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The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project

Student resources.

Examples of Student Research Projects

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17 Research Proposal Examples

research proposal example sections definition and purpose, explained below

A research proposal systematically and transparently outlines a proposed research project.

The purpose of a research proposal is to demonstrate a project’s viability and the researcher’s preparedness to conduct an academic study. It serves as a roadmap for the researcher.

The process holds value both externally (for accountability purposes and often as a requirement for a grant application) and intrinsic value (for helping the researcher to clarify the mechanics, purpose, and potential signficance of the study).

Key sections of a research proposal include: the title, abstract, introduction, literature review, research design and methods, timeline, budget, outcomes and implications, references, and appendix. Each is briefly explained below.

Watch my Guide: How to Write a Research Proposal

Get your Template for Writing your Research Proposal Here (With AI Prompts!)

Research Proposal Sample Structure

Title: The title should present a concise and descriptive statement that clearly conveys the core idea of the research projects. Make it as specific as possible. The reader should immediately be able to grasp the core idea of the intended research project. Often, the title is left too vague and does not help give an understanding of what exactly the study looks at.

Abstract: Abstracts are usually around 250-300 words and provide an overview of what is to follow – including the research problem , objectives, methods, expected outcomes, and significance of the study. Use it as a roadmap and ensure that, if the abstract is the only thing someone reads, they’ll get a good fly-by of what will be discussed in the peice.

Introduction: Introductions are all about contextualization. They often set the background information with a statement of the problem. At the end of the introduction, the reader should understand what the rationale for the study truly is. I like to see the research questions or hypotheses included in the introduction and I like to get a good understanding of what the significance of the research will be. It’s often easiest to write the introduction last

Literature Review: The literature review dives deep into the existing literature on the topic, demosntrating your thorough understanding of the existing literature including themes, strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in the literature. It serves both to demonstrate your knowledge of the field and, to demonstrate how the proposed study will fit alongside the literature on the topic. A good literature review concludes by clearly demonstrating how your research will contribute something new and innovative to the conversation in the literature.

Research Design and Methods: This section needs to clearly demonstrate how the data will be gathered and analyzed in a systematic and academically sound manner. Here, you need to demonstrate that the conclusions of your research will be both valid and reliable. Common points discussed in the research design and methods section include highlighting the research paradigm, methodologies, intended population or sample to be studied, data collection techniques, and data analysis procedures . Toward the end of this section, you are encouraged to also address ethical considerations and limitations of the research process , but also to explain why you chose your research design and how you are mitigating the identified risks and limitations.

Timeline: Provide an outline of the anticipated timeline for the study. Break it down into its various stages (including data collection, data analysis, and report writing). The goal of this section is firstly to establish a reasonable breakdown of steps for you to follow and secondly to demonstrate to the assessors that your project is practicable and feasible.

Budget: Estimate the costs associated with the research project and include evidence for your estimations. Typical costs include staffing costs, equipment, travel, and data collection tools. When applying for a scholarship, the budget should demonstrate that you are being responsible with your expensive and that your funding application is reasonable.

Expected Outcomes and Implications: A discussion of the anticipated findings or results of the research, as well as the potential contributions to the existing knowledge, theory, or practice in the field. This section should also address the potential impact of the research on relevant stakeholders and any broader implications for policy or practice.

References: A complete list of all the sources cited in the research proposal, formatted according to the required citation style. This demonstrates the researcher’s familiarity with the relevant literature and ensures proper attribution of ideas and information.

Appendices (if applicable): Any additional materials, such as questionnaires, interview guides, or consent forms, that provide further information or support for the research proposal. These materials should be included as appendices at the end of the document.

Research Proposal Examples

Research proposals often extend anywhere between 2,000 and 15,000 words in length. The following snippets are samples designed to briefly demonstrate what might be discussed in each section.

1. Education Studies Research Proposals

See some real sample pieces:

  • Assessment of the perceptions of teachers towards a new grading system
  • Does ICT use in secondary classrooms help or hinder student learning?
  • Digital technologies in focus project
  • Urban Middle School Teachers’ Experiences of the Implementation of
  • Restorative Justice Practices
  • Experiences of students of color in service learning

Consider this hypothetical education research proposal:

The Impact of Game-Based Learning on Student Engagement and Academic Performance in Middle School Mathematics

Abstract: The proposed study will explore multiplayer game-based learning techniques in middle school mathematics curricula and their effects on student engagement. The study aims to contribute to the current literature on game-based learning by examining the effects of multiplayer gaming in learning.

Introduction: Digital game-based learning has long been shunned within mathematics education for fears that it may distract students or lower the academic integrity of the classrooms. However, there is emerging evidence that digital games in math have emerging benefits not only for engagement but also academic skill development. Contributing to this discourse, this study seeks to explore the potential benefits of multiplayer digital game-based learning by examining its impact on middle school students’ engagement and academic performance in a mathematics class.

Literature Review: The literature review has identified gaps in the current knowledge, namely, while game-based learning has been extensively explored, the role of multiplayer games in supporting learning has not been studied.

Research Design and Methods: This study will employ a mixed-methods research design based upon action research in the classroom. A quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test control group design will first be used to compare the academic performance and engagement of middle school students exposed to game-based learning techniques with those in a control group receiving instruction without the aid of technology. Students will also be observed and interviewed in regard to the effect of communication and collaboration during gameplay on their learning.

Timeline: The study will take place across the second term of the school year with a pre-test taking place on the first day of the term and the post-test taking place on Wednesday in Week 10.

Budget: The key budgetary requirements will be the technologies required, including the subscription cost for the identified games and computers.

Expected Outcomes and Implications: It is expected that the findings will contribute to the current literature on game-based learning and inform educational practices, providing educators and policymakers with insights into how to better support student achievement in mathematics.

2. Psychology Research Proposals

See some real examples:

  • A situational analysis of shared leadership in a self-managing team
  • The effect of musical preference on running performance
  • Relationship between self-esteem and disordered eating amongst adolescent females

Consider this hypothetical psychology research proposal:

The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions on Stress Reduction in College Students

Abstract: This research proposal examines the impact of mindfulness-based interventions on stress reduction among college students, using a pre-test/post-test experimental design with both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods .

Introduction: College students face heightened stress levels during exam weeks. This can affect both mental health and test performance. This study explores the potential benefits of mindfulness-based interventions such as meditation as a way to mediate stress levels in the weeks leading up to exam time.

Literature Review: Existing research on mindfulness-based meditation has shown the ability for mindfulness to increase metacognition, decrease anxiety levels, and decrease stress. Existing literature has looked at workplace, high school and general college-level applications. This study will contribute to the corpus of literature by exploring the effects of mindfulness directly in the context of exam weeks.

Research Design and Methods: Participants ( n= 234 ) will be randomly assigned to either an experimental group, receiving 5 days per week of 10-minute mindfulness-based interventions, or a control group, receiving no intervention. Data will be collected through self-report questionnaires, measuring stress levels, semi-structured interviews exploring participants’ experiences, and students’ test scores.

Timeline: The study will begin three weeks before the students’ exam week and conclude after each student’s final exam. Data collection will occur at the beginning (pre-test of self-reported stress levels) and end (post-test) of the three weeks.

Expected Outcomes and Implications: The study aims to provide evidence supporting the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in reducing stress among college students in the lead up to exams, with potential implications for mental health support and stress management programs on college campuses.

3. Sociology Research Proposals

  • Understanding emerging social movements: A case study of ‘Jersey in Transition’
  • The interaction of health, education and employment in Western China
  • Can we preserve lower-income affordable neighbourhoods in the face of rising costs?

Consider this hypothetical sociology research proposal:

The Impact of Social Media Usage on Interpersonal Relationships among Young Adults

Abstract: This research proposal investigates the effects of social media usage on interpersonal relationships among young adults, using a longitudinal mixed-methods approach with ongoing semi-structured interviews to collect qualitative data.

Introduction: Social media platforms have become a key medium for the development of interpersonal relationships, particularly for young adults. This study examines the potential positive and negative effects of social media usage on young adults’ relationships and development over time.

Literature Review: A preliminary review of relevant literature has demonstrated that social media usage is central to development of a personal identity and relationships with others with similar subcultural interests. However, it has also been accompanied by data on mental health deline and deteriorating off-screen relationships. The literature is to-date lacking important longitudinal data on these topics.

Research Design and Methods: Participants ( n = 454 ) will be young adults aged 18-24. Ongoing self-report surveys will assess participants’ social media usage, relationship satisfaction, and communication patterns. A subset of participants will be selected for longitudinal in-depth interviews starting at age 18 and continuing for 5 years.

Timeline: The study will be conducted over a period of five years, including recruitment, data collection, analysis, and report writing.

Expected Outcomes and Implications: This study aims to provide insights into the complex relationship between social media usage and interpersonal relationships among young adults, potentially informing social policies and mental health support related to social media use.

4. Nursing Research Proposals

  • Does Orthopaedic Pre-assessment clinic prepare the patient for admission to hospital?
  • Nurses’ perceptions and experiences of providing psychological care to burns patients
  • Registered psychiatric nurse’s practice with mentally ill parents and their children

Consider this hypothetical nursing research proposal:

The Influence of Nurse-Patient Communication on Patient Satisfaction and Health Outcomes following Emergency Cesarians

Abstract: This research will examines the impact of effective nurse-patient communication on patient satisfaction and health outcomes for women following c-sections, utilizing a mixed-methods approach with patient surveys and semi-structured interviews.

Introduction: It has long been known that effective communication between nurses and patients is crucial for quality care. However, additional complications arise following emergency c-sections due to the interaction between new mother’s changing roles and recovery from surgery.

Literature Review: A review of the literature demonstrates the importance of nurse-patient communication, its impact on patient satisfaction, and potential links to health outcomes. However, communication between nurses and new mothers is less examined, and the specific experiences of those who have given birth via emergency c-section are to date unexamined.

Research Design and Methods: Participants will be patients in a hospital setting who have recently had an emergency c-section. A self-report survey will assess their satisfaction with nurse-patient communication and perceived health outcomes. A subset of participants will be selected for in-depth interviews to explore their experiences and perceptions of the communication with their nurses.

Timeline: The study will be conducted over a period of six months, including rolling recruitment, data collection, analysis, and report writing within the hospital.

Expected Outcomes and Implications: This study aims to provide evidence for the significance of nurse-patient communication in supporting new mothers who have had an emergency c-section. Recommendations will be presented for supporting nurses and midwives in improving outcomes for new mothers who had complications during birth.

5. Social Work Research Proposals

  • Experiences of negotiating employment and caring responsibilities of fathers post-divorce
  • Exploring kinship care in the north region of British Columbia

Consider this hypothetical social work research proposal:

The Role of a Family-Centered Intervention in Preventing Homelessness Among At-Risk Youthin a working-class town in Northern England

Abstract: This research proposal investigates the effectiveness of a family-centered intervention provided by a local council area in preventing homelessness among at-risk youth. This case study will use a mixed-methods approach with program evaluation data and semi-structured interviews to collect quantitative and qualitative data .

Introduction: Homelessness among youth remains a significant social issue. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of family-centered interventions in addressing this problem and identify factors that contribute to successful prevention strategies.

Literature Review: A review of the literature has demonstrated several key factors contributing to youth homelessness including lack of parental support, lack of social support, and low levels of family involvement. It also demonstrates the important role of family-centered interventions in addressing this issue. Drawing on current evidence, this study explores the effectiveness of one such intervention in preventing homelessness among at-risk youth in a working-class town in Northern England.

Research Design and Methods: The study will evaluate a new family-centered intervention program targeting at-risk youth and their families. Quantitative data on program outcomes, including housing stability and family functioning, will be collected through program records and evaluation reports. Semi-structured interviews with program staff, participants, and relevant stakeholders will provide qualitative insights into the factors contributing to program success or failure.

Timeline: The study will be conducted over a period of six months, including recruitment, data collection, analysis, and report writing.

Budget: Expenses include access to program evaluation data, interview materials, data analysis software, and any related travel costs for in-person interviews.

Expected Outcomes and Implications: This study aims to provide evidence for the effectiveness of family-centered interventions in preventing youth homelessness, potentially informing the expansion of or necessary changes to social work practices in Northern England.

Research Proposal Template

Get your Detailed Template for Writing your Research Proposal Here (With AI Prompts!)

This is a template for a 2500-word research proposal. You may find it difficult to squeeze everything into this wordcount, but it’s a common wordcount for Honors and MA-level dissertations.

Your research proposal is where you really get going with your study. I’d strongly recommend working closely with your teacher in developing a research proposal that’s consistent with the requirements and culture of your institution, as in my experience it varies considerably. The above template is from my own courses that walk students through research proposals in a British School of Education.

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Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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Research Method

Home » Research Project – Definition, Writing Guide and Ideas

Research Project – Definition, Writing Guide and Ideas

Table of Contents

Research Project

Research Project

Definition :

Research Project is a planned and systematic investigation into a specific area of interest or problem, with the goal of generating new knowledge, insights, or solutions. It typically involves identifying a research question or hypothesis, designing a study to test it, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions based on the findings.

Types of Research Project

Types of Research Projects are as follows:

Basic Research

This type of research focuses on advancing knowledge and understanding of a subject area or phenomenon, without any specific application or practical use in mind. The primary goal is to expand scientific or theoretical knowledge in a particular field.

Applied Research

Applied research is aimed at solving practical problems or addressing specific issues. This type of research seeks to develop solutions or improve existing products, services or processes.

Action Research

Action research is conducted by practitioners and aimed at solving specific problems or improving practices in a particular context. It involves collaboration between researchers and practitioners, and often involves iterative cycles of data collection and analysis, with the goal of improving practices.

Quantitative Research

This type of research uses numerical data to investigate relationships between variables or to test hypotheses. It typically involves large-scale data collection through surveys, experiments, or secondary data analysis.

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research focuses on understanding and interpreting phenomena from the perspective of the people involved. It involves collecting and analyzing data in the form of text, images, or other non-numerical forms.

Mixed Methods Research

Mixed methods research combines elements of both quantitative and qualitative research, using multiple data sources and methods to gain a more comprehensive understanding of a phenomenon.

Longitudinal Research

This type of research involves studying a group of individuals or phenomena over an extended period of time, often years or decades. It is useful for understanding changes and developments over time.

Case Study Research

Case study research involves in-depth investigation of a particular case or phenomenon, often within a specific context. It is useful for understanding complex phenomena in their real-life settings.

Participatory Research

Participatory research involves active involvement of the people or communities being studied in the research process. It emphasizes collaboration, empowerment, and the co-production of knowledge.

