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Writing A Successful
FRGS Research Proposal

BC Chew & Syaiful Rizal Abdul Hamid

From the eyes of
internal evaluators and successful applicants
We share, because we care!
Our objectives through this sharing
Helping you
1. to produce a good proposal that is easier to
be understood by the expert panels during
the evaluation process.
2. to secure the FRGS grant successfully.

We appreciate the contributions from other

authors who have guided us well for FRGS
research grant application.
Introduction of FRGS
• FRGS encourages basic research that will contribute
towards increasing intellectual level and enrich a
dynamic academic research culture in line with our
national aspiration.
• Therefore, FRGS is a basic academic research that
aims to develop new theories, new concepts, new
principles and new ideas towards new knowledge
development that further expands the boundaries of
• It aims to answer the research questions of “Why”
and “How”
Scopes of FRGS
• Research that develops new ideas/ new theories/
new methods/ new models/ new principles/ new
processes; or
• Research that improves current policies/ existing
methodologies and existing solution model; or
• Research that covers issues of humanity and
social issues for the purpose of upgrading the
living values of the country and universal; or
• Research that contributes towards nation’s
strategic agendas.
Seven Areas of FRGS
1. Pure Science
2. Applied Science
3. Social Sciences
4. Clinical and Health Sciences
5. Technology and Engineering
6. Arts and Applied Arts
7. Natural Science and National Heritage.
Establish your team
• For new researchers, you are encouraged to
invite experienced researchers into your team.
This fosters knowledge and research skills
• Minimum two researchers (rarely happens).
• Maximum five researchers + one or two GRA.
• A balanced team is desirable as it reflects the
team’s track record. Remember to include
your CVs.
Human Capital must be produced from FRGS

• Three (3) years project

-Required to produce at least one (1) PhD or two
(2) Master graduate; or both.

• Two (2) years project

-Required to produce at least one (1) Master
A Good Quality FRGS Research Proposal

1. Clear and informative title

-Reflects the FRGS issues to be researched. Be
specifically focused and unique by takes in
objectives, methods/theories and

Ex: Enhanced Productivity through Quick

Response Time for High Efficiency
Words should be avoided
in Title construction
• Avoid these words: development of,
application of, design of etc. in your title.
• Avoid these words that do not give any
meaning in your title.
Studies on…Investigation on…Research on…
The problems of…The effects of…Assessing…
Words should be avoided
in Title construction
• Avoid these words that add nothing to the
readers’ understanding about your title.
basic study of…theoretical investigation of…
fundamental study of…new study of…(new
theory, new concepts, new ideas, new
principles, new techniques, new model)…
novel theory
A Good Quality FRGS Research Proposal

2. Concise executive summary

-Precise and concise to include research
backgrounds, research problem(s), research
objectives, theories, research methods and
expected outcomes/ results/ contribution.
A Good Quality FRGS Research Proposal

3. Clear problem statement and research objectives

-Remember “How” and “Why” for research
-Reflect the research outputs to the problem.
(a) To come out a new framework…
(b) To propose a new approach….
(c) To make recommendation based on…
Research Objectives for FRGS
Use these Avoid these
To investigate To measure
To examine To characterise
To come out To syntheses
To propose
To recommend
A Good Quality FRGS Research Proposal

4. Solid research background

-Introduce the research area
-Relate to previous studies
-State the problem statement, research
questions/ hypotheses, research objectives,
literature summary (theories, scholars).
A Good Quality FRGS Research Proposal

5. Good literature review

- Good quality literature
- Short but adequate
- Consistency with the content
- Cite and quote the relevant references
A Good Quality FRGS Research Proposal

6. Good research methods

-Based on research objectives formulated.
-Detail description.
-Provide the flow chart and Gantt chart (with
key milestones) of the research activities
A Good Quality FRGS Research Proposal

7. Ethical considerations
8. Realistic budget and schedule
Mistakes that must be avoided
• Lack of new/ original ideas.
• Diffuse, superficial or unfocused research.
• PI lacks of relevant knowledge/ expertise.
• Does not lead to new theory/ new concept/
new idea generation.
• Low acceptability on scientific rationale.
Mistakes that must be avoided
• Objectives that are not clearly spelled out, not
linked to the “fundamental” nature of the research.
• Literature review that does not raise the research
• Lack of specific research problem.
• Lack of experience in the essential research
methods. Research methods that are vague,
incoherent, inadequate or not properly described.
• Research scope which is limited or too ambitious.
Mistakes that must be avoided
• Budget: No cost effective on the actual
application, or violates the ceiling stated.
(total budget ceiling RM250,000.00)
• Budget has not been explained and justified.
• PI who is not suitable to supervise the
postgrad student (qualification or expertise).
• Research outcomes that are unclear.
• List out all item. Be sensible. Only ask for
those related to your studies.
• Take note:
(a) Vote 11000 Salary and wages (GRA)
-Ceiling for GRA where PhD student is RM2000,
while Master student is RM1500 per month.
(b) Vote 21000
-Do not exceed 40% of total project budget.
(c) Vote 29000
-Do not exceed 10% of total project budget.
(d) Vote 35000
-Do not exceed 40% of total project budget.
Additional Info about FRGS applicants
• Kindly refer to:
(a) Main page
(b) FRGS grant application guidelines
(c) FRGS form handling guide
(d) FRGS application form
• Department of Higher Education, 2014. Fundamental Research
Grant Scheme (FRGS). [online] Available at:
<> [Accessed 13th
August 2014].
• Hamzah, M. K., 2013. FRGS: RMK10. Research Management
Institute, Universiti Teknologi MARA. [Accessed 13th August 2014].
• Mat Deris, M., 2013. FRGS: Evaluation Tips. [online] Available at:
UTem-mustafa.pdf> [Accessed 13th August 2014].
• Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, 2010. MOHE Funding 2011-2012
RMK10. [online] Available at:
[Accessed 13th August 2014].
Good luck
with your FRGS application
Remember to help others
when you are successful