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Learning Outcomes - Master


WRITING AND PRESENTATION
OF ACADEMIC PROPOSAL 1. demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the relevant field;
2. apply practical skills in the relevant field;
3. relate ideas to societal issues in the relevant field;
Chye Fook Yee, PhD
4. conduct research with minimal supervision and adhere to
legal, ethical and professional codes of practice;
5. demonstrate leadership qualities through communicating
and working effectively with peers and stakeholders;
Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition 6. generate solutions to problems using scientific and critical
thinking skills; and
Universiti Malaysia Sabah
7. manage information for lifelong learning.

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Research Cycle
Learning Outcomes - PhD
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1. synthesize knowledge and contribute to original research Rt


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that broadens the frontier of knowledge in the relevant field; re


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2. adapt practical skills leading to innovative ideas in the


relevant field;
3. provide expert advice to society in the relevant field;
4. conduct research independently and adhere to legal,
ethical and professional codes of practice;
5. display leadership qualities through communicating and
working effectively with peers and stakeholders;
6. appraise problems in the relevant field critically using
scientific skills; and
7. integrate information for lifelong learning.

What is research proposal?


What you are going to study/research?
Why you are going to research this
particular area?
What is the significance of researching this
area?
How you are going to conduct the research?

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Research Proposal Proposal usually go from general to specific

Research proposals contain extensive literature


reviews and must offer convincing support of
need for the research being proposed
Keep in mind that it will enter a competition
Acquired enough knowledge needed in the field
before start
Formulate idea based on the title
Determine the scope of the study
Need to prove that that particular piece of
research has not been done yet

Developing Research Questions


Are the research objectives feasible? (Time? Sample size?
Title, Research Questions and Methodology
Technical expertise?) - How they are linked?

Are the questions novel? Interesting? Useful? (Will the


answers open up new areas of research?)

Is the scope of the study well focused? (Collecting too


much data wastes time and money)

Is it ethical to ask these research questions? (Unacceptable


physical risks or invasion of privacy?)

Elements in Proposal
• Introduction (Theoretical framework)
• Statement of the Problem
• Purpose of the Study
• Review of the Literature
• Questions and/or Hypotheses
• The Design - Methods and Procedures
– Design, sampling, data collection, data analysis
• Significance of the Study – importance &
implications
• Expected output
• Gantt chart – planned activities & milestones

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Proposal Outlines
Introduction
Topic area
Research question
Significance to knowledge
Literature review
Theoretical basis for your work
Previous research/Related studies
Current state of knowledge
Outstanding of questions/unanswered questions
Methodology
Approach
Data needs
Analytic techniques
Plan for interpreting results
Expected output/results
Implications
Schedule of planed research activities

Questions to be asked by yourself


• Why should people spend public/university/corporate funds on Preparing Research Proposal
my research?
• Who is my research going to benefit (the stakeholders) or
being the end users? e.g. the research community,
Writing a research proposal is both science
professional groups, the government or the industry…... be and art
specific: stating that your research will benefit the world is A good research proposal is based on
perhaps a bit too vague scientific facts and on the art of clear
• Is there evidence, for example in the literature, that my communication
research will fill a gap in knowledge or a market demand? How
will it build on the existing body of evidence?
• Is my research timely, innovative and/or responding to a new
trend?
• How will my research proposal address my training needs as
well as, if applicable, the needs of my current employer?

Golden Rules for Good Proposal


Info suggested for Introduction
Be clear, objective and straight to the point (No
waffle!) • Introduce the area of research
Justify your objectives: “because it is interesting” is • Review key publications
not enough!
• Identify any gap in the knowledge or
Provide a structure and use headings
questions which have to be answered
Avoid long solid blocks of text and use smaller
paragraphs • Your hypotheses
Write short sentences • Your aims and objectives, including a brief
If allowed and if helpful, insert description of the methodology
images/charts/diagrams to help break up text. • How is your research beneficial and to whom
Stick to guidelines and the deadline!