Research Project Methodology

Research Project Methodology refers to the process of conducting research in an organized and systematic manner to answer a specific research question or to test a hypothesis. A well-designed research project methodology ensures that the research is rigorous, valid, and reliable, and that the findings are meaningful and can be used to inform decision-making.

There are several steps involved in research project methodology, which are described below:

Define the Research Question

The first step in any research project is to clearly define the research question or problem. This involves identifying the purpose of the research, the scope of the research, and the key variables that will be studied.

Develop a Research Plan

Once the research question has been defined, the next step is to develop a research plan. This plan outlines the methodology that will be used to collect and analyze data, including the research design, sampling strategy, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques.

Collect Data

The data collection phase involves gathering information through various methods, such as surveys, interviews, observations, experiments, or secondary data analysis. The data collected should be relevant to the research question and should be of sufficient quantity and quality to enable meaningful analysis.

Analyze Data

Once the data has been collected, it is analyzed using appropriate statistical techniques or other methods. The analysis should be guided by the research question and should aim to identify patterns, trends, relationships, or other insights that can inform the research findings.

Interpret and Report Findings

The final step in the research project methodology is to interpret the findings and report them in a clear and concise manner. This involves summarizing the results, discussing their implications, and drawing conclusions that can be used to inform decision-making.

Research Project Writing Guide

Here are some guidelines to help you in writing a successful research project:

  • Choose a topic: Choose a topic that you are interested in and that is relevant to your field of study. It is important to choose a topic that is specific and focused enough to allow for in-depth research and analysis.
  • Conduct a literature review : Conduct a thorough review of the existing research on your topic. This will help you to identify gaps in the literature and to develop a research question or hypothesis.
  • Develop a research question or hypothesis : Based on your literature review, develop a clear research question or hypothesis that you will investigate in your study.
  • Design your study: Choose an appropriate research design and methodology to answer your research question or test your hypothesis. This may include choosing a sample, selecting measures or instruments, and determining data collection methods.
  • Collect data: Collect data using your chosen methods and instruments. Be sure to follow ethical guidelines and obtain informed consent from participants if necessary.
  • Analyze data: Analyze your data using appropriate statistical or qualitative methods. Be sure to clearly report your findings and provide interpretations based on your research question or hypothesis.
  • Discuss your findings : Discuss your findings in the context of the existing literature and your research question or hypothesis. Identify any limitations or implications of your study and suggest directions for future research.
  • Write your project: Write your research project in a clear and organized manner, following the appropriate format and style guidelines for your field of study. Be sure to include an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion.
  • Revise and edit: Revise and edit your project for clarity, coherence, and accuracy. Be sure to proofread for spelling, grammar, and formatting errors.
  • Cite your sources: Cite your sources accurately and appropriately using the appropriate citation style for your field of study.

Examples of Research Projects

Some Examples of Research Projects are as follows:

  • Investigating the effects of a new medication on patients with a particular disease or condition.
  • Exploring the impact of exercise on mental health and well-being.
  • Studying the effectiveness of a new teaching method in improving student learning outcomes.
  • Examining the impact of social media on political participation and engagement.
  • Investigating the efficacy of a new therapy for a specific mental health disorder.
  • Exploring the use of renewable energy sources in reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change.
  • Studying the effects of a new agricultural technique on crop yields and environmental sustainability.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of a new technology in improving business productivity and efficiency.
  • Examining the impact of a new public policy on social inequality and access to resources.
  • Exploring the factors that influence consumer behavior in a specific market.

Characteristics of Research Project

Here are some of the characteristics that are often associated with research projects:

  • Clear objective: A research project is designed to answer a specific question or solve a particular problem. The objective of the research should be clearly defined from the outset.
  • Systematic approach: A research project is typically carried out using a structured and systematic approach that involves careful planning, data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Rigorous methodology: A research project should employ a rigorous methodology that is appropriate for the research question being investigated. This may involve the use of statistical analysis, surveys, experiments, or other methods.
  • Data collection : A research project involves collecting data from a variety of sources, including primary sources (such as surveys or experiments) and secondary sources (such as published literature or databases).
  • Analysis and interpretation : Once the data has been collected, it needs to be analyzed and interpreted. This involves using statistical techniques or other methods to identify patterns or relationships in the data.
  • Conclusion and implications : A research project should lead to a clear conclusion that answers the research question. It should also identify the implications of the findings for future research or practice.
  • Communication: The results of the research project should be communicated clearly and effectively, using appropriate language and visual aids, to a range of audiences, including peers, stakeholders, and the wider public.

Importance of Research Project

Research projects are an essential part of the process of generating new knowledge and advancing our understanding of various fields of study. Here are some of the key reasons why research projects are important:

  • Advancing knowledge : Research projects are designed to generate new knowledge and insights into particular topics or questions. This knowledge can be used to inform policies, practices, and decision-making processes across a range of fields.
  • Solving problems: Research projects can help to identify solutions to real-world problems by providing a better understanding of the causes and effects of particular issues.
  • Developing new technologies: Research projects can lead to the development of new technologies or products that can improve people’s lives or address societal challenges.
  • Improving health outcomes: Research projects can contribute to improving health outcomes by identifying new treatments, diagnostic tools, or preventive strategies.
  • Enhancing education: Research projects can enhance education by providing new insights into teaching and learning methods, curriculum development, and student learning outcomes.
  • Informing public policy : Research projects can inform public policy by providing evidence-based recommendations and guidance on issues related to health, education, environment, social justice, and other areas.
  • Enhancing professional development : Research projects can enhance the professional development of researchers by providing opportunities to develop new skills, collaborate with colleagues, and share knowledge with others.

Research Project Ideas

Following are some Research Project Ideas:

Field: Psychology

  • Investigating the impact of social support on coping strategies among individuals with chronic illnesses.
  • Exploring the relationship between childhood trauma and adult attachment styles.
  • Examining the effects of exercise on cognitive function and brain health in older adults.
  • Investigating the impact of sleep deprivation on decision making and risk-taking behavior.
  • Exploring the relationship between personality traits and leadership styles in the workplace.
  • Examining the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for treating anxiety disorders.
  • Investigating the relationship between social comparison and body dissatisfaction in young women.
  • Exploring the impact of parenting styles on children’s emotional regulation and behavior.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions for treating depression.
  • Examining the relationship between childhood adversity and later-life health outcomes.

Field: Economics

  • Analyzing the impact of trade agreements on economic growth in developing countries.
  • Examining the effects of tax policy on income distribution and poverty reduction.
  • Investigating the relationship between foreign aid and economic development in low-income countries.
  • Exploring the impact of globalization on labor markets and job displacement.
  • Analyzing the impact of minimum wage laws on employment and income levels.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of monetary policy in managing inflation and unemployment.
  • Examining the relationship between economic freedom and entrepreneurship.
  • Analyzing the impact of income inequality on social mobility and economic opportunity.
  • Investigating the role of education in economic development.
  • Examining the effectiveness of different healthcare financing systems in promoting health equity.

Field: Sociology

  • Investigating the impact of social media on political polarization and civic engagement.
  • Examining the effects of neighborhood characteristics on health outcomes.
  • Analyzing the impact of immigration policies on social integration and cultural diversity.
  • Investigating the relationship between social support and mental health outcomes in older adults.
  • Exploring the impact of income inequality on social cohesion and trust.
  • Analyzing the effects of gender and race discrimination on career advancement and pay equity.
  • Investigating the relationship between social networks and health behaviors.
  • Examining the effectiveness of community-based interventions for reducing crime and violence.
  • Analyzing the impact of social class on cultural consumption and taste.
  • Investigating the relationship between religious affiliation and social attitudes.

Field: Computer Science

  • Developing an algorithm for detecting fake news on social media.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different machine learning algorithms for image recognition.
  • Developing a natural language processing tool for sentiment analysis of customer reviews.
  • Analyzing the security implications of blockchain technology for online transactions.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different recommendation algorithms for personalized advertising.
  • Developing an artificial intelligence chatbot for mental health counseling.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different algorithms for optimizing online advertising campaigns.
  • Developing a machine learning model for predicting consumer behavior in online marketplaces.
  • Analyzing the privacy implications of different data sharing policies for online platforms.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different algorithms for predicting stock market trends.

Field: Education

  • Investigating the impact of teacher-student relationships on academic achievement.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of different pedagogical approaches for promoting student engagement and motivation.
  • Examining the effects of school choice policies on academic achievement and social mobility.
  • Investigating the impact of technology on learning outcomes and academic achievement.
  • Analyzing the effects of school funding disparities on educational equity and achievement gaps.
  • Investigating the relationship between school climate and student mental health outcomes.
  • Examining the effectiveness of different teaching strategies for promoting critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Investigating the impact of social-emotional learning programs on student behavior and academic achievement.
  • Analyzing the effects of standardized testing on student motivation and academic achievement.

Field: Environmental Science

  • Investigating the impact of climate change on species distribution and biodiversity.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of different renewable energy technologies in reducing carbon emissions.
  • Examining the impact of air pollution on human health outcomes.
  • Investigating the relationship between urbanization and deforestation in developing countries.
  • Analyzing the effects of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • Investigating the impact of land use change on soil fertility and ecosystem services.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of different conservation policies and programs for protecting endangered species and habitats.
  • Investigating the relationship between climate change and water resources in arid regions.
  • Examining the impact of plastic pollution on marine ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • Investigating the effects of different agricultural practices on soil health and nutrient cycling.

Field: Linguistics

  • Analyzing the impact of language diversity on social integration and cultural identity.
  • Investigating the relationship between language and cognition in bilingual individuals.
  • Examining the effects of language contact and language change on linguistic diversity.
  • Investigating the role of language in shaping cultural norms and values.
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of different language teaching methodologies for second language acquisition.
  • Investigating the relationship between language proficiency and academic achievement.
  • Examining the impact of language policy on language use and language attitudes.
  • Investigating the role of language in shaping gender and social identities.
  • Analyzing the effects of dialect contact on language variation and change.
  • Investigating the relationship between language and emotion expression.

Field: Political Science

  • Analyzing the impact of electoral systems on women’s political representation.
  • Investigating the relationship between political ideology and attitudes towards immigration.
  • Examining the effects of political polarization on democratic institutions and political stability.
  • Investigating the impact of social media on political participation and civic engagement.
  • Analyzing the effects of authoritarianism on human rights and civil liberties.
  • Investigating the relationship between public opinion and foreign policy decisions.
  • Examining the impact of international organizations on global governance and cooperation.
  • Investigating the effectiveness of different conflict resolution strategies in resolving ethnic and religious conflicts.
  • Analyzing the effects of corruption on economic development and political stability.
  • Investigating the role of international law in regulating global governance and human rights.

Field: Medicine

  • Investigating the impact of lifestyle factors on chronic disease risk and prevention.
  • Examining the effectiveness of different treatment approaches for mental health disorders.
  • Investigating the relationship between genetics and disease susceptibility.
  • Analyzing the effects of social determinants of health on health outcomes and health disparities.
  • Investigating the impact of different healthcare delivery models on patient outcomes and cost effectiveness.
  • Examining the effectiveness of different prevention and treatment strategies for infectious diseases.
  • Investigating the relationship between healthcare provider communication skills and patient satisfaction and outcomes.
  • Analyzing the effects of medical error and patient safety on healthcare quality and outcomes.
  • Investigating the impact of different pharmaceutical pricing policies on access to essential medicines.
  • Examining the effectiveness of different rehabilitation approaches for improving function and quality of life in individuals with disabilities.

Field: Anthropology

  • Analyzing the impact of colonialism on indigenous cultures and identities.
  • Investigating the relationship between cultural practices and health outcomes in different populations.
  • Examining the effects of globalization on cultural diversity and cultural exchange.
  • Investigating the role of language in cultural transmission and preservation.
  • Analyzing the effects of cultural contact on cultural change and adaptation.
  • Investigating the impact of different migration policies on immigrant integration and acculturation.
  • Examining the role of gender and sexuality in cultural norms and values.
  • Investigating the impact of cultural heritage preservation on tourism and economic development.
  • Analyzing the effects of cultural revitalization movements on indigenous communities.

About the author

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Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

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What is an abstract?

The abstract is a brief summary of your dissertation to help a new reader understand the purpose and content of the document, in much the same way as you would read the abstract of a journal article to help decide whether it was relevant to your work. The function of the abstract is to describe and summarise the contents of the dissertation, rather than making critical or evaluative statements about the project.

When should I write the abstract?

The abstract should be the last section you write before submitting your final dissertation or extended project report, as the content will only be decided once the main document is complete. 

What should I include?

One of the best ways to find the right ‘voice’ for the abstract is to look at other examples, either from dissertations in your field or study, or from journal articles. Look out for examples that you feel communicate complex ideas in a simple and accessible way. Your abstract should be clear and understandable to a non-specialist, so avoid specialist vocabulary as far as possible, and use simple sentence structures over longer more complex constructions. You can find a list of phrases for abstract writing here .

Most abstracts are written in the present tense, but this may differ in some disciplines, so find examples to inform your decision on how to write. Avoid the future tense - ‘this dissertation will consider’ - as the research has already been completed by the time someone is reading the abstract! You can explore some key phrases to use in abstract writing here.

Examples of dissertation abstracts Dissertation abstracts, University of Leeds Overview of what to include in your abstract, University of Wisconsin - Madison Abstract structures from different disciplines, The Writing Center For examples from Sheffield Hallam University, use the 'Advanced Search' function in Library Search to access ‘Dissertations/Theses’.

What should the introduction include?

Your introduction should cover the following points:.

  • Provide context and set the scene for your research project using literature where necessary.
  • Explain the rationale and value of the project.
  • Provide definitions and address general limitations in the literature that have influenced the topic or scope of your project.
  • Present your research aims and objectives, which may also be phrased as the research ‘problem’ or questions.

Although it is important to draft your research aims and objectives early in the research process, the introduction will be one of the last sections you write. When deciding on how much context and which definitions to include in this section, remember to look back at your literature review to avoid any repetition. It may be that you can repurpose some of the early paragraphs in the literature review for the introduction.

What is the ‘research aim’?

The research aim is a mission statement, that states the main ambition of your project. in other words, what does your research project hope to achieve you may also express this as the ‘big questions’ that drives your project, or as the research problem that your dissertation will aim to address or solve..

You only need one research aim, and this is likely to change as your dissertation develops through the literature review. Keep returning to your research aim and your aspirations for the project regularly to help shape this statement.

What are the research objectives? How are they different from research questions?

Research objectives and questions are the same thing – the only difference is how they are written! The objectives are the specific tasks that you will need to complete – the stepping stones – that will enable you to achieve your overall research aim.

