New Zealand

Research Proposal Format – Victoria University of Wellington



Title page

Include your name, department and supervisor/s, title: Proposal for Thesis, and thesis title

Table of Contents


Include an outline of your proposal, what your research will involve, research questions or hypothesis, research methods and how you will analyze the data.


Set out why you chose your topic – what prompted your interest in the topic; the links with previous research; ways your thesis is different or unique; and states the research objectives, questions or hypothesis.

Theoretical framework

Review of the relevant literature you have read so far sets your research in context. It identifies the direction you will take from among the possible theoretical directions. Include a bibliography at the end of your proposal.

Research methodology

Identify the methodology that underpins your research and give a rationale for your approach. You may need to identify the research paradigm and epistemologies that underpin your research. Show how you have used your review of the literature to construct your own research methodology.

Research design and methods

Outline how you are going to get your data. By reading widely you will be familiar with methodologies followed by previous researchers and will have explored possible research methods. You will be aware of problems others have encountered and will be able to design your research and adapt methods for your research. Outline the methods you will use and problems you anticipate. Outline whether your research is qualitative or quantitative, whether you are using triangulation, statistics, interviewing, questionnaires, experiments, observations etc. If humans or animals are to be used, outline the ethical considerations and your application to the university ethics committee.

Analysis and discussion

Suggest what you are going to do with the data. Outline the aims of your research again and ideas you have on how you are going to analyze the data. Include any tools for analysis you intend using or trying out.


Outline the format of your thesis. Suggest how many chapters you will have, chapter headings and the order of presentation.


Include a timeline to guide you and keep you on track. For example, estimate the time needed for tasks and assign tasks for each month.

Budget and resources

Outline the resources you need and propose a budget.




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