Proposal Structure

Your KF7028 research proposal will be approximately 2500 – 3000 words and specify the projectbackground, motivation and relevance to your programme of study; its scope, aims and objectives; a plan of the major activities. Your proposal should draw on current and recent research and other appropriate sources of information and cite these sources using a consistent standard referencing system. The proposal will be assessed by your allocated module tutors for the module or by your supervisor and a second marker, feedbackwill be provided, consisting of suggestions and comments on how to improve the project.

You will be allocated your project supervisor in semester two of your study period. If you start your study in September, you will be allocated a project supervisor in second semester January – May. If you start your study in January, you will be allocated your supervisor in your second semester September – January

This proposal should be based on the outcome of your own research and of the meetings with your tutors, peers and supervisors.This supervisor/tutors will be confirmed with you by the end of week 6.  By this time you should have produced a draft copy of your proposal. Your supervisor/tutor will provide individual support and formative feedback during the preparation of your research proposal.

The Proposal Structure – You are advised to following the structure outlined below.

Project Details – Front Cover

· Module: KF7028 – Research and Project Management

· Module tutor: Shelagh Keogh

· Assignment title: MSc Research Proposal’

· Student name + university identifier (always underline the surname/family name by which you are recorded in the university systems)

· Programme or course of study

· The name of your supervisor, and the name of your second marker

· Confirmation that you have submitted draft outline of the project for ethical approval

· Word Count

Research question 

You should aim to outline a research question. This research question defines what you want to study and is the first step in development of your project proposal.

Aim

Produce a summary of what your project will achieve in one or two sentences.

Background, Motivation and Relevance – literature review

· Set out and justify, using supporting literature, where your work will fit in the computing body of knowledge.

· Outline and critically discuss what relevant research has been undertaken, in the past, in your area of interest and why this project is necessary.

· Outline and critically discuss why the research will be of value, in the future, and what the anticipated impact of the outcomes will be.

· Provide a diagram such as a mind map illustrating the position in the computing body of knowledge.

· Outline why you want to undertake this work, some areas to consider are, personal motivation, skills set and career choices, a gap in the knowledge base.

Scope, Objectives and Risk

· Outline and justify the scope of your project – what you intend to do, you may also want to say what you will not include but might be expected by others to be incorporated.

· Outline numbered steps (SMART Objectives) you will have to complete in order to achieve the aims and would provide sufficient work to conclude your research question.

After each objective outline the deliverables and or outcomes that will be produced as a result of this objective’s work.  Outline how you will assess and or measure the quality for that objective. Outline what research method/design you will adopt for each objective and how each method will support one another.

· Break down the objectives into tasks and produce a task list, each task should outline, deliverable, resources (all types) required, skills required, time required.

· Produce a risk log (see example on your Blackboard Assessment tab) for you project. Each objective should be assessed based on risks, such as technical, personal, resources, time, and costs etc factors.

Sources and use of Knowledge

· Identify and justify a journal where your work would be relevant for publication.

· Identify and apply aspects of the standards for publication in the target journal that you can incorporate into your project proposal, so for example the referencing system, font style and pitch etc, instructions usually found under the journal’s advice to authors.

· Identify, justify and critically discuss any authors, journals where previous relevant research has been published within the last 5 years.

· Ethics, Legal, Social, Security and Professional Issues

Using literature, write out a separate section for Ethics, Legal, Social, Security and Professional Issues. In your deliberations discuss, explore and define all of the issues associated with your project, including how you will consider security issues. If you think an area of this section is not applicable to your project, you should justify why this is the case; leaving any section blank will result in a loss of marks.

Schedule of Activities

Using your task list, construct a Gantt chart and a Monitoring and Control table (see examples given your Blackboard Assessment tab. The monitoring and control table is set up in this proposal but used during the execution of your KF7029 project.

References: these should be primarily used to support your Background, Ethics, Legal, Social, Security and Professional Issues sections and include the latest relevant research in your chosen topic area. All references in the reference list must also appear within the body of the report. There is no ideal number of references recommended but a guide might be no less than 10 – 15 sources should be used.

Ethics process- every project must be ethically approved you should complete a draft of your ethical approval process before submitting your proposal, you will conclude the ethical submission after receiving your feedback from your proposal. Failure to carry out the ethics process will result in you not being able to start your project; it may also mean a 5% reduction in marks. To draft your ethical approval, go to “ethics online”, via your My Northumbria page. You will be asked for the following information:

Module tutor (enter Shelagh Keogh)

Supervisor (enter the name of your supervisor)

Coordinator (enter the name of your supervisor)

A sample ethics submission is available on Blackboard.

Presentation Guidelines

Notes on presentation & submission:

The research report must be written and presented to an appropriate academic standard for a postgraduate programme of study.

· The proposal will be assessed in terms of style, meaning, and the accuracy of spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax.

· Correct and thorough referencing of your sources of information is required. You should follow a consistent referencing system, and provide a full reference list and brief references in the text of your answer. ‘Cite them Right’ advises direct quotations should be indicated by quotation marks or indentation, and referenced. Failure to acknowledge your sources or to indicate when you are quoting constitutes plagiarism. You are encouraged to work with each other to discuss the challenges encountered, but you must not work with each other to construct your answers. Action will be taken in accordance with the University regulations if academic misconduct is suspected. This may result in a loss of marks for the assignment or module.

Further advice on these issues can be found on:

· Northumbria University (2016) Skills Plus help guides, online. Available at: http://nuweb2.northumbria.ac.uk/library/skillsplus/index.html. (Accessed 05.09.16)

· Northumbria University (2015) “Regulations and procedures applying to cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct.” Online. Available at: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/static/5007/arpdf/accmisprocedure(Accessed 05.09.16)

· Northumbria University (no date), A student guide to avoiding academic misconduct, http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/static/worddocuments/ardocs/amstudentguide.doc(Accessed: 05.09.16)

· Pears, R. & Shields, G. (2013) Cite Them Right: the essential referencing guide, 9th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Online. Available at: http://www.citethemrightonline.com/

available from the university search facilities: – http://librarysearch.northumbria.ac.uk/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?vid=northumbria.

 

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