For example, a study may ask "Will alcohol intake independent variable have an effect on development of gastric ulcer dependent variable? The characteristics that define these variables must be clearly identified for the purpose of the study. A hypothesis can be defined as a tentative prediction or explanation of the relationship between two or more variables.
In other words, the hypothesis translates the problem statement into a precise, unambiguous prediction of expected outcomes. Hypotheses are not meant to be haphazard guesses, but should reflect the depth of knowledge, imagination and experience of the investigator. For example: "Health education involving active participation by mothers will produce more positive changes in child feeding than health education based on lectures".
Here the independent variable is types of health education and the dependent variable is changes in child feeding. A research question poses a relationship between two or more variables but phrases the relationship as a question; a hypothesis represents a declarative statement of the relations between two or more variables. Is there a relationship between them? Deciding whether to use questions or hypotheses depends on factors such as the purpose of the study, the nature of the design and methodology, and the audience of the research at times even the outlook and preference of the committee members, particularly the Chair.
Methodology: The method section is very important because it tells your research Committee how you plan to tackle your research problem. The guiding principle for writing the Methods section is that it should contain sufficient information for the reader to determine whether the methodology is sound. Some even argue that a good proposal should contain sufficient details for another qualified researcher to implement the study. This section should include: Research design: The selection of the research strategy is the core of research design and is probably the single most important decision the investigator has to make.
The choice of the strategy, whether descriptive, analytical, experimental, operational or a combination of these depend on a number of considerations, 5 but this choice must be explained in relation to the study objectives. The key reason for being concerned with sampling is the issue of validity-both internal and external of the study results.
Controls or comparison groups are used in scientific research in order to increase the validity of the conclusions. Control groups are necessary in all analytical epidemiological studies, in experimental studies of drug trials, in research on effects of intervention programmes and disease control measures and in many other investigations. Some descriptive studies studies of existing data, surveys may not require control groups. Sample size: The proposal should provide information and justification basis on which the sample size is calculated about sample size in the methodology section.
A smaller sample size than needed can also be unethical as it exposes human subjects to risk with no benefit to scientific knowledge. Calculation of sample size has been made easy by computer software programmes, but the principles underlying the estimation should be well understood. Interventions: If an intervention is introduced, a description must be given of the drugs or devices proprietary names, manufacturer, chemical composition, dose, frequency of administration if they are already commercially available.
Before the proposal is submitted to the Ethics Committee for approval, two important documents mentioned below where appropriate must be appended to the proposal. In additions, there is another vital issue of Conflict of Interest, wherein the researchers should furnish a statement regarding the same. The Informed consent form informed decision-making : A consent form, where appropriate, must be developed and attached to the proposal.
The use of medical terminology should be avoided as far as possible. Special care is needed when subjects are illiterate. It should explain why the study is being done and why the subject has been asked to participate. It should describe, in sequence, what will happen in the course of the study, giving enough detail for the subject to gain a clear idea of what to expect.
It should clarify whether or not the study procedures offer any benefits to the subject or to others, and explain the nature, likelihood and treatment of anticipated discomfort or adverse effects, including psychological and social risks, if any.
Where relevant, a comparison with risks posed by standard drugs or treatment must be included. If the risks are unknown or a comparative risk cannot be given it should be so stated.
It should assure the participant of confidentiality of the findings. Ethics checklist: The proposal must describe the measures that will be undertaken to ensure that the proposed research is carried out in accordance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Medical research involving Human Subjects.
It is unethical to expose subjects to research that will have no value. The use of vulnerable subjects as research participants needs special justification. Vulnerable subjects include those in prison, minors and persons with mental disability.
In international research it is important to mention that the population in which the study is conducted will benefit from any potential outcome of the research and the research is not being conducted solely for the benefit of some other population. Justification is needed for any inducement, financial or otherwise, for the participants to be enrolled in the study. Risks are not limited to physical harm. Psychological and social risks must also be considered.
It also demonstrates the originality of your proposed research. The proposal is the most important document that you submit as part of the application process. It gives you an opportunity to demonstrate that you have the aptitude for graduate level research, for example, by demonstrating that you have the ability to communicate complex ideas clearly, concisely and critically.
The proposal also helps us to match your research interest with an appropriate supervisor. What should you include in the proposal? Regardless of whether you are applying for the MJur, MPhil or PhD programmes, your research proposal should normally include the following information: 1. Title This is just a tentative title for your intended research.
You will be able to revise your title during the course of your research if you are accepted for admission. Abstract The proposal should include a concise statement of your intended research of no more than words. This may be a couple of sentences setting out the problem that you want to examine or the central question that you wish to address. Research Context You should explain the broad background against which you will conduct your research. You should include a brief overview of the general area of study within which your proposed research falls, summarising the current state of knowledge and recent debates on the topic.
This will allow you to demonstrate a familiarity with the relevant field as well as the ability to communicate clearly and concisely. Research Questions The proposal should set out the central aims and questions that will guide your research.
Explain what it will show about the psychology of language if your hypothesis is confirmed. Explain what it will suggest about the psychology of language if your hypothesis is disconfirmed. Method and Design A description of how you would go about collecting data and test the questions your are examining.
You are not required to come up with a new or original method though you can try! Look journal articles to determine what methods are standardly used to assess knowledge of language in your chosen area and adapt one of these for your needs. Method: How would you collect the data and why? Describe the general methodology you choose for your study, in order to test your hypothesis es. Explain why this method is the best for your purposes.
Participants: Who would you test and why? Describe the sample you would test and explain why you have chosen this sample. Include age, and language background and socio-economic information, if relevant to the design.
Are there any participants you would exclude? Why, why not? Design: What would the stimuli look like and why?
How to design and evaluate research in education. For example sex, age, ethnic origin, education, marital status, social status etc. In: WHO You will be able to revise your title during the course of your research if you are accepted for admission.
The Informed consent form informed decision-making : A consent form, where appropriate, must be developed and attached to the proposal. Wilkinson AM. Altman DG.