Research Proposal – University of Newcastle

When preparing an application for admission into a Higher Degree by Research program it is necessary to supply a clear statement describing the proposed area of research.

Consultation with a potential UON supervisor is required prior to submission of an application. Liaising with a potential supervisor allows you to frame the proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor expertise.

You must write your own research proposal and reference accordingly. The exception is when your potential supervisor finalises the research proposal with you, for a specific research project that has already been defined. The length of the proposal should be between one and three pages, depending upon the area of research.

Suggested Outline

The following outline may be used as a guide. You should consider each of the areas that will be relevant
to your research.

Research topic/title

An initial working title should be provided and should describe the content and direction of your project. For example: A guide for assisting Higher Degree by Research students in the development of a research proposal.



What is already known or unknown? Set the scene for your specific research. What research question are
you addressing? Why is the University of Newcastle a good place to conduct this research?


What do you want to know, prove, demonstrate, analyse, test, investigate or examine in your research?
List your project aims in a logical sequence. For example:
The aim of this project is to:
a) Provide an outline of a research proposal
b) Enable a pros
pective HDR student to prepare a research proposal


• What methods will you use to address your research problem?
• What do you need? Do you require particular resources? (Specify any special equipment,
software or material)
• Are there barriers or pitfalls that you anticipate in your planned research? Does the project
involve human ethics, animal ethics or safety implications?
• Is travel or fieldwork required? If so, where to, how long and at what intervals?
Expected outcomes, significance or rationale
Establish the importance of your project by highlighting its originality or why it is worth pursuing. Highlight
the benefits, positive expected outcomes or innovative applications of knowledge.
UON Graduate Research – The University of Newcastle | NIER Block C Room G30, Callaghan, NSW, 2308 AUSTRALIA
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• Why is your research important?
• What do you expect it will deliver? What are the expected outcomes?


Indicate the timeframe for each broad stage considering literature surveys, data collection, production,
modelling, review, analysis, testing, reporting, chapter and thesis writing, and thesis submission date.

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