Assessment Item 2: RESEARCH PROPOSAL (50% of unit assessment)
Unit Learning Outcomes Addressed
1. Critically discuss and apply research principles and methods applicable to professional practice.
2. Retrieve, critically appraise and synthesize information at an advanced level from sources relevant to discipline specific problems or issues.
3. Critically discuss the significance of both undertaking original research and evaluating and using existing research to inform and improve practice in professional settings.
4. Demonstrate advanced written and oral communication skills to justify and support proposed research.
5. Critically discuss the risks associated with, and the ethical implications of, researching in professional settings.
Assessment Item 2 due: Week 11 Friday 15th May 2015 by 11:59pm
You will develop a written proposal for an evidence based research project that will address a specific professional and/or theoretical problem or issue that you have identified in Assessment 1. The proposal will include defining your topic and its relevance, reviewing a selection of relevant literature and outlining your research methodology, and a timeline for implementing your project.
What you will do
The research proposal is “a written account of the plan for the research project that presents:
• the arguments as to why a particular problem should be investigated
• what the appropriate research design is to investigate it, taking into account the relationships between different parts of the proposal such as the aims and method;
• what the researcher intends to do – how, why, where, when.”
(Richardson‐Tench et al. 2011: 67)
The requirements of the research proposal are as follows. Further details of the Assessment requirements will be provided in class.
• Length – 15 to 19 pages including all figures and tables (excluding cover page, contents page, references and any appendices).
• Be professional looking (portrait format only) and logically structured (see below for guidelines on recommended sections in the proposal).
• A brief autobiographical note should be provided below the title including:
o Your full name
o Student number
• A signed statement of original authorship should be made along the following lines and must appear immediately after the front page:
“The work contained in this project report has not been previously submitted for a degree or diploma at any other tertiary educational institution. To the best of my knowledge and belief, the project report contains no material previously published or written by another person except where due reference is made.”
• Use only font type ‘Time News Roman’ or ‘Arial’ (font size 12pt) throughout the body of the assignment.
• Single line spacing throughout.
• All Figures (charts, diagrams, line drawings) and photographic images should be in original format and be high quality, legible and numbered consecutively with Roman numerals. All tables must be typed i.e. not graphic elements.
• All work must be cited and referenced using QUT Cite APA style and carefully checked for completeness, accuracy and consistency.
• See QUT CiteWrite for detailed information and examples.
Depending on the nature of the research, the project proposal should contain:
• Title (Describe your title succinctly – 8 to 10 words) – updated from your evidence summary, if required;
• Summary (A clear, concise, technical summary of the aim, significance and impact of this project ‐ maximum 10 lines) – updated from your evidence summary, if required;
• Introduction (Approx. 1 page) (Provide the context/ background to the project topic proposed and how it sits in your organisation / industry / context)
• Literature Review (Approx. 8 to 10 pages) (What is currently known in the academic and industry-based literature about the proposed research idea/ problem/ question in your organisation / industry / context and beyond? This should be a competent (thorough and critical) review of the literature with justification of your proposed project’s significance
• Aim and Objectives (Why you are doing this research; and what you hope to achieve at an ‘operational’ level);
• Expected Outcomes and Benefits (Importance, value and benefits of the project to your organisation / industry / context as evidenced from the literature reviewed);
• Methodology (Approx. 3 to 5 pages) (Method of investigation, specific strategy for data collection and analysis, ethical considerations; and justification of choices);
• Project Timeline and Milestones (Outline the timeline and duration for the main project activities (assume project runs in S2, 2015) and define milestones to be achieved);
• List of primary References (Reference all work cited using QUT APA style)
• A proposed list of questions to be asked in the data collection stage (Questions asked should be appropriate to the methodology and data collection tool (e.g. survey/ interview/ case study) defined in the proposal)
Students should focus on the research process in its entirety with an emphasis on achieving symmetry between the various sections of the project proposal which will be assessed based on:
(Refer to the Assessment 1 Criteria Reference Assessment (CRA) sheet on Blackboard)
• Originality, content and integrity of the project proposed;
• Research design;
• Overall presentation of the proposal.
What you will submit
Electronic Submission via Turnitin (Blackboard under the ‘Assessment’ tab).
You are required to submit one soft copy (in .pdf or .doc format) of your Assessment 2. For instructions on how to submit your softcopy please refer to the electronic submission instructions on Blackboard.
Any further queries, students are encouraged to contact QUT IT helpdesk (
As per QUT Late Assessment Policy, please note late submissions after the due date and time without an approved extension will not be marked and will receive a grade of 1 or 0.
Resources and Useful References
Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., & Williams, J. M. (2008). The Craft of research (3rd ed.). Chicago : University of Chicago Press.
Bell, J (2005) Doing your research project: A guide for first-time researchers (4th ed.). McGraw-Hill International
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