You will usually have 3-5 research objectives, and their order will hep the reader to understand how you will progress through your research project from start to finish. If you can achieve each objective, or answer each research question, you should meet your research aim! It is therefore important to be specific in your choice of language: verbs, such as ‘to investigate’, ‘to explore’, ‘to assess’ etc. will help your research appear “do-able” (Farrell, 2011).

Here’s an example of three research objectives, also phrased as research questions (this depends entirely on your preference):

For more ideas on how to write research objectives, take at look at this list of common academic verbs for creating specific, achievable research tasks and questions.

We have an  online study guide dedicated to planning and structuring your literature review.

What is the purpose of the methodology section?

The methodology outlines the procedure and process of your data collection. You should therefore provide enough detail so that a reader could replicate or adapt your methodology in their own research.

While the literature review focuses on the views and arguments of other authors, the methodology puts the spotlight on your project. Two of the key questions you should aim to answer in this section are:

  • Why did you select the methods you used?
  • How do these methods answer your research question(s)?

The methodology chapter should also justify and explain your choice of methodology and methods. At every point where you faced a decision, ask: Why did choose this approach? Why not something else? Why was this theory/method/tool the most relevant or suitable for my project? How did this decision contribute to answering my research questions?

Although most students write their methodology before carrying out their data collection, the methodology section should be written in the past tense, as if the research has already been completed.

What is the difference between my methodology and my methods?

There are three key aspects of any methodology section that you should aim to address:.

  • Methodology: Your choice of methodology will be grounded in a discipline-specific theory about how research should proceed, such as quantitative or qualitative. This overarching decision will help to provide rationale for the specific methods you go on to use.  
  • Research Design: An explanation of the approach that you have chosen, and the type of data you will collect. For example, case study or action research? Will the data you collect be quantitative, qualitative or a mix of both?  
  • Methods: The concrete research tools used to collect and analyse data: questionnaires, in-person surveys, observations etc.

You may also need to include information on epistemology and your philosophical approach to research. You can find more information on this in our research planning guide.

What should I include in the methodology section?

Research paradigm: What is the underpinning philosophy of your research? How does this align with your research aim and objectives?

Methodology : Qualitative or quantitative? Mixed? What are the advantages of your chosen methodology, and why were the other options discounted?

  • Research design : Show how your research design is influenced by other studies in your field and justify your choice of approach.  
  • Methods : What methods did you use? Why? Do these naturally fit together or do you need to justify why you have used different methods in combination?  
  • Participants/Data Sources: What were your sources/who were your participants? Which sampling approach did you use and why? How were they identified as a suitable group to research, and how were they recruited?  
  • Procedure : What did you do to collect your data? Remember, a reader should be able to replicate or adapt your methodology in their own research from the information you provide here.  
  • Limitations : What are the general limitations of your chosen method(s)? Don’t be specific here about your project (ie. what you could have done differently), but instead focus on what the literature outlines as the disadvantages of your methods.

Should I reflect on my position as a researcher?

If you feel your position as a researcher has influenced your choice of methods or procedure in any way, the methodology is a good place to reflect on this. Positionality acknowledges that no researcher is entirely objective: we are all, to some extent, influenced by prior learning, experiences, knowledge, and personal biases. This is particularly true in qualitative research or practice-based research, where the student is acting as a researcher in their own workplace, where they are otherwise considered a practitioner/professional.

The following questions can help you to reflect on your positionality and gauge whether this is an important section to include in your dissertation (for some people, this section isn’t necessary or relevant):

  • How might my personal history influence how I approach the topic?
  • How am I positioned in relation to this knowledge? Am I being influenced by prior learning or knowledge from outside of this course?
  • How does my gender/social class/ ethnicity/ culture influence my positioning in relation to this topic?
  • Do I share any attributes with my participants? Are we part of a s hared community? How might this have influenced our relationship and my role in interviews/observations?
  • Am I invested in the outcomes on a personal level? Who is this research for and who will feel the benefits?
Visit our detailed guides on qualitative and quantitative research for more information.
  • Quantitative projects
  • Qualitative projects

T he purpose of this section is to report the findings of your study. In quantitative research, the results section usually functions as a statement of your findings without discussion.

Results sections generally begin with descriptive statistics before moving on to further tests such as multiple linear regression, or inferential statistical tests such as ANOVA, and any associated Post-Hoc testing.

Here are some top tips for planning/writing your results section:

  • Explain any treatments you have applied to your data.
  • Present your findings in a logical order.
  • Describe trends in the data/anomalous findings but don’t start to interpret them. Save that for your discussion section.
  • Figures and tables are usually the clearest way to present information. It is important to remember to title and label any titles/diagrams to communicate their meaning to the reader and so that you can refer to them again later in the report (e.g. Table 1).
  • Remember to be consistent with the rounding of figures. If you start by rounding to 2 decimal places, ensure that you do this for all data you report.
  • Avoid repeating any information - if something appears in a table it does not need to appear again in the main body of the text.

Presenting qualitative data

In qualitative studies, your results are often presented alongside the discussion, as it is difficult to include this data in a meaningful way without explanation and interpretation. In the dsicussion section, aim to structure your work thematically, moving through the key concepts or ideas that have emerged from your qualitative data. Use extracts from your data collection - interviews, focus groups, observations - to illustrate where these themes are most prominent, and refer back to the sources from your literature review to help draw conclusions. 

Here's an example of how your data could be presented in paragraph format in this section:

Example from  'Reporting and discussing your findings ', Monash University .

What should I include in the discussion section?

The purpose of the discussion section is to interpret your findings and discuss these against the context of the wider literature. This section should also highlight how your research has contributed to the understanding of a phenomenon or problem: this can be achieved by responding to your research questions.

Though the structure of discussion sections can vary, a relatively common structure is offered below:

  • State your major findings – this can be a brief opening paragraph that restates the research problem, the methods you used to attempt to address this, and the major findings of your research.
  • Address your research questions - detail your findings in relation to each of your research questions to help demonstrate how you have attempted to address the research problem. Answer each research question in turn by interpreting the relevant results: this may involve highlighting patterns, relationships or statistically significant differences depending on the design of your research and how you analysed your data.
  • Discuss your findings against the wider literature - this will involve comparing and contrasting your findings against those of others and using key literature to support the interpretation of your results; often, this will involve revisiting key studies from your literature review and discussing where your findings fit in the pre-existing literature. This process can help to highlight the importance of your research through demonstrating what is novel about your findings and how this contributes to the wider understanding of your research area.
  • Address any unexpected findings in your study - begin with by stating the unexpected finding and then offer your interpretation as to why this might have occurred. You may relate unexpected findings to other research literature and you should also consider how any unexpected findings relate to your overall study – especially if you think this is significant in terms of what your findings contribute to the understanding of your research problem!
  • Discuss alternative interpretations - it’s important to remember that in research we find evidence to support ideas, theories and understanding; nothing is ever proven. Consequently, you should discuss possible alternative interpretations of your data – not just those that neatly answer your research questions and confirm your hypotheses.
  • Limitations/weaknesses of your research – acknowledge any factors that might have affected your findings and discuss how this relates to your interpretation of the data. This might include detailing problems with your data collection method, or unanticipated factors that you had not accounted for in your original research plan. Likewise, detail any questions that your findings could not answer and explain why this was the case.
  • Future directions (this part of your discussion could also be included in your conclusion) – this section should address what questions remain unanswered about your research problem. For example, it may be that your findings have answered some questions but raised new ones; this can often occur as a result of unanticipated findings. Likewise, some of the limitations of your research may necessitate further work to address a methodological confound or weakness in a tool of measurement. Whatever these future directions are, remember you’re not writing a proposal for this further research; a brief suggestion of what the research should do and how this would address one of the new problems/limitations you have identified is enough.

Here are some final top tips for writing your discussion section:

  • Don’t rewrite your results section – remember your goal is to interpret and explain how your findings address the research problem.
  • Be clear about what you have found, how this has addressed a gap in the literature and how it changes our understanding of your research problem.
  • Structure your discussion in a logical way that highlights your most important/interesting findings first.
  • Be careful about how you interpret your data: be wary over-interpreting to confirm a hypothesis. Remember, we can still learn from non-significant research findings.
  • Avoid being apologetic or too critical when discussing the limitations of your research. Be concise and analytical. 

How do I avoid repetition in the conclusion?

The conclusion is your opportunity to synthesise everything you have done/written as part of your research, in order to demonstrate your understanding.

A well-structured conclusion is likely to include the following:

  • State your conclusions – in clear language, state the conclusions from your research. Crucially, this not just restating your results/findings: instead, this is a synthesis of the research problem, your research questions, your findings (and interpretation), and the relevant research literature. From your conclusions, it should be clear to your reader how our understanding of the research topic has changed.  
  • Discuss wider significance – this is your opportunity to highlight (potential) wider implications of your conclusions. Depending on your discipline, this might include recommendations for policy, professional practice or a tentative speculation about how an academic theory might change given your findings. It is important not to over-generalise here; remember the limitations of your theoretical and methodological choices and what these mean for the applicability of your findings/conclusions. If your discipline encourages reflection, this can be a suitable place to include your thoughts about the research process, the choices you made and how your findings/conclusions might influence your professional outlook/practice going forwards.  
  • Take home message – this should be a strong and clear final statement that draws the reader’s focus to the primary message of your study. Whilst it’s important to avoid being overly grandiose, this is your closing argument, and you should remind the reader of what your research has achieved.

Ultimately, your conclusion is your final word about the research problem you have investigated; don’t be afraid of emphasising your contribution to the understanding of that problem. Your conclusion should be clear, succinct and provide a summary of everything that has been learned as a result of your research project. 

What supervisors expect from their dissertation students:

  • to determine the focus and direction of the dissertation, particularly in terms of identifying a topic of interest and research question.
  • to work independently to explore literature and research in the chosen topic area.
  • to be proactive in arranging supervision meetings, email draft work before meetings for feedback and prepare specific questions and issues to discuss in supervision time.
  • to be honest and open about any challenges or difficulties that arise during the research or writing process.
  • to bring a problem-solving approach to the dissertation (you are not expected to know all the answers but should show initiative in exploring possible solutions to any problems that might arise).

What you can expect from your supervisor:

  • to offer guidance on the best way to structure and carry out a successful research project in the timescale for your dissertation, and to help you to set achievable and appropriate research objectives.
  • ​ to act as an expert in your discipline and sounding board for your ideas, and to advise you on the literature search and theoretical background for your project.
  • to serve as a 'lifeline' and point of support when the dissertation feels challenging.
  • to read your drafts and give feedback in supervision meetings.
  • to offer practical advice and strategies for managing your time, securing ethics approval, collecting data and common pitfalls to avoid during the research process.

Making the most of your supervision meetings

Meeting your supervisor can feel daunting at first but your supervision meetings offer a great opportunity to discuss your research ideas and get feedback on the direction of your project. Here are our top tips to getting the most out of time with your supervisor:  

  • Y ou are in charge of the agenda. If you arrange a meeting with your supervisor, you call the shots! Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of the time with your supervisor.
  • Send an email in advance of the meeting , with an overview of the key ideas you want to talk about. This can save time in the meeting and helps to give you some structure to follow. If this isn't possible, run through these points quickly when you first sit down as you introduce the meeting - "I wanted to focus on the literature review today, as I'm having some trouble deciding on the order my key themes and points should be introduced in."
  • What do you want to get out of the meeting? Note down any questions you would like the answers to or identify what it is you will need from the meeting in order to make progress on the next stage of your dissertation. Supervision meetings offer the change to talk about your ideas for the project, but they can also be an opportunity to find out practical details and troubleshoot. Don't leave the meeting until you have addressed these and got answers/advice in each key area.
  • Trust your supervisor. Your supervisor may not be an expert in your chosen subject, but they will have experience of writing up research projects and coaching other dissertation students. You are responsible for reading up on your subject and exploring the literature - your supervisor can't tell you what to read, but they can give you advice on how to read your sources and integrate them into your argument and writing.
  • Choose a short section to discuss in the meeting for feedback - for example, if you're not sure on structure, pick a page or two that demonstrate this, or if you want advice on being critical, find an example from a previous essay where you think you did this well and ask your supervisor how to translate this into dissertation writing.
  • Agree an action plan . Work with your supervisor to set a goal for your next meeting, or an objective that you will meet in the week following your supervision. Feeling accountable to someone can be a great motivator and also helps you to recognise where you are starting to fall behind the targets that you've set for yourself.
  • Be open and honest . It can feel daunting meeting your supervisor, but supervision meetings aren't an interview where you have to prove everything is going well. Ask for help and advice where you need it, and be honest if you're finding things difficult. A supervisor is there to support you and help you to develop the skills and knowledge you need along the journey to submitting your dissertation.
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Grad Coach

Research Proposal Example/Sample

Detailed Walkthrough + Free Proposal Template

If you’re getting started crafting your research proposal and are looking for a few examples of research proposals , you’ve come to the right place.

In this video, we walk you through two successful (approved) research proposals , one for a Master’s-level project, and one for a PhD-level dissertation. We also start off by unpacking our free research proposal template and discussing the four core sections of a research proposal, so that you have a clear understanding of the basics before diving into the actual proposals.

  • Research proposal example/sample – Master’s-level (PDF/Word)
  • Research proposal example/sample – PhD-level (PDF/Word)
  • Proposal template (Fully editable) 

If you’re working on a research proposal for a dissertation or thesis, you may also find the following useful:

  • Research Proposal Bootcamp : Learn how to write a research proposal as efficiently and effectively as possible
  • 1:1 Proposal Coaching : Get hands-on help with your research proposal

Free Webinar: How To Write A Research Proposal

FAQ: Research Proposal Example

Research proposal example: frequently asked questions, are the sample proposals real.

Yes. The proposals are real and were approved by the respective universities.

Can I copy one of these proposals for my own research?

As we discuss in the video, every research proposal will be slightly different, depending on the university’s unique requirements, as well as the nature of the research itself. Therefore, you’ll need to tailor your research proposal to suit your specific context.

You can learn more about the basics of writing a research proposal here .

How do I get the research proposal template?

You can access our free proposal template here .

Is the proposal template really free?

Yes. There is no cost for the proposal template and you are free to use it as a foundation for your research proposal.

Where can I learn more about proposal writing?

For self-directed learners, our Research Proposal Bootcamp is a great starting point.

For students that want hands-on guidance, our private coaching service is recommended.

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This post is an extract from our bestselling Udemy Course, Research Proposal Bootcamp . If you want to work smart, you don't want to miss this .

