The Guidelines for Preparing Research Proposals are available in HTML, PDF and RTF formats.
If the project involves the collection of confidential or sensitive information, you need to describe how this information will be managed. You also need to indicate if there are any intellectual property issues should be considered, including any existing intellectual property of value that is pertinent to your project and to any agreements that may affect your right to intellectual property arising from your project.
If your project does not involve confidentiality, sensitivity or intellectual property, you should sate clearly that no such issues exist.
Candidates who are likely to be affected by matters concerning confidentiality or intellectual property should also familiarize themselves with the relevant confidentiality and intellectual property rules and policies.
A simple guide for research students regarding confidentiality and intellectual property issues is available online.
Your should also read the UWA Rules for Higher Degree by Research regarding Intellectual property and Confidentiality. See Doctor of Philosophy Rules: Rules 24-30. See Master's Degree by Research Rules for courses administered by the Board of the Graduate Research School: Rules 29-35.
If you are intending to undertake fieldwork, you must:
The University must be able to contact you while you are in the field.
You may also need to obtain the appropriate documentation, such as a research visa, if you are intending to do research in another country. In some cases this may take several months, so it is wise to apply early.
You need to indicate if your project has any special requirements. For Example:
You should consider:
If you project involves statistical analysis, describe briefly what this analysis is. Will you undertake the analysis yourself? If so, do you require training or support for this analysis. If not, who will undertake this analysis for you?
According to the UWA Rules for Higher Degree by Research, you can enroll in up to 24 points of coursework units if the specified coursework units are necessary for completion of the degree program. Many students enroll in approved statistics units. See Doctor of Philosophy Rules: Rule 11(1). See Master's Degree by Research Rules for courses administered by the Board of the Graduate Research School: Rules 11(1).
A free statistical advice clinic is also offered to postgraduate research students at UWA by the Centre for Applied Statistics. The clinic is intended to provide support and education to postgraduates. In addition to individual consultations, the Centre also offers regular statistics short courses.
You should assess if you need to develop any particular skills in order to complete your project. Using the skills audit proforma, break down your project into stages, assess your ability to complete each of these stages with the skill set you currently have.
If your audit indicates you require skills development, indicate how you plan to acquire these skills. This could be through coursework, short courses, or one-on-one training t UWA or another research facility.
This example skills audit pro-forma is also provided in a savable/printable document format:
You are required to list all approvals required for the project. For example, UWA approvals
are required for use of animals, the participation of human subjects, working with children, genetic manipulation, potentially biohazardous procedures and situations, the use and disposal of potent teratogens and carcinogens, and the use of ionising radiation or other hazardous items.
It is the responsibility of the candidate, the supervisor and the Head of School to ensure that appropriate approvals have been obtained. Similarly, it is essential that all required safety and other training is complete prior to the commencement of the project.
By signing the research proposal the School certifies that all necessary approvals in relation to the attached proposal will be obtained from the appropriate UWA committee and that all safety and other training required by law and/or UWA policy has been completed, prior to commencement of the project.
Where an approval is pending, progress on the application must be incorporated into the annual progress report. Research Proposals can only be provisionally approved until approval is obtained. When approval is obtained, you need to contact the Graduate Research School and provide them with the approval number.
You also need to assess the health and safety risks to you and other persons from your project in accordance with the UWA Safe System of Work. The safety risk assessment and the risk control strategy must be approved by your Supervisor and Head of School (or Graduate Research Coordinator) and kept on file by your Supervisor. The related guidance and General Safety Risk Assessment form for this approval is available online.
More information on the ethics approval process.
Prior to the commencement of your project, you should complete a Research Data Management Plan. This plan outlines ownership, collection, organisation, storage, backup, retention, disposal and access of the data generated during the course of your project.
For further assistance with research data management, please refer to the Research Data Management Toolkit.
Create deadlines for each stage of your project so you can work steadily towards completing the project. Your submission date is critical, so when constructing a research project plan try working backwards from this date.
Provide a plan of these deadlines from enrolment to thesis submission. Where appropriate the plan should include time points related to experiments, studies, fieldwork, research communication, statistics courses, lab safety courses, approvals and skills training.
A Gantt chart or timeline is the recommended format for this plan. Gantt chart proformas are available in Excel.
This plan should be most detailed for the first year of candidature. You will be required to provide the details of subsequent 12 month periods in each Annual Report.