How To Write An Undergraduate Research Proposal

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Eos spotlights the novel approach of undergrad Mackenzie Kohler and her mentor Adrian Harpold in their study of mountain snowmelt and precipitation effects on runoff.

At this stage, you need only give some thought to a brief title that communicates an overview of the project you have in mind. The problem should be focused enough that it is able to be researched in a single Ph D study. Remember that you will be working largely on your own with limited financial resources. In addition, try and define the major concepts embodied in your project. You may also need to consider whether your plan is feasible. For example, it might include the following: Think about how you will collect data to answer your research question?

Not following the guidelines indicates to the reviewers that you are either unable to follow directions or that you did not read the directions carefully. At UConn, the review committees are composed of faculty and professional staff from across the University.

They are not experts in every field of study and may not be familiar with the topic of study or type of project you are proposing.

If you are applying for OUR Programs you should also review the criteria specific to the program to which you are applying to ensure your proposal is appropriately tailored.

Start by brainstorming answers to the following questions: Use your answers, in conjunction with the guidelines below, to develop the first draft of your proposal. It would be helpful if this section can mention previous research and other academic literature related to the topic area.At this stage you should be able to identify a relevant sample and to appreciate any problems of sample size or accessibility your research might generate.Starting early will also give you time to seek feedback, which is a necessary part of proposal writing.Ask for a critique from faculty mentors, advisors, and writing tutors to assure your intended message is clear and that your proposal addresses the key points.Where possible, think about the ways in which you would analyse the data that you produce.We would expect you to have done some initial reading around your topic area.Each application is a different, and you need to carefully read and understand all the questions being asked to assure your proposal addresses them.Stay focused on your topic and make sure to fully answer the questions that are asked.Neglecting to answer or not focusing on the questions at hand will hurt your proposal.Word and character limits, as well as format requirements, are given for a reason. Though you may think it won’t matter if you are 10 words over the limit, or your font size is .5 smaller than instructed, it does matter.


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