answer to your question, i.e. your methodology. • What others will learn from it and why it is worth learning. • How long it will take. • How much money it will cost. Through your research proposal you are attempting to convince potential supporters that your project is worth doing, you are scientifically competent to run it, and are in possession of the necessary management skills to ensure its completion. The proposal concisely describes the key elements of the study process, although in sufficient depth to permit evaluation. It is a stand-alone document that must contain evidence of an answerable question, demonstrate your grasp of the literature, and also clearly show that your methodology is sound. A research time-table is required to demonstrate a realistic appreciation of how the study will progress through time. The research proposal serves many purposes to many different parties. Amongst these purposes, some of the key ones are: • Acting as a route map and timetable for all involved in your project. • Giving a clear overview of your planned work to ensure favourable decision at ethical review. • Gaining funding to carry out your proposed study. • Securing a place to undertake a higher scientific degree. • Being an opportunity to ‘blow your own trumpet’ on paper. Although there are several bodies who will be obliged to see your proposal, there is a reasonable chance it will end up being wider read than this, so a coherent piece of work will reflect well on you.

Keywords:   intellectual property, peer review, research proposal, sponsorship issues

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