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Instructions for Research Project Proposal

The project plan should be double-spaced in 12 font and with one-inch margins. It should be no more than 5 pages. Make sure all pages are numbered and your name is in the upper-right hand corner. Here is a suggested organization and the general questions your proposal application should answer:

  • Objectives and Specific Aims: What do you want to do? Provide a short description that describes what this project is intended to accomplish; what research questions will it answer or research hypothesis will it test.
  • Background and significance: Why is the work important? What has already been done? Provide a brief background for this proposal; what is the current state of knowledge; specifically identify existing gaps that your proposal will address. State concisely the importance of this line of inquiry.
  • Preliminary Studies: This section is potentially optional. It applies to projects that may be a continuation of a previous student's work or describes how it fits into your faculty mentor's research.
  • Methods: What methods will you use to do the work? Describe the experimental design and methodology to be used in this project. With your mentor's guidance, there should be sufficient detail to provide a clear understanding of the project's methods. For surveys, how will you design questions and reach the intended target audience. Describe any collaborations outside of the dental school that you may need. It's important to be sure that all the pieces are in place for your successful completion of the project. Describe how you will analyze the data. A general work schedule and timetable for progress helps you think the process through. Be clear on your role and responsibilities on the project.
  • Human subjects: If human subjects are involved, including all survey projects, think early about the IRB; even expedited reviews can take several weeks. Under some circumstances, your project may be exempted, but YOU cannot determine that; you must submit an IRB application and they will provide the exemption.
  • Literature cited

Be sure to include a cover page with:

  1. The title of the project
  2. Your name
  3. Your email (the one you most consistently check)
  4. Your faculty mentor's name, department and email
  5. The date of submission

Please submit (on paper or electronically) to Dr. Catherine Demko, Room 217 Dental School,