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Education During Coronavirus

A Smithsonian magazine special report

Science | June 15, 2020

Seventy-Five Scientific Research Projects You Can Contribute to Online

From astrophysicists to entomologists, many researchers need the help of citizen scientists to sift through immense data collections

Citizen science (mobile)

Rachael Lallensack

Former Assistant Editor, Science and Innovation

If you find yourself tired of streaming services, reading the news or video-chatting with friends, maybe you should consider becoming a citizen scientist. Though it’s true that many field research projects are paused , hundreds of scientists need your help sifting through wildlife camera footage and images of galaxies far, far away, or reading through diaries and field notes from the past.

Plenty of these tools are free and easy enough for children to use. You can look around for projects yourself on Smithsonian Institution’s citizen science volunteer page , National Geographic ’s list of projects and CitizenScience.gov ’s catalog of options. Zooniverse is a platform for online-exclusive projects , and Scistarter allows you to restrict your search with parameters, including projects you can do “on a walk,” “at night” or “on a lunch break.”

To save you some time, Smithsonian magazine has compiled a collection of dozens of projects you can take part in from home.

A blue heron caught on a trail cam.

American Wildlife

If being home has given you more time to look at wildlife in your own backyard, whether you live in the city or the country, consider expanding your view, by helping scientists identify creatures photographed by camera traps. Improved battery life, motion sensors, high-resolution and small lenses have made camera traps indispensable tools for conservation.These cameras capture thousands of images that provide researchers with more data about ecosystems than ever before.

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s eMammal platform , for example, asks users to identify animals for conservation projects around the country. Currently, eMammal is being used by the Woodland Park Zoo ’s Seattle Urban Carnivore Project, which studies how coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats and other animals coexist with people, and the Washington Wolverine Project, an effort to monitor wolverines in the face of climate change. Identify urban wildlife for the Chicago Wildlife Watch , or contribute to wilderness projects documenting North American biodiversity with The Wilds' Wildlife Watch in Ohio , Cedar Creek: Eyes on the Wild in Minnesota , Michigan ZoomIN , Western Montana Wildlife and Snapshot Wisconsin .

"Spend your time at home virtually exploring the Minnesota backwoods,” writes the lead researcher of the Cedar Creek: Eyes on the Wild project. “Help us understand deer dynamics, possum populations, bear behavior, and keep your eyes peeled for elusive wolves!"

A baby elephant stands between the legs of an adult elephant.

If being cooped up at home has you daydreaming about traveling, Snapshot Safari has six active animal identification projects. Try eyeing lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, elephants, giraffes, baobab trees and over 400 bird species from camera trap photos taken in South African nature reserves, including De Hoop Nature Reserve and Madikwe Game Reserve .

With South Sudan DiversityCam , researchers are using camera traps to study biodiversity in the dense tropical forests of southwestern South Sudan. Part of the Serenegeti Lion Project, Snapshot Serengeti needs the help of citizen scientists to classify millions of camera trap images of species traveling with the wildebeest migration.

Classify all kinds of monkeys with Chimp&See . Count, identify and track giraffes in northern Kenya . Watering holes host all kinds of wildlife, but that makes the locales hotspots for parasite transmission; Parasite Safari needs volunteers to help figure out which animals come in contact with each other and during what time of year.

Mount Taranaki in New Zealand is a volcanic peak rich in native vegetation, but native wildlife, like the North Island brown kiwi, whio/blue duck and seabirds, are now rare—driven out by introduced predators like wild goats, weasels, stoats, possums and rats. Estimate predator species compared to native wildlife with Taranaki Mounga by spotting species on camera trap images.

The Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) Instant Wild app has a dozen projects showcasing live images and videos of wildlife around the world. Look for bears, wolves and lynx in Croatia ; wildcats in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula ; otters in Hampshire, England ; and both black and white rhinos in the Lewa-Borana landscape in Kenya.

An image featuring marine life from Invader ID.

Under the Sea

Researchers use a variety of technologies to learn about marine life and inform conservation efforts. Take, for example, Beluga Bits , a research project focused on determining the sex, age and pod size of beluga whales visiting the Churchill River in northern Manitoba, Canada. With a bit of training, volunteers can learn how to differentiate between a calf, a subadult (grey) or an adult (white)—and even identify individuals using scars or unique pigmentation—in underwater videos and images. Beluga Bits uses a “ beluga boat ,” which travels around the Churchill River estuary with a camera underneath it, to capture the footage and collect GPS data about the whales’ locations.

Many of these online projects are visual, but Manatee Chat needs citizen scientists who can train their ear to decipher manatee vocalizations. Researchers are hoping to learn what calls the marine mammals make and when—with enough practice you might even be able to recognize the distinct calls of individual animals.

Several groups are using drone footage to monitor seal populations. Seals spend most of their time in the water, but come ashore to breed. One group, Seal Watch , is analyzing time-lapse photography and drone images of seals in the British territory of South Georgia in the South Atlantic. A team in Antarctica captured images of Weddell seals every ten minutes while the seals were on land in spring to have their pups. The Weddell Seal Count project aims to find out what threats—like fishing and climate change—the seals face by monitoring changes in their population size. Likewise, the Año Nuevo Island - Animal Count asks volunteers to count elephant seals, sea lions, cormorants and more species on a remote research island off the coast of California.

With Floating Forests , you’ll sift through 40 years of satellite images of the ocean surface identifying kelp forests, which are foundational for marine ecosystems, providing shelter for shrimp, fish and sea urchins. A project based in southwest England, Seagrass Explorer , is investigating the decline of seagrass beds. Researchers are using baited cameras to spot commercial fish in these habitats as well as looking out for algae to study the health of these threatened ecosystems. Search for large sponges, starfish and cold-water corals on the deep seafloor in Sweden’s first marine park with the Koster seafloor observatory project.

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center needs your help spotting invasive species with Invader ID . Train your eye to spot groups of organisms, known as fouling communities, that live under docks and ship hulls, in an effort to clean up marine ecosystems.

If art history is more your speed, two Dutch art museums need volunteers to start “ fishing in the past ” by analyzing a collection of paintings dating from 1500 to 1700. Each painting features at least one fish, and an interdisciplinary research team of biologists and art historians wants you to identify the species of fish to make a clearer picture of the “role of ichthyology in the past.”

Pictured is a Zerene eurydice specimen, or California dogface butterfly, caught in 1951.

Interesting Insects

Notes from Nature is a digitization effort to make the vast resources in museums’ archives of plants and insects more accessible. Similarly, page through the University of California Berkeley’s butterfly collection on CalBug to help researchers classify these beautiful critters. The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology has already digitized about 300,000 records, but their collection exceeds 4 million bugs. You can hop in now and transcribe their grasshopper archives from the last century . Parasitic arthropods, like mosquitos and ticks, are known disease vectors; to better locate these critters, the Terrestrial Parasite Tracker project is working with 22 collections and institutions to digitize over 1.2 million specimens—and they’re 95 percent done . If you can tolerate mosquito buzzing for a prolonged period of time, the HumBug project needs volunteers to train its algorithm and develop real-time mosquito detection using acoustic monitoring devices. It’s for the greater good!

Pelicans coming in for landing on PELIcam.

For the Birders

Birdwatching is one of the most common forms of citizen science . Seeing birds in the wilderness is certainly awe-inspiring, but you can birdwatch from your backyard or while walking down the sidewalk in big cities, too. With Cornell University’s eBird app , you can contribute to bird science at any time, anywhere. (Just be sure to remain a safe distance from wildlife—and other humans, while we social distance ). If you have safe access to outdoor space—a backyard, perhaps—Cornell also has a NestWatch program for people to report observations of bird nests. Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center has a similar Neighborhood Nest Watch program as well.

Birdwatching is easy enough to do from any window, if you’re sheltering at home, but in case you lack a clear view, consider these online-only projects. Nest Quest currently has a robin database that needs volunteer transcribers to digitize their nest record cards.

You can also pitch in on a variety of efforts to categorize wildlife camera images of burrowing owls , pelicans , penguins (new data coming soon!), and sea birds . Watch nest cam footage of the northern bald ibis or greylag geese on NestCams to help researchers learn about breeding behavior.

Or record the coloration of gorgeous feathers across bird species for researchers at London’s Natural History Museum with Project Plumage .

A pressed Wister's coralroot below a letter and sketch of the flower found in Oct. 1937

Pretty Plants

If you’re out on a walk wondering what kind of plants are around you, consider downloading Leafsnap , an electronic field guide app developed by Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution. The app has several functions. First, it can be used to identify plants with its visual recognition software. Secondly, scientists can learn about the “ the ebb and flow of flora ” from geotagged images taken by app users.

What is older than the dinosaurs, survived three mass extinctions and still has a living relative today? Ginko trees! Researchers at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History are studying ginko trees and fossils to understand millions of years of plant evolution and climate change with the Fossil Atmospheres project . Using Zooniverse, volunteers will be trained to identify and count stomata, which are holes on a leaf’s surface where carbon dioxide passes through. By counting these holes, or quantifying the stomatal index, scientists can learn how the plants adapted to changing levels of carbon dioxide. These results will inform a field experiment conducted on living trees in which a scientist is adjusting the level of carbon dioxide for different groups.

Help digitize and categorize millions of botanical specimens from natural history museums, research institutions and herbaria across the country with the Notes from Nature Project . Did you know North America is home to a variety of beautiful orchid species? Lend botanists a handby typing handwritten labels on pressed specimens or recording their geographic and historic origins for the New York Botanical Garden’s archives. Likewise, the Southeastern U.S. Biodiversity project needs assistance labeling pressed poppies, sedums, valerians, violets and more. Groups in California , Arkansas , Florida , Texas and Oklahoma all invite citizen scientists to partake in similar tasks.

A group of Harvard computers and astronomers.

Historic Women in Astronomy

Become a transcriber for Project PHaEDRA and help researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics preserve the work of Harvard’s women “computers” who revolutionized astronomy in the 20th century. These women contributed more than 130 years of work documenting the night sky, cataloging stars, interpreting stellar spectra, counting galaxies, and measuring distances in space, according to the project description .

More than 2,500 notebooks need transcription on Project PhaEDRA - Star Notes . You could start with Annie Jump Cannon , for example. In 1901, Cannon designed a stellar classification system that astronomers still use today. Cecilia Payne discovered that stars are made primarily of hydrogen and helium and can be categorized by temperature. Two notebooks from Henrietta Swan Leavitt are currently in need of transcription. Leavitt, who was deaf, discovered the link between period and luminosity in Cepheid variables, or pulsating stars, which “led directly to the discovery that the Universe is expanding,” according to her bio on Star Notes .

Volunteers are also needed to transcribe some of these women computers’ notebooks that contain references to photographic glass plates . These plates were used to study space from the 1880s to the 1990s. For example, in 1890, Williamina Flemming discovered the Horsehead Nebula on one of these plates . With Star Notes, you can help bridge the gap between “modern scientific literature and 100 years of astronomical observations,” according to the project description . Star Notes also features the work of Cannon, Leavitt and Dorrit Hoffleit , who authored the fifth edition of the Bright Star Catalog, which features 9,110 of the brightest stars in the sky.

A microscopic image of white blood cells

Microscopic Musings

Electron microscopes have super-high resolution and magnification powers—and now, many can process images automatically, allowing teams to collect an immense amount of data. Francis Crick Institute’s Etch A Cell - Powerhouse Hunt project trains volunteers to spot and trace each cell’s mitochondria, a process called manual segmentation. Manual segmentation is a major bottleneck to completing biological research because using computer systems to complete the work is still fraught with errors and, without enough volunteers, doing this work takes a really long time.

For the Monkey Health Explorer project, researchers studying the social behavior of rhesus monkeys on the tiny island Cayo Santiago off the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico need volunteers to analyze the monkeys’ blood samples. Doing so will help the team understand which monkeys are sick and which are healthy, and how the animals’ health influences behavioral changes.

Using the Zooniverse’s app on a phone or tablet, you can become a “ Science Scribbler ” and assist researchers studying how Huntington disease may change a cell’s organelles. The team at the United Kingdom's national synchrotron , which is essentially a giant microscope that harnesses the power of electrons, has taken highly detailed X-ray images of the cells of Huntington’s patients and needs help identifying organelles, in an effort to see how the disease changes their structure.

Oxford University’s Comprehensive Resistance Prediction for Tuberculosis: an International Consortium—or CRyPTIC Project , for short, is seeking the aid of citizen scientists to study over 20,000 TB infection samples from around the world. CRyPTIC’s citizen science platform is called Bash the Bug . On the platform, volunteers will be trained to evaluate the effectiveness of antibiotics on a given sample. Each evaluation will be checked by a scientist for accuracy and then used to train a computer program, which may one day make this process much faster and less labor intensive.

12 images from the platform showcasing different galactic formations

Out of This World

If you’re interested in contributing to astronomy research from the comfort and safety of your sidewalk or backyard, check out Globe at Night . The project monitors light pollution by asking users to try spotting constellations in the night sky at designated times of the year . (For example, Northern Hemisphere dwellers should look for the Bootes and Hercules constellations from June 13 through June 22 and record the visibility in Globe at Night’s app or desktop report page .)

For the amateur astrophysicists out there, the opportunities to contribute to science are vast. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission is asking for volunteers to search for new objects at the edges of our solar system with the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project .

Galaxy Zoo on Zooniverse and its mobile app has operated online citizen science projects for the past decade. According to the project description, there are roughly one hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. Surprisingly, identifying different types of galaxies by their shape is rather easy. “If you're quick, you may even be the first person to see the galaxies you're asked to classify,” the team writes.

With Radio Galaxy Zoo: LOFAR , volunteers can help identify supermassive blackholes and star-forming galaxies. Galaxy Zoo: Clump Scout asks users to look for young, “clumpy” looking galaxies, which help astronomers understand galaxy evolution.

If current events on Earth have you looking to Mars, perhaps you’d be interested in checking out Planet Four and Planet Four: Terrains —both of which task users with searching and categorizing landscape formations on Mars’ southern hemisphere. You’ll scroll through images of the Martian surface looking for terrain types informally called “spiders,” “baby spiders,” “channel networks” and “swiss cheese.”

Gravitational waves are telltale ripples in spacetime, but they are notoriously difficult to measure. With Gravity Spy , citizen scientists sift through data from Laser Interferometer Gravitational­-Wave Observatory, or LIGO , detectors. When lasers beamed down 2.5-mile-long “arms” at these facilities in Livingston, Louisiana and Hanford, Washington are interrupted, a gravitational wave is detected. But the detectors are sensitive to “glitches” that, in models, look similar to the astrophysical signals scientists are looking for. Gravity Spy teaches citizen scientists how to identify fakes so researchers can get a better view of the real deal. This work will, in turn, train computer algorithms to do the same.

