IRP: Guidelines for Writing a Research Proposal
This document describes what is expected of your assignment for IRP.
The assignment is a project proposal.
This should be about 6 pages. A good proposal will provide a
convincing case for the high quality of the proposed research. It
will show an awareness of relevant prior work and include a clear
statement of the problems and hypotheses to be addressed and why they
are important. It must also make clear exactly how the methods used
to research those hypotheses will yield interesting results.
There are many ways in which one might structure the material.
As a guide, a good proposal might be organised as follows:
- Purpose: a statement of the problem to be addressed. This
include arguments as to why solving the problem
is important; e.g., because it will enable certain
applications, or lead to interesting scientific
- Background: a short description of how previous work
fails to address) this problem, leading to a rationale
for the hypotheses that you intend to test, and a
convincing argument about how that hypotheses might solve
- Methods: A description of the methods and techniques
you intend to
use to test your hypotheses (e.g., data analysis
procedures, experimental design etc), indicating that
alternatives have been considered and ruled out on sound
Evaluation: Details of the metrics by which you will evaluate
outcomes of your research; e.g., by comparing the output
of your system with some gold standard, or with the ways
in which humans perform a task, etc.
Outputs: A description of what the outputs of the projects
e.g., these might include an extension or change to some
existing theory or to some piece of software, some new
data (e.g., annotated linguistic data), and so on.
Workplan: A timetable or research plan, detailing what will be
to complete the proposed project, and when these tasks
will be completed by.
The proposal may also include material that would count as the
Introduction to the MSc thesis itself, and/or the literature review.
|Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 131 651 5661, Fax: +44 131 651 1426, E-mail:
Please contact our webadmin with
any comments or corrections. Logging and Cookies
Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all material is copyright ©
The University of Edinburgh