How to prepare a research proposal?

Dr. T P Sethumadhavan

Research funding depends on a concrete research proposal

Success of a researcher depends on a structured research proposal. Universities within the country and abroad select students based on research aptitude, wherein research proposal play a key role. Students aspiring for doctoral and post doctoral programme need to prepare a concrete proposal. cross the World. One of the criteria for selection is based on practicability of the research which must reflect in the proposal. Researcher's interest, aptitude, goal, attitude, potentials including the probable outcome must reflect in the proposal. Abroad Universities assess the student's research aptitude based on this information.
How to prepare a research proposal?
While preparing the research proposal try to study the subject in detail including the current research outputs. It's strength, weakness, opportunities and challenges need to be well defined. Along with the research proposal, Biodata of the student should be attached. It should not be more than two A4 pages.
Research proposal must include domains like introduction, statement of purpose, back ground, project design which includes objectives, methodology, research team and administration, review of literature, scope and limitations, evaluation, organisational information and conclusion. It must be realistic while planning the research programme. It shall be explicit about the hypothesis and assumptions on which project rests. There should be clarity about the research focus, synergy between research methods and envisaged objectives including fixed time line and expected outcomes.
An ideal research proposal is usually around 3000 words length. Based on the funding agency there may be slight difference or it may require additional information. Eligibility of the researcher must be reflected in his biodata.
Focus on recent issues like Corona outbreak
Recently international funding agencies are focusing more on preparing biologicals and chemotherapy against Covid 19 viral infection. More than 40 research institutions and Universities are working on this plat form. Moreover several Biotech forms based at China, USA ,Israel and UK are also involved in this project. Imperial University, UK, Alabama University, University of Stanford, USA, National University of Singapore, National institute of Health, Maryland, National Institute of immunology, Pune, etc are some of the research institutions actively involved in this project along with World health organisation. They are involved in inactivated and attenuated vaccine trials against Covid-19 virus. Coalition for Epidemic preparedness innovation (CEPI) is involved in funding for research on Vaccines and medicines against contagious diseases globally.Moreover WHO is involved in several UN funded projects. India is one of the member countries under CEPI. CEPI sanctioned 23.7 million dollars for vaccine research. Research institutions are working with several platforms like DNA, RNA, Viral vector sub unit and protein technology. Recent vaccine initiatives include mRNA 1273 and Sinovac vaccine research by China and United States respectively.
Biotech and biosciences post graduates and doctoral researchers can apply for research fellowship under the emerging Corona projects. While preparing the research proposal they can incorporate the recent pandemic outbreak in the introductory part. Increasing morbidity will be an appropriate topic while defining the statement of problem. This can be addressed only through vaccines or appropriate medicines.
Students aspiring for research can identify appropriate areas for research based on funding opportunities. But quality of your research proposal and biodata will facilitate the selection process easy.

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