Similarly, the project Supernova Hunters needs volunteers to clear out the “bogus detections of supernovae,” allowing researchers to track the progression of actual supernovae. In Hubble Space Telescope images, you can search for asteroid tails with Hubble Asteroid Hunter . And with Planet Hunters TESS , which teaches users to identify planetary formations, you just “might be the first person to discover a planet around a nearby star in the Milky Way,” according to the project description.

Help astronomers refine prediction models for solar storms, which kick up dust that impacts spacecraft orbiting the sun, with Solar Stormwatch II. Thanks to the first iteration of the project, astronomers were able to publish seven papers with their findings.

With Mapping Historic Skies , identify constellations on gorgeous celestial maps of the sky covering a span of 600 years from the Adler Planetarium collection in Chicago. Similarly, help fill in the gaps of historic astronomy with Astronomy Rewind , a project that aims to “make a holistic map of images of the sky.”

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Rachael Lallensack is the former assistant web editor for science and innovation at Smithsonian .

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5 compelling examples of research projects

Last updated

14 March 2023

Reviewed by

Creative and innovative minds dream up big ideas that build the trends of tomorrow, but the research behind the scenes is often the secret sauce to company success. Businesses need a way to learn how their products or services will resonate with the market and where to invest their marketing efforts. 

  • Research project examples

Data collected from research products can help you verify theories, understand customer behavior, and quantify KPIs for a clear picture of how to improve business practices. 

Many types of research projects can help businesses find ways to fuel growth and adapt to market changes. These five examples of market research projects highlight the various ways businesses can use research and measurable data to grow successfully and avoid poor investments.  

Example 1: Competitive analysis

It's important for businesses of all sizes to understand the competitive landscape and where they stand in comparison to direct competitors. By identifying your competitors and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, you can find ways to position your company for greater success. 

Competitive analysis can be used to better understand the market, improve marketing methods, and identify underserved customers.

The goals of competitive analysis may include:

Identifying your company's position in the market

Uncovering industry trends

Finding new marketing techniques

Identifying a new target customer base

Planning for new product innovation

Competitive research is conducted by identifying competitors and analyzing their performance. After identifying your direct competitors and gathering data about their products and services, you can dig deeper to learn more about how they serve customers. This may include gathering information about sales and marketing strategies, customer engagement , and social media strategies.

When analyzing direct competitors, organizing information about your competitors' attributes, strategies, strengths, and weaknesses will help you reveal themes that give you greater insight into the market.

a research project example

Competitor analysis templates

Example 2: market segmentation.

Every business relies on customers for success. Researching your target audience and your potential position in the market is essential to developing strong marketing plans. 

Market segmentation can be used to plan marketing campaigns, identify ideal product prices, and personalize your brand.

The goals of market segmentation research may include: 

Identifying the target audience

Planning for new products or services

Expanding to a new location

Improving marketing efforts

Personalizing communications with customers

Improving customer satisfaction

There are many ways to collect and organize data for market segmentation research. Depending on your products and services, you might choose to divide your target population into groups based on demographics, location, behavior patterns, lifestyle aspects, etc. Organizing such data allows you to create buyer personas and test marketing strategies.

Example 3: New product development research

Companies must invest significant time and money into the development of a new product . Product development research is an important part of promoting a successful launch of a new product. 

The goals of product development research may include:

Forecasting the usage of products

Identifying accurate pricing

How products compare to competitors

Potential barriers to success

How customers will respond to new or updated products

Product development research includes studies conducted during the planning phase all the way through prototype testing and market planning. Research may include online surveys to determine which demographics would be most interested in the product or how a new product might be used. Advanced studies can include product testing to gather feedback about issues customers are having or features that could be improved.

Example 4: Customer satisfaction

According to the CallMiner Churn Index 2020 , U.S. companies lose $168 billion per year due to avoidable consumer switching. Customer satisfaction leads to loyalty and repeat purchases. Furthermore, happy customers leave good reviews and act as natural brand ambassadors. 

Findings from customer satisfaction surveys can help companies get a better understanding of the customer journey and develop new processes.

The goals of customer satisfaction research may include: 

Understanding overall customer satisfaction

Finding bottlenecks or points along the customer journey that decrease the level of customer satisfaction

Measuring the level of likelihood to recommend to others ( Net Promoter Score )

Measuring customer satisfaction may include surveys to determine satisfaction with the company, opinions about the sales process, or about a specific process like the user-friendliness of an app or company website. This can be achieved by organizing data derived from customer interviews, customer satisfaction surveys, reviews, and customer loyalty programs. 

Example 5: Brand research

No product or business is without competition. Establishing your brand in the market can help you stand out from the crowd. Brand research can help you understand whether your marketing campaigns are reaching their goals and how customers perceive your brand. 

Some goals of brand research may include:

Positioning your brand more competitively in the marketplace

Measuring the effectiveness of brand marketing

Determining the public perception of your brand

Developing new marketing campaigns

Tracking brand success on a regular basis

There are a variety of ways to conduct research about how consumers perceive your brand. In-person focus groups can help you get an in-depth view of how your brand is perceived and why. Surveys can help you gather data surrounding brand preference, brand loyalty, and what people associate with your brand. Ongoing research in these areas can help you build your brand value over time and find ways to share your company mission and personality with consumers.

  • How to find ideas for your next research project

Successfully running a business requires you to be well-informed on product development, branding, customer service, industry trends, marketing, sales, organizational processes, employee satisfaction , and more. 

Various research products can help you stay informed and up-to-date in all these areas. However, determining where to focus your efforts and invest your capital can be challenging. These actions can help you find ideas for your next research project.

Identify problems or issues

Remember, research is conducted to satisfy a question or reach a goal. Identify problems that impact customer retention , sales, or company performance. Use these problems to determine which types of research topics are most likely to help your company achieve greater success. If performance is low, consider a research project to determine employee satisfaction levels and identify how to improve them. If sales are low, consider research into sales processes or customer satisfaction. 

Confirm the potential for a new idea

New products or services help companies grow and attract more customers. However, they require a big upfront investment from your organization. You can prove that your next big idea will be a hit by developing research projects around the need for a new product and your target customers. Solid data is often needed to convince company leaders and stakeholders to invest in a new product or service.

Check out the competition

Where do you stand in comparison to your competitors? If you're unsatisfied with your position in the market, learning more about what your competitors are doing right can help you determine how to improve. 

  • Characteristics of a good market research idea

Shallow or vague research topics can lead to lackluster results that don't really add value to your studies. To conduct a successful research project, it's important to develop a plan that will yield productive data. When choosing a topic for your next research project, look for these characteristics. 

The topic is relevant to your current position

The idea is manageable (research can be conducted with your resources and budget)

The project has a specific and focused goal

You can clearly define and outline the scope of the project

The subject matter isn't too broad or narrow to yield useful results

While research can be science-based or for academic purposes, market research is conducted for a variety of reasons to help businesses grow or reach new levels of success. Understanding market research goals is the key to developing highly effective research projects that yield useful data. By examining examples of different research projects and your organizational goals, you can more easily decide where to focus your efforts.

Which topic is best for a research project?

There isn't a single topic that provides the best research project for every researcher. The best research topics serve a purpose like gaining a deeper understanding of a specific phenomenon, solving problems, improving processes, generating ideas, etc. Finding the best topic for research requires an investigation into what type of research project is likely to yield the most effective results.

How do you structure a research project?

The structure of your research project should clarify what you will investigate, why it is important, and how you will conduct your research. To get funding or approval for a research project, researchers are often required to submit a research proposal which acts as a blueprint and guide for a research plan. Any formal or informal research plan should include these features.

The identity and position of the researcher

An introduction of the topic and why it's relevant

The objective of the project and why you think the research is worth doing

An overview of existing knowledge on the topic

A detailed list of practical steps for how you will reach your objective, including gathering data and how you'll gain insights from the data you obtain

A clear timeline of the project and the planned project budget

What's the difference between a project and a research project?

A project is a planned set of activities with a specific outcome, while a research project is the investigation of data, sources, and facts to reach new conclusions. In a business context, a project may be the development of a marketing campaign, planning a new product or service, or establishing new policies. Research projects use relevant data to fuel business projects and activities.

What are some examples of practical research topics?

Practical research projects can range across a variety of subjects and purposes. Research is often conducted to further medical knowledge, change and adapt laws, address economic changes, advance academic studies, or improve business success. Here are a few examples.

How eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables affects advanced Crohn's disease

How to improve customer satisfaction by 20% in six weeks

The impact of increasing voter turnout by 25% on the presidential election

The percentage increase of new customers with the addition of online enrollment for banking services

The most effective way to improve employee retention in a company with 1,000 employees

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Research Paper Guide

Research Paper Example

Nova A.

Research Paper Examples - Free Sample Papers for Different Formats!

Published on: Nov 27, 2017

Last updated on: Jan 11, 2024

Research Paper Example

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Crafting a comprehensive research paper can be daunting. Understanding diverse citation styles and various subject areas presents a challenge for many.

Without clear examples, students often feel lost and overwhelmed, unsure of how to start or which style fits their subject.

Explore our collection of expertly written research paper examples. We’ve covered various citation styles and a diverse range of subjects.

So, read on!

On This Page On This Page -->

Research Paper Example for Different Formats

Following a specific formatting style is essential while writing a research paper . Knowing the conventions and guidelines for each format can help you in creating a perfect paper. Here we have gathered examples of research paper for most commonly applied citation styles :

Social Media and Social Media Marketing: A Literature Review

APA Research Paper Example

APA (American Psychological Association) style is commonly used in social sciences, psychology, and education. This format is recognized for its clear and concise writing, emphasis on proper citations, and orderly presentation of ideas.

Here are some research paper examples in APA style:

Research Paper Example APA 7th Edition

Research Paper Example MLA

MLA (Modern Language Association) style is frequently employed in humanities disciplines, including literature, languages, and cultural studies. An MLA research paper might explore literature analysis, linguistic studies, or historical research within the humanities. 

Here is an example:

Found Voices: Carl Sagan

Research Paper Example Chicago

Chicago style is utilized in various fields like history, arts, and social sciences. Research papers in Chicago style could delve into historical events, artistic analyses, or social science inquiries. 

Here is a research paper formatted in Chicago style:

Chicago Research Paper Sample

Research Paper Example Harvard

Harvard style is widely used in business, management, and some social sciences. Research papers in Harvard style might address business strategies, case studies, or social policies.

View this sample Harvard style paper here:

Harvard Research Paper Sample

Examples for Different Research Paper Parts

A research paper has different parts. Each part is important for the overall success of the paper. Chapters in a research paper must be written correctly, using a certain format and structure.

The following are examples of how different sections of the research paper can be written.

Research Proposal

The research proposal acts as a detailed plan or roadmap for your study, outlining the focus of your research and its significance. It's essential as it not only guides your research but also persuades others about the value of your study.

Example of Research Proposal

An abstract serves as a concise overview of your entire research paper. It provides a quick insight into the main elements of your study. It summarizes your research's purpose, methods, findings, and conclusions in a brief format.

Research Paper Example Abstract

Literature Review 

A literature review summarizes the existing research on your study's topic, showcasing what has already been explored. This section adds credibility to your own research by analyzing and summarizing prior studies related to your topic.

Literature Review Research Paper Example

Methodology

The methodology section functions as a detailed explanation of how you conducted your research. This part covers the tools, techniques, and steps used to collect and analyze data for your study.

Methods Section of Research Paper Example

How to Write the Methods Section of a Research Paper

The conclusion summarizes your findings, their significance and the impact of your research. This section outlines the key takeaways and the broader implications of your study's results.

Research Paper Conclusion Example

Research Paper Examples for Different Fields

Research papers can be about any subject that needs a detailed study. The following examples show research papers for different subjects.

History Research Paper Sample

Preparing a history research paper involves investigating and presenting information about past events. This may include exploring perspectives, analyzing sources, and constructing a narrative that explains the significance of historical events.

View this history research paper sample:

Many Faces of Generalissimo Fransisco Franco

Sociology Research Paper Sample

In sociology research, statistics and data are harnessed to explore societal issues within a particular region or group. These findings are thoroughly analyzed to gain an understanding of the structure and dynamics present within these communities. 

Here is a sample:

A Descriptive Statistical Analysis within the State of Virginia

Science Fair Research Paper Sample

A science research paper involves explaining a scientific experiment or project. It includes outlining the purpose, procedures, observations, and results of the experiment in a clear, logical manner.

Here are some examples:

Science Fair Paper Format

What Do I Need To Do For The Science Fair?

Psychology Research Paper Sample

Writing a psychology research paper involves studying human behavior and mental processes. This process includes conducting experiments, gathering data, and analyzing results to understand the human mind, emotions, and behavior.

Here is an example psychology paper:

The Effects of Food Deprivation on Concentration and Perseverance

Art History Research Paper Sample

Studying art history includes examining artworks, understanding their historical context, and learning about the artists. This helps analyze and interpret how art has evolved over various periods and regions.

Check out this sample paper analyzing European art and impacts:

European Art History: A Primer

Research Paper Example Outline

Before you plan on writing a well-researched paper, make a rough draft. An outline can be a great help when it comes to organizing vast amounts of research material for your paper.

Here is an outline of a research paper example:

Here is a downloadable sample of a standard research paper outline:

Research Paper Outline

Want to create the perfect outline for your paper? Check out this in-depth guide on creating a research paper outline for a structured paper!

Good Research Paper Examples for Students

Here are some more samples of research paper for students to learn from:

Fiscal Research Center - Action Plan

Qualitative Research Paper Example

Research Paper Example Introduction

How to Write a Research Paper Example

Research Paper Example for High School

Now that you have explored the research paper examples, you can start working on your research project. Hopefully, these examples will help you understand the writing process for a research paper.

If you're facing challenges with your writing requirements, you can hire our essay writing service .

Our team is experienced in delivering perfectly formatted, 100% original research papers. So, whether you need help with a part of research or an entire paper, our experts are here to deliver.

So, why miss out? Place your ‘ write my research paper ’ request today and get a top-quality research paper!

Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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  • Aims and Objectives – A Guide for Academic Writing
  • Doing a PhD

One of the most important aspects of a thesis, dissertation or research paper is the correct formulation of the aims and objectives. This is because your aims and objectives will establish the scope, depth and direction that your research will ultimately take. An effective set of aims and objectives will give your research focus and your reader clarity, with your aims indicating what is to be achieved, and your objectives indicating how it will be achieved.

Introduction

There is no getting away from the importance of the aims and objectives in determining the success of your research project. Unfortunately, however, it is an aspect that many students struggle with, and ultimately end up doing poorly. Given their importance, if you suspect that there is even the smallest possibility that you belong to this group of students, we strongly recommend you read this page in full.