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Background (Review of Literature)


Objectives
Reflects extensive review of literature – helps you set the
context for your research to help the reader understanding The objective of the proposed study should be
the questions stated very clearly
It helps the investigator to gain good knowledge in that field The objective stated should be specific,
of inquiry achievable and measurable
Just quoting the literature will not serve the purpose - make Avoid to have too many objectives
it coherent, relevant and easily readable knowledge If there is more than one objective, the objectives
Show you have good knowledge of the body of literature, should be presented following the order/flow of
including awareness on methodologies, theories and
the research activities (experiments)
conflicting evidence in your chosen field.

Research Methodology
• Research methodology is a way to
systematically solve the research problem.
• It may be understood as a science of
studying how research is done scientifically
– research design, sampling/sample size, data
collection and data analysis.

Milestone
Milestone

Research
Process
Milestone

Milestone

Research
Process

Research
Process

Experimental Design
Starting
Research
Process

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Ethical Considerations

Approval must be obtained from


the Ethical Committee for project
that involves:
Sensitive materials
Animals or animal models,
Human subjects such as children or
adults.

Research Plan - Timeframe Gantt Chart of Research Activities

Research Project
Month

Develop Research Proposal


and obtain approval
Develop and test questions
Develop and test tool
Obtain participants
Administer instrument(s)
Ongoing data collection and analysis

Final collection of data

Research Report

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Grading Academic Proposal


• Specific Aim(s)
– Is there a clearly stated and acceptable hypothesis?
– Do the proposed experiments adequately test the hypothesis?
• Background and Significance
– Is the background concise and relevant to the proposal?
– Is the relevant literature reviewed and critically evaluated, and are primary
references (as opposed to review articles) cited where appropriate?
• Experimental Design
– Does each of the experiments have a rationale?
– Are the proposed experiments feasible, properly controlled, and of reasonable
scope?
– Are the experiments prioritized and do they follow a logical progression?
– Does the proposal predict all potential outcomes of the experiments and are
alternative experimental approaches proposed when necessary?
– Are the experiments merely descriptive or do they address mechanism?
• Written Skills and Format
– Is the proposal clearly written and carefully edited. It must comply to the standard
format set by the stakeholders

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Common Errors
• lack of organization and structure
• lack of focus and coherence
• being repetitive
• fail to address what others have done in
the past
• fail to rationalize the needs of the study
• methodology does not seem to support
the aims
• poorly written – language, presentation
and structure

Five Truths of Effective Presentation


Slides are not the presentation – you are Slide Structure – Good
highlight key points and data of the presentation.
• Use 1-2 slides per minute of your
Some audiences are experts in the field.
presentation
Use the principles of visual design
• Write in point form, not complete
background color and text; graphics
sentences
Tell stories through images, not words
• Include 4-5 points per slide
Don’t fumble with technology
• Avoid wordiness: use key words and
Less is more phrases only
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

Colour - Good
Slide Structure - Bad
• This page contains too many words for a • Use a colour of font that contrasts sharply
presentation slide. It is not written in point with the background
form, making it difficult both for your – Ex: blue font on white background
audience to read and for you to present • Use colour to reinforce the logic of your
each point. Although there are exactly the structure
same number of points on this slide as the
– Ex: light blue title and dark blue text
previous slide, it looks much more
complicated. In short, your audience will • Use colour to emphasize a point
spend too much time trying to read this – But only use this occasionally
paragraph instead of listening to you.

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Colour - Bad
• Using a font colour that does not contrast Background - Good
with the background colour is hard to read
• Using colour for decoration is distracting • Use backgrounds such as this one that are
and annoying. attractive but simple
• Using a different colour for each point is • Use backgrounds which are light
unnecessary
– Using a different colour for secondary points • Use the same background consistently
is also unnecessary throughout your presentation
• Trying to be creative can also be bad

Graphs - Bad
Background – Bad
• Minor gridlines are unnecessary
Avoid backgrounds that are distracting or
• Font is too small
difficult to read from
Always be consistent with the background that • Colours are illogical
you use • Title is missing
• Shading is distracting

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