Research Proposal Format – Universiti UTARA Malaysia

Universiti UTARA Malaysia

Brief Research Proposal

In preparing the research proposal for the purpose of the application, applicants are advised to observe the following format:

Cover Page

  • Title
  • Your name
  • Supervisor(s) name(s),
  • Matric no.

Components of the Proposal

  • Introduction
  • Background of study
  • Problem statement of the study and literature analysis
  • Research questions/objectives
  • Significance of the study, supported by a review of the theoretical argument, and practical contribution of the study
  • Scope of Study (What, Why, How, Where and When)
  • Methodology including research design, theoretical/conceptual framework, hypotheses/propositions, data collection and data analysis strategy, etc.
  • References
  • Appendices (include gantt chart and milestone of the research)

Applicant should include (upload) the following documents when applying:

  • Motivational letter: a two-page motivational letter stating the following: information on applicant academic and research background, reason for applying, address the impact of the proposed research.
  • Applicants must propose the name of the potential supervisors who has agreed to work with the applicants on the research topic. Submission without the potential supervisor’s name will be considered incomplete.
  • Brief Research Proposal.

Interview: Applicants who have fulfilled all the requirements (as mentioned above) will be interviewed by a panel of interviewers, made of a chairperson and a school representative. The interview is organised by the Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business (OYAGSB). Interviews can be conducted either face-to-face, via Skype interview, or face time.

Notification: Applicants will be notified via email or phone a week before the interview. Applicants who fail to turn up for the interview or fail the interview will not be considered for admission. Applicants will be evaluated on their English proficiency, the authenticity of the proposal submitted, and ability to provide relevant answers.

Submission of Amended Proposal

  • In the case of the re-defend, it is strongly advised that candidates amend the proposals based on the feedback of the reviewers. Candidates are required to submit two (2) copies of the amended proposal to the OYAGSB office.
  • Candidates who fail at the second attempt of the PD will be terminated from the programme.

Words Requirement: PhD theses are limited to 100,000 words of text, excluding appendices, footnotes and bibliographies.


  • Pass – The candidate will be awarded a degree.
  • Pass with minor revision – The candidate will be awarded a degree, subject to completing the corrections within three (3) months after the defence.
  • Pass with major revision – The candidate is required to make major alterations to his/her thesis and resubmit the work for another assessment by the examiners Within twelve (12) months after the defence, but a second viva is not required.
  • Reschedule examination – The candidate is required to make major alterations to his/her thesis and resubmit the work for another assessment by the examiners within eighteen (18) months after the defence.
  • Fail – The candidate has failed.

Amendments to Thesis/Dissertation:

  • Candidates are advised to make corrections with guidance from the supervisor(s) based on the feedback given by the examiners.
  • Corrections that meet the requirement will be endorsed by Oral Examination Board members of the viva session.

Final Submission of Thesis/Dissertation

  • Before binding the final thesis, signed approval for the Certification of Theses/ Dissertation from the College should be obtained.
  • Candidates should submit three (3) hardcopies of the thesis: two (2) in a hard-cover form and one (1) in a loose-copy form, and one (1) softcopy in CD form.
  • Candidates may then request a letter of certification from the College that he/she has completed the study and will be awarded a degree.

Other Important Points

  • The thesis submitted by a candidate must be original and it is the candidate’s own work.
  • Candidates are not permitted to submit a thesis that has been submitted for examination for a degree in any other university or institution. Submission of in a thesis must have been undertaken after the registration of the candidate for the PhD degree.


Write your brief research proposal using Times New Roman font (12) and single spaced. Your proposal should not exceed 1000 words excluding references and appendices. The APA Style must be observed.



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