This page describes what research aims and objectives are, how they differ from each other, how to write them correctly, and the common mistakes students make and how to avoid them. An example of a good aim and objectives from a past thesis has also been deconstructed to help your understanding.

What Are Aims and Objectives?

Research aims.

A research aim describes the main goal or the overarching purpose of your research project.

In doing so, it acts as a focal point for your research and provides your readers with clarity as to what your study is all about. Because of this, research aims are almost always located within its own subsection under the introduction section of a research document, regardless of whether it’s a thesis , a dissertation, or a research paper .

A research aim is usually formulated as a broad statement of the main goal of the research and can range in length from a single sentence to a short paragraph. Although the exact format may vary according to preference, they should all describe why your research is needed (i.e. the context), what it sets out to accomplish (the actual aim) and, briefly, how it intends to accomplish it (overview of your objectives).

To give an example, we have extracted the following research aim from a real PhD thesis:

Example of a Research Aim

The role of diametrical cup deformation as a factor to unsatisfactory implant performance has not been widely reported. The aim of this thesis was to gain an understanding of the diametrical deformation behaviour of acetabular cups and shells following impaction into the reamed acetabulum. The influence of a range of factors on deformation was investigated to ascertain if cup and shell deformation may be high enough to potentially contribute to early failure and high wear rates in metal-on-metal implants.

Note: Extracted with permission from thesis titled “T he Impact And Deformation Of Press-Fit Metal Acetabular Components ” produced by Dr H Hothi of previously Queen Mary University of London.

Research Objectives

Where a research aim specifies what your study will answer, research objectives specify how your study will answer it.

They divide your research aim into several smaller parts, each of which represents a key section of your research project. As a result, almost all research objectives take the form of a numbered list, with each item usually receiving its own chapter in a dissertation or thesis.

Following the example of the research aim shared above, here are it’s real research objectives as an example:

Example of a Research Objective

  • Develop finite element models using explicit dynamics to mimic mallet blows during cup/shell insertion, initially using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum.
  • Investigate the number, velocity and position of impacts needed to insert a cup.
  • Determine the relationship between the size of interference between the cup and cavity and deformation for different cup types.
  • Investigate the influence of non-uniform cup support and varying the orientation of the component in the cavity on deformation.
  • Examine the influence of errors during reaming of the acetabulum which introduce ovality to the cavity.
  • Determine the relationship between changes in the geometry of the component and deformation for different cup designs.
  • Develop three dimensional pelvis models with non-uniform bone material properties from a range of patients with varying bone quality.
  • Use the key parameters that influence deformation, as identified in the foam models to determine the range of deformations that may occur clinically using the anatomic models and if these deformations are clinically significant.

It’s worth noting that researchers sometimes use research questions instead of research objectives, or in other cases both. From a high-level perspective, research questions and research objectives make the same statements, but just in different formats.

Taking the first three research objectives as an example, they can be restructured into research questions as follows:

Restructuring Research Objectives as Research Questions

  • Can finite element models using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum together with explicit dynamics be used to mimic mallet blows during cup/shell insertion?
  • What is the number, velocity and position of impacts needed to insert a cup?
  • What is the relationship between the size of interference between the cup and cavity and deformation for different cup types?

Difference Between Aims and Objectives

Hopefully the above explanations make clear the differences between aims and objectives, but to clarify:

  • The research aim focus on what the research project is intended to achieve; research objectives focus on how the aim will be achieved.
  • Research aims are relatively broad; research objectives are specific.
  • Research aims focus on a project’s long-term outcomes; research objectives focus on its immediate, short-term outcomes.
  • A research aim can be written in a single sentence or short paragraph; research objectives should be written as a numbered list.

How to Write Aims and Objectives

Before we discuss how to write a clear set of research aims and objectives, we should make it clear that there is no single way they must be written. Each researcher will approach their aims and objectives slightly differently, and often your supervisor will influence the formulation of yours on the basis of their own preferences.

Regardless, there are some basic principles that you should observe for good practice; these principles are described below.

Your aim should be made up of three parts that answer the below questions:

  • Why is this research required?
  • What is this research about?
  • How are you going to do it?

The easiest way to achieve this would be to address each question in its own sentence, although it does not matter whether you combine them or write multiple sentences for each, the key is to address each one.

The first question, why , provides context to your research project, the second question, what , describes the aim of your research, and the last question, how , acts as an introduction to your objectives which will immediately follow.

Scroll through the image set below to see the ‘why, what and how’ associated with our research aim example.

Explaining aims vs objectives

Note: Your research aims need not be limited to one. Some individuals per to define one broad ‘overarching aim’ of a project and then adopt two or three specific research aims for their thesis or dissertation. Remember, however, that in order for your assessors to consider your research project complete, you will need to prove you have fulfilled all of the aims you set out to achieve. Therefore, while having more than one research aim is not necessarily disadvantageous, consider whether a single overarching one will do.

Research Objectives

Each of your research objectives should be SMART :

  • Specific – is there any ambiguity in the action you are going to undertake, or is it focused and well-defined?
  • Measurable – how will you measure progress and determine when you have achieved the action?
  • Achievable – do you have the support, resources and facilities required to carry out the action?
  • Relevant – is the action essential to the achievement of your research aim?
  • Timebound – can you realistically complete the action in the available time alongside your other research tasks?

In addition to being SMART, your research objectives should start with a verb that helps communicate your intent. Common research verbs include:

Table of Research Verbs to Use in Aims and Objectives

Last, format your objectives into a numbered list. This is because when you write your thesis or dissertation, you will at times need to make reference to a specific research objective; structuring your research objectives in a numbered list will provide a clear way of doing this.

To bring all this together, let’s compare the first research objective in the previous example with the above guidance:

Checking Research Objective Example Against Recommended Approach

Research Objective:

1. Develop finite element models using explicit dynamics to mimic mallet blows during cup/shell insertion, initially using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum.

Checking Against Recommended Approach:

Q: Is it specific? A: Yes, it is clear what the student intends to do (produce a finite element model), why they intend to do it (mimic cup/shell blows) and their parameters have been well-defined ( using simplified experimentally validated foam models to represent the acetabulum ).

Q: Is it measurable? A: Yes, it is clear that the research objective will be achieved once the finite element model is complete.

Q: Is it achievable? A: Yes, provided the student has access to a computer lab, modelling software and laboratory data.

Q: Is it relevant? A: Yes, mimicking impacts to a cup/shell is fundamental to the overall aim of understanding how they deform when impacted upon.

Q: Is it timebound? A: Yes, it is possible to create a limited-scope finite element model in a relatively short time, especially if you already have experience in modelling.

Q: Does it start with a verb? A: Yes, it starts with ‘develop’, which makes the intent of the objective immediately clear.

Q: Is it a numbered list? A: Yes, it is the first research objective in a list of eight.

Mistakes in Writing Research Aims and Objectives

1. making your research aim too broad.

Having a research aim too broad becomes very difficult to achieve. Normally, this occurs when a student develops their research aim before they have a good understanding of what they want to research. Remember that at the end of your project and during your viva defence , you will have to prove that you have achieved your research aims; if they are too broad, this will be an almost impossible task. In the early stages of your research project, your priority should be to narrow your study to a specific area. A good way to do this is to take the time to study existing literature, question their current approaches, findings and limitations, and consider whether there are any recurring gaps that could be investigated .

Note: Achieving a set of aims does not necessarily mean proving or disproving a theory or hypothesis, even if your research aim was to, but having done enough work to provide a useful and original insight into the principles that underlie your research aim.

2. Making Your Research Objectives Too Ambitious

Be realistic about what you can achieve in the time you have available. It is natural to want to set ambitious research objectives that require sophisticated data collection and analysis, but only completing this with six months before the end of your PhD registration period is not a worthwhile trade-off.

3. Formulating Repetitive Research Objectives

Each research objective should have its own purpose and distinct measurable outcome. To this effect, a common mistake is to form research objectives which have large amounts of overlap. This makes it difficult to determine when an objective is truly complete, and also presents challenges in estimating the duration of objectives when creating your project timeline. It also makes it difficult to structure your thesis into unique chapters, making it more challenging for you to write and for your audience to read.

Fortunately, this oversight can be easily avoided by using SMART objectives.

Hopefully, you now have a good idea of how to create an effective set of aims and objectives for your research project, whether it be a thesis, dissertation or research paper. While it may be tempting to dive directly into your research, spending time on getting your aims and objectives right will give your research clear direction. This won’t only reduce the likelihood of problems arising later down the line, but will also lead to a more thorough and coherent research project.

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Granted projects in the seed funding calls for critical living labs

a research project example

SLU Urban Futures has granted funding to three interdisciplinary projects for 50,000 SEK each. The projects explore living labs or take a critical living lab approach to research.

Living labs refer to real-world, real-time, society-science interfaces that represent arenas for learning and knowledge co-creation. A critical living lab approach mobilizes these science-society collaborations as means to experiment with novel processes, actor-constellations and practices otherwise often impossible to set up in typical urban settings.       Living Laboratories are diverse in scope and operations but share certain key characteristics: they contribute to urban transformation; experiments are a core research method; transdisciplinarity is a fundamental research mode; long-term orientation, scalability, and transferability of results are core aims; and learning through real-time reflexivity is a key objective. As such, living laboratories are a way that universities can contribute to a wider societal transition to sustainability.

Alnarp campus as an example for the 21st century – inspiring a regenerative landscape

The project seeks to connect practice and academia on research related to food production, water management, infrastructure and blue- green systems for climate adaptation through Campus Alnarp as a Living Lab. Through two workshops, the project will build a consortium of relevant stakeholders and exchange research ideas and develop collaboration around designing productive regenerative landscapes. By doing the project on site at campus, the team hopes to make campus Alnarp a visible flagship for regenerative landscapes. Scott Wahl, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management

Nature Interpretation Lab for Sustainable Urban Futures

The project will develop the Nature Interpretation Lab (NiLab) that will foster the co-creation of knowledge in the area of nature and heritage interpretation in relation to urban transformation. The funding will be used to host a symposium on interpreting, learning and being with nature-culture, which will bring together research and practitioners to co-develop tools, methods and collaboration for addressing sustainability challenges through the concept of nature interpretation. Jasmine Zhang, Stad och land, SLU Centrum för naturvägledning

Botildenborg Social Innovation Living Lab – creating sustainable living environments for the city and people

The project will establish Botildenborg Social Innovation Living Lab together with actors from SLU, Botildenborg, Malmö University, Region Skåne, Malmö Stad, Lund Univeristy and others. The project aims to develop new learning processes and platforms for co-production of knowledge relating to the development of sustainable urban living environments around urban agriculture. The funding will support research visits to partners in Czech Republic and Italy, where partners will work towards the development of a Horizon application. Anna María Pálsdóttir, Department of People and Society

  • SLU Urban Futures

SLU Urban Futures is a strategic platform that develops and strengthens transdisciplinary research, education and collaboration in sustainable urban development.

Read more about the platform

SLU Urban Futures' regional hubs

SLU Urban Futures has three regional hubs based in Ultuna, Alnarp and Umeå. These hubs physically anchor the platform at each of SLU’s main campuses, creating opportunities for collaboration across faculties and with societal actors in each of the regions. 

Read more about the three hubs

Related pages:

  • International
  • Distinctions and financial funding
  • Agenda 2030

Andrew Gallagher , Project Coordinator for SLU Urban Futures Hub coordinator, Ultuna The Unit for Collaboration and Development [email protected] +46(0)730 55 80 27

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2024 HBHL Undergraduate Summer Research Internship

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Healthy Brains, Healthy Lives (HBHL) is a high-profile, high-priority multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral initiative located at McGill University made possible with support from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), Quebec’s Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation (MEI), and the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQS, FRQSC and FRQNT). HBHL builds on McGill’s scientific excellence and global leadership in areas of neuroscience that hold the greatest promise for delivering implementable, clinically effective outcomes in brain and mental health.

HBHL values creating experiences for students at all levels to get involved in brain health research. As such, we are pleased to announce the creation of a new HBHL funding initiative to support McGill undergraduate students in gaining hands-on research experience.

HBHL highly encourages individuals from equity-deserving backgrounds who are underrepresented in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to apply. HBHL welcomes and encourages applications from individuals belonging to racialized communities, women, gender minorities, individuals with disabilities, 2SLGBTQIA+ students, Indigenous students, first-generation students, primary caregivers and students from lower-income backgrounds. We also welcome applications from all eligible applicants with the skills and knowledge to engage productively with diverse communities.

Funding Value and Duration

HBHL will fund up to 20 undergraduate student research internships (valued at $10,000 each) in brain and mental health research. This funding will compensate students for their research (spanning 16 weeks between May 2024 to August 2024, flexible start date) and provide them with the opportunity to gain valuable research and networking experience. All funded projects must align with one of HBHL’s research themes .

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply for the HBHL Undergraduate Summer Research Internship Program, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a current full- or part-time non-graduating undergraduate McGill student (non-graduating means that your expected graduation date is December 2024 or later) from ANY faculty .
  • Have not previously had a paid research experience.
  • The proposed research project must be aligned with HBHL’s goals and objectives and align with at least one of HBHL’s four Research Themes.
  • Prior to applying you must complete at least one of CIHR's Online Training Modules on Integrating Sex and Gender in Health Research  (time required: 30-45 minutes) and submit your signed certificate of completion as part of your PDF application package (see below).  

Supervisor Selection and Proposal Design

Before applying for the internship, you must contact the prospective supervisor(s) you are interested in working with. To assist you in this process and to help you identify prospective supervisors at McGill currently working in brain health, please refer to the HBHL's overview of funded projects and the Integrated Program in Neuroscience supervisor database . However, you are not restricted to prospective supervisors only from this list—it is simply a tool to help you in your search.

In addition, the HBHL Trainee Committee has put together a document including resources and a template email that applicants can refer to get assistance in reaching out to a prospective supervisor.

At the time of application, you must have:

  • A signed HBHL USRI 2024 Supervisor Agreement Form from a McGill faculty member who agrees to supervise you should you receive the internship funding.
  • Theme 1: Neuroinformatics and Computational Modelling
  • Theme 2: Mechanistic Models of Neurodegenerative Disorders
  • Theme 3: Applied Cognitive Neuroscience of Brain Plasticity
  • Theme 4: Population Neuroscience and Brain Health  

Application Process

Applications must be submitted through the online submission form by Sunday, March 3, 2024, by 11:59 p.m. EST.

The application package must include:

  • Impact Statement
  • Proposed Research Summary
  • Supervisor Agreement Form
  • Research Ethics Training (CIHR Certificate)  

Please see the section below for full details on the application package contents.

