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Format for Research Proposal for M. Phil.

& PhD
Developed by Dr. M. ZULQARNAIN

Title Page

Topic of the study

Name of student, supervisor, area of specialization and department

Part 1: Theoretical Background/Conceptual Framework

(10-15 pages)

Summarize the review of related literature/previous researches


Simple review

Systematic review

Identify gaps in the literature

Explain development of the research problem (i.e. how you reach at your research problem in the
light of the previous studies with appropriate support from the literature)

State clearly your research problem and elaborate its significance in our local context

Elaborate how various theories or models address your research problem


Formulate/develop the key research hypotheses/questions stating the proposed inter-relationships of






(i.e. what are independent/predictor,

dependent/predicted, intervening and demographic variables of your study, how you reach at your research
model in the light of the previous studies with appropriate support from the literature)

the variables/constructs or effects of certain variables over the others involved in the study with rationale (reasoning) or
support from the literature.

Present diagrammatically your research model labeled with various hypothesized relationships
or effects.

Part 2: Methodology of Research

(10 to 15 pages)

Study setting/ context (setting in which to conduct the study e.g. primary, secondary or higher education
level or participants/subjects/institutions/organizations)

Population of the study

Sample and sampling design/technique (sampling frame if random sampling is involved, proper
justification if convenient or purposive sampling technique used)

Research Design (with appropriate rationale and support from literature)

Specify Method/Type/Approach of Research whether:


Qualitative --- which type or design is used? (Ethnographic, Grounded- theory, Symbolic
Interactionism, Discourse Analysis etc.)

Quantitative --- specify which of the following type or design is used:

Survey Design (cross-sectional or longitudinal)

Experimental or Quasi-experimental design (specify which design is selected and why?)

Mixed Method (both qualitative and quantitative)

Research Instruments/Scales/Measures

Operationalize (define operationally) each construct involved

Mention scale used to measure each construct with rationale /reasoning of selecting that tool

Also mention that whether already developed scale(s) will be used to measure a construct or
developed and validated by the researcher. In the latter case explain how the scale(s) will be
developed and validated (procedure of the scale development and validation)

Provide items of the scales in the annexure if possible mentioning the type of scaling used i.e.
Likert, Thurston or Guttman etc. along with the format of response categories (like DisagreeAgree or Dissatisfied-Satisfied)

Mention how reliability and validity of the scales will be measured

Data Collection

Explain how data will be collected:


Through mail, web/internet, intranet, in person (directly from the respondents), contacts in the
field, research assistants, observation, interview conducting, in experimental setting etc.

Explain in which form (e.g. raw scores, cumulative or aggregated scores, transformed scores etc.)
from the respondents and how data will be coded especially if there are the demographic variables

Explain relevance/appropriateness of the data/scores with hypotheses formulated or research

questions of the study

Data Analyses

Mention clearly your choice and rationale of the type of data analysis technique(s) that will be applied
e.g. Multiple Regression, ANOVA, ANCOVA, MANOVA, MANCOVA etc. etc.

Explain the relevance of data analysis technique(s) with each of the research hypotheses or questions
formulated (i.e. how data relevant to each hypothesis or research question will be analyzed and interpreted)

Part 3: Annexure(s)
Estimated time schedule for each step of the proposed study

NB. Please try to strictly adhere with the format of the proposal to the extent it is possible for better feedback.