Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Research Proposal

Research Proposal

As part of the probationary conditions for your Higher Degree by Research, candidates need to complete a research proposal.

In a general sense, a proposal is a plan for your research. The research proposal requests fundamental information relating to the title, various approvals gained for ethics, radiation safety, and questions about intellectual property and commercial in confidence. For the specific description of the proposed research each Faculty has its own requirements relating to the type and amount of information which needs to be presented. The proposal will provide a justification for the proposed research. The justification should demonstrate that you are familiar with the key literature in the area and can critically evaluate it and use it to build an argument to justify the research question. In addition, the proposal should demonstrate that you have the methodological knowledge and skills to carry out the research.

A research proposal may contain the following headings:


A brief summary of the research to be undertaken written in non-technical language such that a non-specialist in the discipline will know what the proposal involves.

Synopsis of Literature

An introduction/synthesis of the key ideas and references that lead to the statement of the research question and objectives.

Research Questions/Objectives

State briefly and clearly the research question being asked and the objectives of the research.


A description of how the research will be undertaken.

Data Collection and Analysis

Describe the type of data your research will produce and how you plan to analyse it.


Provide an outline of the major activities and a timetable for their completion