All applications must be submitted online through the Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship Application Form as a single PDF document. Please save the application document using the following file name format: “Lastname_Firstname.pdf” (eg., Smith_Jane or Smith_John). Documents must be typed in size 12 of any standard font with one-inch margins.  

Application Package and Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by the HBHL Trainee Committee in accordance with the following criteria:

Impact Statement (maximum 500 words)

Discuss how this internship will support you in achieving your career goals. For example, you may choose to discuss:

  • Your potential career interests (including academic and non-academic paths);
  • Skills you hope to gain through the internship and how they will support your education and career path;
  • Barriers that have impacted your access to and/or participation in education and career development opportunities (including but not limited to barriers related to personal circumstances and societal injustice);
  • Outcomes you hope to support through the proposed research; and/or
  • Anything else that demonstrates the value of this internship experience for you.  

The Impact Statement counts for 50% of the total application grade, and will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Explanation of the benefit the internship will provide the applicant: 95% (This may include: career interests that are connected to the proposed research project, learning, skill development, breaking down barriers, personal development, how it will allow student to reach their short-term and long-term goals)
  • Quality of statement (e.g., clarity, grammar, used appropriate verb tense, easy to follow): 5%  

Proposed Research Summary (maximum one page, not including references. No page restriction on references)

Describe the project you will work on during your internship. The proposed project must fall under one of the four HBHL Research Themes . The Proposed Research Summary counts for 50% of the total application grade, and must include:

  • A brief summary of literature in the field;
  • Rationale for the study, explaining why this study is novel and important in the context of previous work;
  • A clear hypothesis and aim;
  • A description of the proposed methods, with considerations of feasibility and connections to the rationale and aim;
  • Explanation of how equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) will be considered in the research design, as applicable (for example, testing for sex differences in a cellular or animal study; considerations in participant recruitment and integration of demographic data in a human study). If EDI is not applicable to your research project, you must provide an evidence-based justification; and
  • A reference list in APA 7 th format.  

This proposal will be graded on the following:

  • Structure (following page limit and guidelines): 0% (pass or fail)
  • Quality of proposal (clarity, defined all the acronyms, grammatically correct, sufficiently explained scientific terms, easy to follow): 5%
  • Understanding of existing literature (demonstrates that the student has explored existing research in their topic): 15%
  • Rationale for study (it is suggested to have a clear statement): 20%
  • Clear hypotheses and aims: 20%
  • Proposed methods (sufficiently detailed, feasible, understanding of recruitment if applicable, evidence of thought put into the design of analyses, connected to rationale and aims): 25%
  • Explanation of how equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) will be integrated into the study design: 15%  

Please note that you will be asked to indicate in which of HBHL’s Research Themes your project fits best.  

Supervisor Agreement Form (using the official form, completed by the proposed research supervisor)

The supervisor will: 

  • Indicate the HBHL research theme that best fits with their work;
  • State agreement to supervise the student applicant should the application be successful;
  • Indicate the name and year of graduation of a postdoc or PhD student who will serve as a mentor to the undergraduate student; and
  • State the percentage of the supervision the PI will be providing versus others such as a postdoc/PhD.  

Please download and provide your prospective supervisor with the HBHL USRI 2024 Supervisor Agreement Form .  

Research Ethics Training (CIHR Certificate)

Students must complete at least one of CIHR’s Online Training Modules on Integrating Sex and Gender in Health Research prior to submitting their application.

  • Please submit your certificate of completion: 0% (pass or fail)
  • Time estimate for completion: 30-45 minutes  

I'm graduating in May 2024. Am I eligible to apply?

No, unfortunately this award is restricted to non-graduating students. Students must be returning, but do not need to be returning for a full year (i.e., they may be returning for only one semester).

I have previously been awarded a summer internship (e.g., NSERC). Am I eligible to apply?

No, unfortunately this award is restricted to students who have not previously engaged in paid research work.

I've previously held/currently hold a paid research position (e.g., RA). Am I eligible to apply?

I've previously worked as a paid research assistant during the school year (but not in the summer). am i eligible to apply, i've previously worked as a paid research assistant outside of mcgill (e.g., in a hospital setting, internship, previous university, etc.). am i eligible to apply, i'm a student at another university in montreal (e.g., concordia, université de montréal). am i eligible to apply.

No, unfortunately due to the nature of the funding source, this award is restricted to McGill students.

I'm an international student at McGill. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, all McGill students are eligible to apply.

How do I find a supervisor? Do they have to be at McGill? What happens if I can’t find one?

To help you identify prospective supervisors at McGill, please refer to the list of HBHL funded projects and the Integrated Program in Neuroscience Directory and their key research areas as a starting point to help you find a supervisor. While supervisors must be McGill faculty members, if a student is being co-supervised by another faculty member, only one of the supervisors must be at McGill. Please note that finding a professor who agrees to supervise you is not the only requirement and does not guarantee that you will receive funding. Additionally, we are not able to fund students who do not have a supervisor.

My research does not fit under one of the four HBHL Research Themes. Am I eligible?

No, only research projects aligning with one of HBHL’s four research themes will be selected.

Is funding restricted to students in a particular faculty or program?

No, funding is available to students from all undergraduate faculties and from any program (e.g., Psychology, Biology, Physiology, Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, etc.).

When will I find out if my application was successful? Will I be contacted if it's not?

Yes, all applicants will be contacted, whether their application is selected or not. Results will be announced in the spring of 2024.

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Global health research suffers from a power imbalance − decolonizing mentorship can help level the playing field.

A hand in a blue latex glove holding a clear globe.

  Oluwafemi Atanda Adeagbo , University of Iowa ; Brenda Yankam , University of Nigeria , and Engelbert Bain Luchuo , University of Johannesburg

Mentorship is a cornerstone of the infrastructure supporting global health. Transferring knowledge, developing skills and cultivating a supportive professional environment among researchers and clinicians around the world are key to achieving health equity on a global scale.

For example, most people in Africa would have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by now if the patented knowledge about the vaccine technology were shared with African scholars and local pharmaceutical companies to produce a generic version. As of October 2023, although over 95% of available doses have been used, less than 52% of the population is fully vaccinated.

However, researchers from the Global South – countries in the regions of Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Oceania with limited resources and a lower standard of living – face challenges that impede effective mentorship.

One reason is that mentorship is often hierarchical . Mentors, typically from the Global North, or high-income countries, are often seen as more credible than mentees who are mostly from the Global South. Mentees are often described as inexperienced, requiring training and guidance. While mentorships are by definition hierarchical, researchers from the Global South are assumed to lack the skills to adequately implement health programs or conduct research and would benefit from greater experience of scholars from the Global North.

Hierarchical relationships, especially those between people from the Global North and Global South, are not mutually beneficial or fair. Based on our personal experiences and research as public health researchers , statisticians and social scientists , we believe that cultural humility and equitable partnerships are key to effective global health projects.

Scholars from the Global North and Global South can learn from each other. Decolonizing mentorship in global health, or addressing the historical power imbalances between researchers from the Global North and Global South, can help advance global health for all.

Challenges in global health research

Some scholars have defined global health as “collaborate transnational research and action for promoting health for all.” Historically, however, the concept of global health is rooted in Western ideas of who is considered human . Europeans are depicted as the norm or standard , while non-Europeans are depicted as strange or inferior.

This hierarchy is omnipresent in knowledge exchange and health resource allocation between the Global North and Global South. For example, the European Union rejected proposals that would have allowed African countries, mostly former European colonies, to manufacture generic COVID-19 vaccines when the 55 million doses the West donated expired in February 2022.

Scholarly collaborations between the Global North and Global South are also unequal in power. Notably, most of the major global health institutes are located in the Global North , although the greatest burden of diseases such as HIV and malaria is centered in the Global South. Conferences where researchers gather to learn about new innovations in their field and to network are typically located in high-income countries. Few Global South scholars are able to attend because of travel restrictions and financial constraints, leaving them without guidance on how to navigate and significantly contribute to the field.

For example, several scholars from the Global South have noted how visa restrictions and fees affected their ability to attend global health conferences in high-income countries. But even having a visa does not guarantee easy entry. Winifred Byanyima, executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, who is originally from Uganda, was traveling to Montreal, Canada, to attend the world’s largest AIDS conference in 2022. She was almost denied boarding a plane, however, despite her high-level position.

Moreover, a lack of healthy mentorship cultures and supportive networks among institutions in low- and middle-income countries impedes the professional development of Global South scholars. Furthermore, some current mentorship frameworks and best practices are mostly designed for high-income countries , where there is more institutional support .

Language and cultural barriers are often significant obstacles for scholars in the Global South, hindering effective communication and collaboration. Colonialism , or the domination and exploitation of certain groups and individuals, has also influenced how education and research is conducted in the Global South, such that researchers are discouraged from questioning their seniors. This may limit a scholar’s critical thinking and create communication barriers between mentees and mentors.

These hierarchical power dynamics also limit the full potential of cross-cultural learning and knowledge exchange between the Global North and Global South.

Decolonizing global health

A crucial strategy to empower Global South scholars is to decolonize mentorship. This means recognizing that people have different levels of skills and expertise in different contexts.

Mentorship environments characterized by humility and co-learning can help researchers break free from historical power imbalances. This includes acknowledging and valuing the unique perspectives and experiences of scholars from local regions. For example, a researcher from the Global North may be more knowledgeable about a new technology, but a researcher from the Global South may know how best to adapt the technology locally. Tailoring mentorship programs to address the specific needs of scholars in the Global South will also help cultivate a sense of inclusivity and belonging.

Doctor in a white lab coat and hijab

Recognizing and valuing linguistic diversity can help address language barriers. Establishing communication channels that accommodate various languages would allow scholars to be able to fully participate in the global health dialogue.

Finally, breaking the chains of the colonial mindset can help foster more egalitarian relationships in research. Mentors become facilitators of learning instead of dispensers of knowledge. Mentees become active contributors instead of consumers of knowledge. Challenging hierarchical relationships and power imbalances can enable a more collaborative and reciprocal dynamic where both parties benefit.

Decolonizing mentorship in global health is not a theoretical concept but an actionable strategy. Addressing the unique challenges that researchers in the Global South face can help bridge the global health divide, allowing local scholars to actively shape the future of the field and their communities.

Oluwafemi Atanda Adeagbo , Assistant Professor of Public Health, University of Iowa ; Brenda Yankam , Research Associate in Statistics, University of Nigeria , and Engelbert Bain Luchuo , Senior Research Associate, University of Johannesburg

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article .

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  • Research Objectives | Definition & Examples

Research Objectives | Definition & Examples

Published on July 12, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan . Revised on November 20, 2023.

Research objectives describe what your research is trying to achieve and explain why you are pursuing it. They summarize the approach and purpose of your project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement . They should:

  • Establish the scope and depth of your project
  • Contribute to your research design
  • Indicate how your project will contribute to existing knowledge

Table of contents

What is a research objective, why are research objectives important, how to write research aims and objectives, smart research objectives, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research objectives.

Research objectives describe what your research project intends to accomplish. They should guide every step of the research process , including how you collect data , build your argument , and develop your conclusions .

Your research objectives may evolve slightly as your research progresses, but they should always line up with the research carried out and the actual content of your paper.

Research aims

A distinction is often made between research objectives and research aims.

A research aim typically refers to a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear at the end of your problem statement, before your research objectives.

Your research objectives are more specific than your research aim and indicate the particular focus and approach of your project. Though you will only have one research aim, you will likely have several research objectives.

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Research objectives are important because they:

  • Establish the scope and depth of your project: This helps you avoid unnecessary research. It also means that your research methods and conclusions can easily be evaluated .
  • Contribute to your research design: When you know what your objectives are, you have a clearer idea of what methods are most appropriate for your research.
  • Indicate how your project will contribute to extant research: They allow you to display your knowledge of up-to-date research, employ or build on current research methods, and attempt to contribute to recent debates.

Once you’ve established a research problem you want to address, you need to decide how you will address it. This is where your research aim and objectives come in.

Step 1: Decide on a general aim

Your research aim should reflect your research problem and should be relatively broad.

Step 2: Decide on specific objectives

Break down your aim into a limited number of steps that will help you resolve your research problem. What specific aspects of the problem do you want to examine or understand?

Step 3: Formulate your aims and objectives

Once you’ve established your research aim and objectives, you need to explain them clearly and concisely to the reader.

You’ll lay out your aims and objectives at the end of your problem statement, which appears in your introduction. Frame them as clear declarative statements, and use appropriate verbs to accurately characterize the work that you will carry out.

The acronym “SMART” is commonly used in relation to research objectives. It states that your objectives should be:

  • Specific: Make sure your objectives aren’t overly vague. Your research needs to be clearly defined in order to get useful results.
  • Measurable: Know how you’ll measure whether your objectives have been achieved.
  • Achievable: Your objectives may be challenging, but they should be feasible. Make sure that relevant groundwork has been done on your topic or that relevant primary or secondary sources exist. Also ensure that you have access to relevant research facilities (labs, library resources , research databases , etc.).
  • Relevant: Make sure that they directly address the research problem you want to work on and that they contribute to the current state of research in your field.
  • Time-based: Set clear deadlines for objectives to ensure that the project stays on track.

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If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Methodology

  • Sampling methods
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • Likert scales
  • Reproducibility

 Statistics

  • Null hypothesis
  • Statistical power
  • Probability distribution
  • Effect size
  • Poisson distribution

Research bias

  • Optimism bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Implicit bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Anchoring bias
  • Explicit bias

Research objectives describe what you intend your research project to accomplish.

They summarize the approach and purpose of the project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement .

Your research objectives indicate how you’ll try to address your research problem and should be specific:

Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .

Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.

I will compare …

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

Scope of research is determined at the beginning of your research process , prior to the data collection stage. Sometimes called “scope of study,” your scope delineates what will and will not be covered in your project. It helps you focus your work and your time, ensuring that you’ll be able to achieve your goals and outcomes.

Defining a scope can be very useful in any research project, from a research proposal to a thesis or dissertation . A scope is needed for all types of research: quantitative , qualitative , and mixed methods .

To define your scope of research, consider the following:

  • Budget constraints or any specifics of grant funding
  • Your proposed timeline and duration
  • Specifics about your population of study, your proposed sample size , and the research methodology you’ll pursue
  • Any inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Any anticipated control , extraneous , or confounding variables that could bias your research if not accounted for properly.

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Making Flow-Matching-Based Zero-Shot Text-to-Speech Laugh as You Like

ELaTE is a zero-shot text-to-speech (TTS) system that can generate natural laughing speech from any speaker based on a speaker prompt to mimic the voice characteristic, a text prompt to indicate the contents of the generated speech, and an input to control the laughter expression.

