Structure of an IR proposal

In general, the proposal structure is similar for all research. A research proposal is a document that describes:

  • the proposed research;
  • why it is being conducted;
  • the research design;
  • the expected impact.

A proposal is a requirement for most grant/funding applications, which are typically evaluated by a committee. To be effective, you need to know:

  • what you are doing;
  • why you are doing it;
  • when you plan to do it;
  • how you plan to do it.

If you have written research proposals before, or a thesis as part of your previous studies, you will remember that you were required to write a proposal and have it approved by a research/thesis committee (and probably your supervisor) prior to applying for ethical clearance (if using human subjects) and beginning your data collection.

Most grant applications require you to write a research proposal that will be evaluated by a committee to determine if the proposal is worthy of funding.

Writing a robust research proposal is probably one of the most challenging – and crucial – stages of research. You need to develop the research question(s), a rationale for why the study is necessary and important, and a conceptual framework. You need to conduct a review of existing literature. You need to design the research and specify what research methods you will be using to collect and analyse your data.5

Because it can take years for research findings, guidelines and best practices to be completely integrated into practice, researchers, decision-makers and practitioners constantly seek ways to improve related knowledge transfer. To address this challenge, IR originates with a problem identified and prioritized by end users. Encouraging end-user uptake of research results requires end-user engagement in all steps of the research process, including proposal development.6

To be effective, IR research findings need to be usable within the available health system framework and implemented appropriately so that end users are able to benefit. IR also aims to produce knowledge that can be applied across various settings and contexts (although they may also be intervention specific).

TDR Implementation research toolkit(Second edition)

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