Engineering Research Proposal Example

When you write a paper or a grant, it will probably be minutely reviewed by people in your exact field.However, your panel for the NSF GRFP will likely not be in your field, and your application will be one of many they read.They may very well miss points in your proposal that you think are “subtle” or “implicit.” Explicitly state what you’re doing and why, and make it clear even to someone who doesn’t know your field, and who is fatigued from reading many applications.

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In the life sciences, scientists often label their hypotheses or objectives as “specific aims”.

When discussing research approach and outcomes, make it clear that the project has a clear endpoint that is well within the timeline of a Ph D. Having a concrete outcome can help you show how your research will meet the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts criteria, by saying, “Once I have thing effect on society.” Your research proposal will be judged, in part, on the basis of whether or not the panel members believe you will actually be able to carry it out.

There’s typically a tradeoff between risk, reward, and credibility.

Low-risk projects, like obvious, simple extensions of your undergraduate thesis research, tend to be very credible: it’s clear that you do them. Projects that are very ambitious and have huge rewards tend to be unbelievable and impossible for a mere grad student.

Make sure the thing you’re proposing to do hasn’t been done before or hasn’t been generally regarded as impossible. More senior scientists like postdocs and faculty members have a lot of experience crafting research proposals, and they are similar to the kinds of people who will be on your selection panel. Your proposal should also excite someone who is in your exact field.

If they have any reservations about whether the project is interesting, then scientists your field will have an even more difficult time believing that it’s research worth pursuing.The proposal is the part of the application where you get to lay out a plan for your graduate research career.The personal statement gives you space to explain the big picture of your past and future career; the research proposal is a place for more nuts and bolts.Spend more words showing that you are capable and creative rather than showing that you can cite many papers.Mature and sophisticated proposal for research are more likely to win you the Fellowship. Read a lot about the field in which you’re proposing research.This tutorial is designed for graduate students who are required to submit a research proposal as a condition of their candidature or who wish to write one for their own purposes.The purpose of this tutorial is to help you develop an approach for writing a clear and focused research proposal.They will judge your application using some combination of (a) the NSF’s official criteria for the Fellowship and (b) their own ideas about what constitutes good science.The people on the committee read many, many applications.It is an opportunity to convince the selection panel that you are capable of being a successful researcher: that you have the intellectual ability to propose a creative, feasible plan of research.Note that if you win the Fellowship, no one will actually hold you to this particular research plan; this is a demonstration of critical thinking, not a commitment.


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