ELaTE has the following key features:

  • Precise control of laughter timing: A user can specify the timing for laughter, which critically affects the nuance of the generated speech.
  • Precise control of laughter expression: A user can guide the laughter expression using an example audio containing laughter.
  • Build upon a well-trained zero-shot TTS: ELaTE can generate natural speech without compromising audio quality and with a negligible increase in computational cost compared to the conventional zero-shot TTS model.

Generated laughing speech samples by ELaTE

Overview of ELaTE

Speech-to-speech translation

Application for Speech-to-Speech Translation

ELaTE can be applied to speech-to-speech translation, transferring not only the voice characteristic but also the precise nuance of the source audio with unprecedented quality.

Original speech (Chinese)

Generated speech (English)

Model overview

We develop ELaTE based on the foundation of conditional flow-matching-based zero-shot TTS, and fine-tune it with frame-level representation from a laughter detector as additional conditioning. With a simple scheme to mix small-scale laughter-conditioned data with large-scale pre-training data, we demonstrate that a pre-trained zero-shot TTS model can be readily fine-tuned to generate natural laughter with precise controllability, without losing any quality of the pre-trained zero-shot TTS model.

Model Overview

Audio samples

Below, we included audio samples demonstrating how ELaTE performs with various laughter instructions. The speech samples were taken from LibriSpeech test-clean and DiariST-AliMeeting dataset. The speech samples below are provided for the sole purpose of illustrating ELaTE.

Instruction by time

ELaTE synthesizes speech in the voice characteristic specified by a speaker prompt, adding laughter at the specified timing.

Instruction by example

ELaTE synthesizes speech in the voice characteristic specified by a speaker prompt and incorporates the laughter style specified by a laughter prompt.

Application for speech-to-speech translation

ELaTE can be applied to speech-to-speech translation, transferring not only the voice characteristic but also the precise nuance of the source audio.

(*) The list of DiariST-AliMeeting laughter utterances we used for our evaluation, along with their transcription and translation, can be downloaded from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/uploads/prod/2024/02/DiariST-AliMeeting-Laughter-Test-Set.txt under CC BY-SA 4.0 lic ense. (**) We used Seamless Expressive for a pure research purpose. Seamless Expressive was used based on the Seamless Licensing Agreement. Copyright © Meta Platforms, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Ethics statement

ELaTE could synthesize speech that maintains speaker identity and could be used for educational learning, entertainment, journalistic, self-authored content, accessibility features, interactive voice response systems, translation, chatbot, and so on. While ELaTE can speak in a voice like the voice talent, the similarity, and naturalness depend on the length and quality of the speech prompt, the background noise, as well as other factors. It may carry potential risks in the misuse of the model, such as spoofing voice identification or impersonating a specific speaker. We conducted the experiments under the assumption that the user agrees to be the target speaker in speech synthesis. If the model is generalized to unseen speakers in the real world, it should include a protocol to ensure that the speaker approves the use of their voice and a synthesized speech detection model.

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How to Answer “Why Are You Interested in This Position?” (+5 Sample Responses)

  • Julia Mlcuchova , 
  • Updated February 15, 2024 8 min read

Knowing how to answer 'Why are you interested in this position?' is crucial when you're stepping into a job interview .

It's one of the most common interview questions, and you're almost guaranteed to face it .

It's a powerful way to showcase your motivation and how well your goals match with what the company and the job offer.

In this article, we'll guide you through crafting the perfect response that can set you apart from other candidates and provide sample answers in case that's something you prefer.

Read this article and find out:

  • What the recruiters really want to know;
  • Things you shouldn't say;
  • How to prepare yourself for this question;
  • How to answer the question “Why are you interested in this position?“;
  • And 5 response examples . 

Table of Contents

Click on a section to skip

What are the recruiters really asking?

  • How NOT to answer 'Why are you interested in this position?

How to prepare yourself for this question? Research, research, research!

  • How to answer the question 'Why are you interested in this position?' in 4 steps 
  • 5 Sample responses
  • Key takeaways: How to Answer 'Why Are You Interested in This Position?'

Undoubtedly, “ Why are you interested in this position? ” is one of the most common interview questions you'll ever encounter. 

But why do recruiters like this question so much? 

Because it can reveal quite a lot about the candidate and candidate's work ethic:

  • Genuine interest in the role. Recruiters want details about why particular responsibilities or opportunities in the role caught your eye, indicating you've done your homework and see a match with your skills and interests.
  • Fit with the company culture. They're looking for signs that you've researched and understand the company's culture, and can articulate why you would be a good fit.
  • How the role fits into your career trajectory. Recruiters seek insights into how you view this position as a step towards your long-term career objectives, showing commitment and foresight.
  • Distinct skills or experiences you offer. They expect you to highlight specific skills or unique experiences you have that directly relate to the job's needs, showing how you stand out from other candidates.
  • Your retention potential. Onboarding and training new recruits costs time and money. Because of that, hiring managers prefer candidates who are looking to integrate into their company and stay there for many years to come.

All in all, recruiters want to probe whether you're the right person for the job – not just in terms of your skills and experience. This question is mainly about your alignment with the company's culture and direction.

How NOT to answer ' Why are you interested in this position?

You know the drill. Before delving into how to best answer, let's look at some red flag responses that would ring alarm bells in any recruiter's mind. 

Indeed, the purpose of open-ended questions at job interviews is not only to test the suitability of a candidate but also to spot certain warning signs. 

Here is a list of things to avoid:

  • Bad-mouthing your current/past employer. It reflects negatively on your professional reputation and can raise questions about your loyalty and integrity. 
  • Focusing too much on salary. Yes, money is important. But companies want to employ workers whose motivation goes beyond mere financial gain.
  • Not researching the company beforehand. How much do you actually care about joining a particular company when you don't even bother researching it? 
  • Being too vague. Answers such as “I just really need a job right now,” or “It seems like a good place to work” are really nondescript.
  • Making it all about yourself. Don't only talk about what the company can do for you! Instead, show them how YOU can contribute to the company. 
  • Considering the job position a stepping stone to bigger things. Don't mention that this job opportunity would be a great way to gain experience which you plan on using in another company in the future.

Don't let the recruiters catch you off guard!

Upload your resume and generate sample interview questions in seconds.

As you must've already noticed at this point, how well you answer hinges on the research you do prior to entering the (interrogation) room.

But do you know what exactly to look into?

Essentially, your research should be twofold : 

  • Research the company
  • Research the job position

1. Researching the company

In short, when recruiters ask, ' Why are you interested in this position?', they want to know why you're choosing their company for your accounting career, not why you became an accountant.

Here's how you REALLY research a company:

  • Visit their website and click on the 'About us' section .
  • Check their LinkedIn to understand their industry standing and find employee testimonials.
  • Scroll through their other social media to see their latest news and projects. 
  • Find any press releases, news articles, or annual report insights .
  • Get in touch with someone who has experienced it first-hand – a former employee or a current one. Conducting an informational interview is your best chance to get an objective and true picture of what a workplace is really like.  

2. Researching the role

As a part of a well-rounded answer, you should also be able to discuss the role itself in detail . 

If you want to check whether your knowledge is sufficient ask yourself these 7 question : 

  • Do I know which competences the role involves? 
  • Which are the most valuable skills and qualifications for the role? 
  • How does this role contribute to the company's overall performance? 
  • What challenges and opportunities a person in this job position usually encounters?
  • How can I potentially solve these problems?
  • How much of the said challenges have I already encountered in my work experience?
  • Do I have tangible results to corroborate it?

Please, remember that just like your resume, your interview responses must always be tailored to specific job descriptions . Hence, anything you mention (your skills, motivation, experience, achievements, etc.) should tie directly to the job position and company you wish to join.

How to answer the question 'Why are you interested in this position? ' in 4 steps  

Your resume was excellent, your cover letter outstanding. You received THE phone call, now you sit opposite to a recruiter asking you “Why are you interested in this position?”.  Here's how you can structure your response in 4 steps :

Don't know which skills to highlight? Use the job posting as your guideline. Talk about the skills that are the most valuable for the role .

Use your research of the latest annual reports, website, LinkedIn, and social media. What recent achievements or innovations of the company excite you? What about the company's culture appeals to you?

While it's tempting to focus on what the role (and company) offers you, flip the perspective to show what you offer them.

Finally, you want to reassure them that you're in for the long run. The best way to achieve this is to emphasize that for you, it's not just about the money . Therefore, you should show how the position contributes to achieving your professional goals .

5 Sample respon ses

With all the theory behind us, here is a general sample response to 'Why are you interested in this position' which you can personalise by filling in the blanks with your specific information:

#1 Sample answer to "Why are you interested in this position?"

In my [number] years working in [industry/field] , I’ve developed strong skills in [specific skills mentioned in the job posting] , perfectly suited for the [position] at [Company Name] .

I was particularly drawn to [Company Name] after reading your latest annual report. I’m impressed by [specific achievement or innovation of the company] and appreciate your commitment to [aspect of the company’s culture].

I bring a track record of success, notably in [major achievement or project you’ve partaken in] , aligning with your goals of [goals or projects of the company] . My expertise in [what you can do for them, e.g., ‘driving innovation,’ ‘leading teams,’ ‘optimizing processes’] was highlighted when I [specific example] .

This role is a key step in my career, aligning with my goal to [your long-term career goals] . I’m eager to contribute to [Company Name] and advance within your team.”

Now it's time to have a look at a few specific sample answers. 

PS: Remember that these are just our suggestions . And so, the answer you prepare can ultimately be very different. So as long as you keep in mind the dos and don'ts mentioned above, you'll be able to craft an answer which fits your particular circumstances.

#2 Accountant in a publishing company

What makes this response good? 

This response follows the above structure to a T, with each paragraph corresponding to each step, we won't analyse it in depth.

#2 Sample answer to "Why are you interested in this position?"

“Having worked as an accountant for six years, I’ve gained extensive experience with Oracle and a deep understanding of financial documentation, tax preparation, and quarterly reporting. 

After all those years , I’ve realized I wanted to be a part of a bigger picture. That’s what attracted me to your company in the first place. I’m particularly impressed by your mission to improve literacy among impoverished children and your innovative approach to promoting book recycling through the marketplace for used books. 

In my former job, I led a project to streamline tax preparation processes, resulting in a 30% reduction in processing time. And I’m excited about the opportunity to use all my skills and experience to contribute to your financial team, supporting a cause I deeply believe in. 

I see this as a perfect alignment of my professional abilities and my commitment to contributing to meaningful projects .”

#3 Sales assistant in a clothes store

#3 sample answer to "why are you interested in this position".

“Ever since I was little, I’ve had a passion for fashion. I’ve spent hours at your store, admiring the trends and quality of your clothes. It’s not just a store to me; it’s where my love for fashion blossomed.

With three years of experience in retail sales, I’ve honed my customer service and sales skills. For instance, at my last job, I noticed our accessory sales were lagging. I initiated a cross-selling strategy, personally training the team on product pairing, which boosted accessory sales by 20%.

I want to deliver outstanding customer experience in a company like yours. One that shares my belief in the power of personal appearance to boost confidence. In the future, I would like to become a store manager , so that I can further influence positive shopping experiences and cultivate harmonious work environment.”

  • This candidate started strong with an anecdote from their personal life . Without a doubt, their motivation and passion for the role is evident. 
  • They also showcase their abilities on a specific example , describing the problem; how they approached it; and what result they achieved. 
  • Also, they made it clear that they want to stay with the company long-term and climb its ranks . 

#4 Project manager in a film production company

#4 sample answer to "why are you interested in this position".

“ I’ve always been captivated by the storytelling power of film . And your company’s track record of producing box office hits like ‘Eclipse of Destiny’ and ‘The Horizon Saga’ speaks to the kind of impactful storytelling I’m passionate about. And, I’m not going to lie, the opportunity to collaborate with industry giants like Johnathan Fields and Elena Martinez is incredibly exciting to me.

I have over a decade of experience in project management. The teams I’ve led in my last job executed 15 major projects . My efforts have directly contributed to a 20% reduction in project completion times and a 30% decrease in budget overruns .  

I want to be a part of stories that captivate and move audiences globally. Joining your team as a Senior Project Manager would enable me to do that. I’m eager to bring my skills to your company and help you to continue your tradition of cinematic excellence.”

  • The candidate shows that s/he is motivated by their genuine passion for the industry , as well as the desire to work with specific employers . As a consequence, the candidate demonstrates their knowledge of the company and its structures. 
  • Again, this candidate shows their skills with specific examples and backs them by quantifiers.  
  • Finally, s/he shows that s/he would be a great cultural fit for the company , since their values and goals align . 

#5 Video editor in a marketing company

#5 sample answer to "why are you interested in this position".

“With seven years of experience as a video editor at a small production company, I’ve reached a point where I’m looking to expand my horizons and apply my skills on a global stage . Your company caught my attention a few years back and… well, it was a no brainer! Your commercials have always amazed me for their artistic touch. I was also impressed by the long list of your partners and clients in your portfolio . 

My work has garnered over 2 million views across various platforms, significantly increasing customer engagement and sales by 40% for my clients. I specialize in crafting compelling narratives that not only entertain but also educate, which I understand aligns with your company’s approach to content .

Your support for volunteering and charity initiatives matches my own values and goals. Just last summer, I volunteered my skills to produce a series of educational videos for a local non-profit focused on environmental awareness, reaching an audience of over 50,000.

I see this as the perfect opportunity for a lasting partnership where I can keep growing and help your company achieve even greater success.”

  • The candidate is obviously motivated by their own desire to grow professionally . 
  • By alluding to the company's portfolio , the candidate proves that s/he they researched their company. 
  • The candidate draws a comparison between the company's interest in charity and emphasis on educational content and her/his own volunteering experience . 
  • Moreover, s/he voices her/his intent to keep growing together with the company, indicating their long-term commitment to the employer .  

Key takeaways: How to Answer ' Why Are You Interested in This Position ? '

When conceptualising how to answer the question “Why are you interested in this position?” , we recommend following this simple structure: 

  • Start by showing your relevant skills and experience. 
  • Talk about what specifically motivates you to join the company. 
  • Make it clear what YOU can do for THEM. 
  • Show how this position aligns with your long-term career goals. 

Consequently, you'll let the recruiters know about your desire for a meaningful and lasting contribution to their company. 

Finally, be prepared to react to more interview questions, such as: 

  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why did you leave your previous job?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Why are you looking for a new job?
Julia has recently joined Kickresume as a career writer. From helping people with their English to get admitted to the uni of their dreams to advising them on how to succeed in the job market. It would seem that her career is on a steadfast trajectory. Julia holds a degree in Anglophone studies from Metropolitan University in Prague, where she also resides. Apart from creative writing and languages, she takes a keen interest in literature and theatre.

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