Research Proposal

To be considered for admission to the BS/MS program, a student, in cooperation with his/her research mentor, must prepare a proposal detailing the rationale, methods, and timetable for a project to be completed during the research year.

The proposal will be evaluated by the admissions committee with respect to the quality and feasibility of the proposed research.

The format of the proposal should be as follows (pages are to be double-spaced, unbound, and unstapled):

  • Title page (1 page): Title of research proposal, applicant’s name and contact information (address, phone, email), mentor’s name and contact information (address, phone, email), and date of application
  • Abstract (<200 words) summarizing the proposal
  • Scientific aims (1 page): Specify the aims of the research project and the experimental approaches planned to achieve them.
  • Background and significance (3 pages): Describe (1) the scientific background and (2) the significance. The scientific background explains the current state of knowledge. The significance section specifies how our knowledge will be
    advanced if the project is successful.
  • Preliminary data (2-3 pages): If the applicant has already done research relating to the proposed project, what has been accomplished? How does it set the stage for the work to be done? If this is a new project, present background data from the sponsor’s laboratory that demonstrates the feasibility of the project.
  • Experimental design and methods (3 pages): Exactly which experiments will be done? What are the critical methods? Is everything in place to carry out the proposed research? If not, what are the steps required to get to that stage? What difficulties might arise? How will they be managed? What is the proposed timetable?
  • Expected outcome (half page): What does the applicant propose to discover or elucidate?
  • References (APA style)