The purpose of writing this research proposal is learning to explain the need and feasibility of your ideas and to sell them to an audience of peers. Writing a research proposal will help you to reach the following learning outcomes as formulated in the Education and Examination Regulation. You will be:
- Capable, based on broad and up-to-date knowledge of biological and/or biomedical processes, in combination with specialist knowledge (theories, methods, techniques) and research experience in at least one sub-area of this field, of setting up and conducting research aimed at acquiring new knowledge and insight in this research area;
- Capable of formulating new questions and hypotheses in the biological/ biomedical field, and familiar with the research methods and state-of-the-art techniques to solve them, taking into account available equipment and resources;
- Capable of setting up and conducting scientific experiments in an independent manner, including the related controls, of using models and theories to explain the results, and of evaluating the results in terms of well-founded scientific conclusions;
- Capable of independently identifying, critically reading and comprehending relevant, up-to date international literature from different disciplines, of discriminating essential from nonessential information, and of integrating new information in his overall view on nature;
- Capable of using concepts from different organization levels in biology, in combination with those from physics, chemistry and mathematics, to solve a complex biological/ biomedical problem at a specific abstraction level;
- Capable of independent professional practice whereby, depending on the chosen variant, the emphasis is put on conducting fundamental scientific research (under supervision), or on transferring or applying existing scientific knowledge, thereby taking into account his own competences;
- Capable of defending his view and of critically evaluating other views in a scientific discussion;
- Capable of integrating ethical aspects in his professional practice, along with the ability to reflect on the potential implications for society.
In short, your research proposal should:
- consist of at most 5 pages review, 3 pages discussion of a research article and 8 pages research description. In exceptional cases, the length of the research proposal might be different, but this should always be discussed at the start of the writing process.
- be a follow-up study to a research article related to your specialization, in the form of a PhD-project;
- contain a title, summary with graphical abstract (see 3.3), introduction with literature review and discussion of a research topic, a description of the research with an approach, objective, innovation and impact, a timetable and a reference list;
- be supplemented by a rebuttal;
- be defended in an interview-like setting with your supervisor or during a public presentation. If you choose this public presentation you usually do not have to write a second version of your proposal as the presentation will act as one;
- have a workload of 6 ECTS (168 hours)
| BSc level knowledge of (medical) biology
MSc level knowledge from your specialisation courses
Experience with reading scientific articles at MSc level
Experience in writing short literature overviews, such as in a BSc thesis or introduction of a BSc/MSc internship report.|
Grades will mainly be based on the final proposal combined with the presentation. Your supervisor will use the evaluation form (available on Brightspace or online: https://www.ru.nl/courseguides/science/master/master-biology/review-article-research-proposal-0/research-proposal/ ) to grade your proposal. As you will notice, the weight of the different categories is not specified further, and there is the possibility to add (or omit) a category, when deciding on a specific form or style of the proposal together with your supervisor. It is advisable to discuss grading at an early point in your writing process so you will not be surprised later on. A good moment to do this is when discussing your outline.