United States

Research Proposal Format – University of California

University of California

Research proposal formats vary depending on the size of the planned research, the number of participants, the discipline, the characteristics of the research, etc. The format of the research proposal is as follows:


Author, Author’s Affiliation


Explain the topic and why you chose it. If possible explain your goal/outcome of the research. How much time do you need to complete the research?

Previous Scholarship

  • Give a brief summary of previous scholarship and explain why your topic and goals are important.
  • Relate your planned research to a previous scholarship. What will your research add to our knowledge of the topic?

Specific issues to be investigated

  • Break down the main topic into smaller research questions. List them one by one and explain why these questions need to be investigated. Relate them to previous scholarships.
  • Include your hypothesis in the descriptions of the detailed research issues if you have one. Explain why it is important to justify your hypothesis.


  • This part depends on the methods conducted in the research process. List the methods; explain how the results will be presented; how they will be assessed.
  • Explain what kind of results will justify or disprove your hypothesis.


  • Explain how much money you need.
  • Explain the details of the budget (how much you want to spend for what).


Describe why your research is important.


List the sources you have used for writing the research proposal, including a few main citations of the preliminary scholarship.



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