Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Preparing for PhD Research Proposal

This week, aspiring PhD candidates of the university are attending an intensive research proposal workshop which is organized by the Institute of Leadership and Quality Managemenet (IlQAM). As one of the facilitators for the workshop, Prof Dr Normah Omar, Director of the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) delivered her talk today on a topic "Preparing a PhD Research Proposal". It was stressed in her talk that one of the most important elements of a research prosal is the identification of the right "PROBLEM STATEMENT". It is important in a proposal that the problem stand out so that the reader can easily recognize it. Sometimes, obscure and poorly formulated problems are masked in an extended discussion. In such cases, reviewers and/or committee members will have difficulty recognizing the problem. A problem statement should be presented within a context, and that context should be provided and briefly explained, including a discussion of the conceptual or theoretical framework in which it is embedded. Clearly and succinctly identify and explain the problem within the framework of the theory or line of inquiry that undergirds the study. This is of major importance in nearly all proposals and requires careful attention. It is a key element that associations such as AERA and APA look for in proposals. It is essential in all quantitative research and much qualitative research. State the problem in terms intelligible to someone who is generally sophisticated but who is relatively uninformed in the area of your investigation. Effective problem statements answer the question “Why does this research need to be conducted.” If a researcher is unable to answer this question clearly and succinctly, and without resorting to hyperspeaking (i.e., focusing on problems of macro or global proportions that certainly will not be informed or alleviated by the study), then the statement of the problem will come off as ambiguous and diffuse. Once the problem is clearly identified, pay attention to other important components of a proposal:
1. Title (Working Title)
2. Preamble/Introduction
3. Short Statement of the Problem
4. Research Objectives
5. Research Questions/Hypothesis
6. Review of Research Literature
7. The Design - Methods and Procedures
8. Tentative Time Table
9. References

No comments:

Post a Comment