Research Proposal



Unit Code and Title: SBM1300 Research

Project Assessment Information

Assessment 1 (a): Research Proposal Brief

Assignment Details:

A Research Proposal Brief early in the semester is to receive feedback about the suitability of the topic so that by the time is a document that informs others of a proposed piece of research and its significance. This is the first stage of preparing a Research Proposal that could be used as part of an application to undertake a research degree or to apply for funding to conduct the research.

The purpose of writing the Research Proposal Brief early in the semester is to receive feedback about the suitability of the topic so that by the time you complete the Research Proposal (due in week 12) the final submission is of a standard that could be used to support an application for a research degree or for research funding.

The Research Proposal Brief early in the semester is to receive feedback about the suitability of the topic so that by the time is therefore very important as it provides the basis for feedback that will assist you to prepare an excellent Research Proposal and should be taken very seriously even though the weighting of the assignment is relatively low. The most important aspect of this assignment is to identify a solid research question, which also means justifying the question from previous research. This will save you time in the long run. If the proposal brief is well-designed it will be an outline of the full proposal for the thesis to follow.

You are required to submit a written Research Proposal Brief in academic format (800-1000 words) and give an oral presentation (5-10 minutes) about your research proposal.

This assessment is worth 10% of your marks for SBM1300 and forms the basis of the Research Proposal due in week 12 and worth 40% of your marks for SBM1300 and your Research Proposal Presentation due week 13 and worth 20% of your marks for SBM1300. Students develop the Research Proposal across the semester incorporating (a) feedback on the Research Proposal Brief; (b) feedback from the Feasibility analysis (due week 5 and worth 10% of your marks for SBM1300); (c) learnings from your classes, discussions, feedback and readings during the semester.

For the Research Proposal Brief you need to prepare an outline of your proposed research topic and research plan for investigating the topic using the template for the structure below. The document should be between 800 and 1000 words in length (excluding project title and references). The recommended lengths of each section are approximate, and will vary depending on the research question you are proposing to investigate and the methodology you are proposing to use in your research proposal.

Assignment Details:

Prepare a 4000 word research proposal to address your chosen research topic. There is a proposed structure and a recommendation for how long each section should be below. The recommended lengths of each section are approximate, and will vary depending on the research question you are proposing to investigate and the methodology you are proposing to use in your hypothetical research proposal.

Guideline for Preparing the Assignment

1.  Abstract / Overview of the project. Point out the importance of the project, why it is being conducted, what the results are expected to show, and the significance of the findings. 

2.  With reference to evidence, describe the research objectives.

3.  Critically evaluate evidence. Describe and evaluate the evidence concerning the research topic. The aim is to provide a critique of existing work and identify gaps in knowledge and / or methodological weaknesses in existing research.

4.  Identify and justify an area that requires further research. Based on your critical review, identify and justify an area that requires further research. 

5.  Pose a research question or a research hypothesis. This will be closely related to the content of your section on further research. The principal variables or issues being examined should be identified 

6.  Describe a hypothetical research study to answer the research question / test the research hypothesis. Remember, this is hypothetical. You do not have to actually be able to carry out the study, but you need to think about what you would need to carry out a study to answer your research question / test your hypothesis. 

a. Design / Methodology. This section includes details of the research methodology to be used. Will this be a randomized controlled trial? A quasi-experimental design? A cross-sectional survey? A longitudinal design? A qualitative research study using focus groups? A qualitative research study using semi-structured interviews? A combination of these or something else entirely? In this section the aim is to accurately describe the characteristics of a research design / methodology that is capable of answering the research question / testing the hypothesis posed. 

b.  Details of participants. How many people will participate? What are their characteristics? Any inclusion / exclusion criteria? How will the sample be recruited? Identify the sampling method. 

c.   Description of materials / measures. This may include tests, surveys, questions to be used in a semi-structured interview, or many other things. The measures need to be consistent with the methodology described at 6(a). 

d.       Data Analysis. Describe the proposed analysis strategy briefly. 

e.  Ethical issues. This section describes the ethical issues that need to be considered in the research. For example, how you would ensure that participation is voluntary and that people who participate provide informed consent? 

f.         Reference list.

Assessment 2: Feasibility Analysis Report

Assignment Details:

For this assignment students are required to present their research proposal to an Industry Representative / Consultant or other approved person (this may include an academic staff member) to discuss their research project’s significance and feasibility and submit a summary and reflection on the feedback from the industry representative.

This assignment is aimed at ensuring that the research project is important, realistic and manageable and that the research question is appropriate and can be answered with the proposed methodology. It is crucial that the students can complete the research tasks in a timely manner and apply the relevant project management and research tools and techniques.

The research feasibility report takes the research brief proposal to the consultant and investigates the possible continuation of the project and its realistic execution for the given time period and availability of resources, as well as taking into consideration the student’s capacity to carry on with the research task. Students can use a Gantt chart to keep track of their schedule for all assigned assessment tasks, and therefore, minimize risks. The feasibility analysis may result in feedback that suggests changes to the research approach and these can be incorporated in the Research Proposal. The reflection on the feedback is important for demonstrating that the feedback has been considered and suggesting how it may be acted upon, for example, by reconsidering or revising the scope of the topic or research question or by revising the methodology. This is equivalent to the acceptance of the project charter for which the students have studied in their course and has been accepted by key stakeholders.

The Feasibility Analysis is therefore very important as it provides the basis for feedback that will assist you to prepare an excellent Research Proposal and should be taken very seriously even though the weighting of the assignment is relatively low. The most important aspect of this assignment is to ensure that you have a defensible research question that is recognized as important by industry experts. This will be very important to achieving an excellent outcome for your research proposal.


Assessment 3: Analysis of Methodologies for the Research Project

Assignment Details:

Prepare a 2000 word research methodologies analysis report for your chosen research topic. There is a proposed structure and a recommendation for how long each section should be below. The recommended lengths of each section are approximate, and will vary depending on the research question you are proposing to investigate and the methodology you are proposing to use in your hypothetical research proposal.


Preparing the Assignment

1.  Use the topic of your Research Proposal, or another topic area relevant to project management or business research with approval from the unit coordinator.

2.  Describe and justify a research question / research questions associated with the research topic. You may vary the question so that it is appropriate for the different methodologies. For example, an experimental / quasi-experimental or time-series design may be useful for answering questions about causes, such as schedule delays associated with highly complex projects. A qualitative methodology would be more appropriate for exploring how people carry out teamwork tasks in projects or a business scenario. (~200 words)

3.  Present three different methodologies for answering the question (~600 words each). For example, you might consider how the question could be answered using a quasi-experimental, time-series and qualitative methodology. In your answers you need to indicate for each methodology

a. Type of data to be collected and / or analysed (e.g., self-report questionnaires, structured interviews, existing data set)

b.     Description of sample required to answer the question (number of people, relevant demographic characteristics)
c.      Advantages
d.     Limitations
e.      Ethical considerations in using the methodology

 It is recommended that you start on the assignment early and develop it throughout the trimester, thinking about how you could apply each of the topics that are considered in the unit to the question.

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