PhD Admission Proposal

How to write a Research Proposal?

research problem

What is research problem?

It’s a clear and definite statement or expression about your chosen area of concern, a difficulty to eliminate, a condition to improve, or a troubling problem that exists in theory, literature, and practice. A research problem indicates a need for its meaningful investigation.

Why is research problem important?

  •  It sets the scope.
  • It ties your work to reach goals and actions.

Characteristics of research problem

  • Specific – Problem should be stated specifically. A clear statement that describes the objectives will help you carry out successful and concrete research.
  • Measurable – Data collection and other simulation/ real-time methods (current trend). The researcher should try to fix the expected output type which will be produced in future.
  • Achievable – Data should be realistic and use correct statistical method to get precise results. It should be easily achieved, solved, and answered by Researcher.
  • Realistic – Results should be real not manipulated. It should be possible for researchers to perform experiments to solve the problem.
  • Time bound – Shorter the completion is the better with minimum cost.

Elements of a Research Problem

  • Why ? – Why is there an investigation, inquiry or study.
  • What? – What is to be investigated or studies.
  • Where? – Where the research is to be conducted.
  • When? – period of study or a data to be gathered .
  • Who?  – From whom the data can be collected.

Source of Research Problem

  • Personal Experience – Day to day experience of the researcher. 
  • Practical Experience – worked under a project.
  • From literature   – Book materials/article/publication/patent.
  • Previous Research – knowledge gathered from previous research.
  • Existing theories – moving practical solution for proved theory.
  • Social issues – familiarity with social concerns.
  • Brainstorming – These sessions are good technique.
  • Consultation with experts – experts have problem significant problem with them.

Formulation of a Research Problem

  • Identify a broad field or subject area of interest to you
  • Dissect the broad area into subareas
  • Select what is the most interest to you
  • Raise research question
  • Formulate objectives
  • Assess your objective
  • Double check 

Common mistakes in formulation

  • Not emphasizing on “why” the problem you are trying to solve is important
  • Weak structuring of problem
  • Insufficiently motivated research questions.
  • Un-researchable problems.
  • Favored research methods – tendency to recast a research 
  • Blind data mining

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