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Nevertheless, your proposal should contain some indication of the theories and concepts you find relevant to your research questions, and (most importantly) some thoughts about how you might operationalise these. Are you situated within a specific epistemological framework, and why?It should also include any specific methodological techniques or elements of research design – for instance, if you are trying to explore the interactions between phenomena, how will you measure and establish these? in a qualitative study exploring how breastfeeding impacts on mothers’ experiences of bonding with their babies, you would need to consider how you would tease out the role of breastfeeding from other factors).
Your methodology should give details of your planned sources of data and how you will sample them.
Be specific: if you are doing interviews, how many?
Of course, your methodology will evolve during the course of your project and it is always possible to change it – but it is essential to be thinking like a researcher from the start.
Sometimes this section will be part of your methodology; sometimes it will be separate.
You may be looking at several areas of literature – some providing general context while others relate to particular issues.
In a project on violence against sex workers under different legal/regulatory models, you would probably be making use of general work on violence against women/sexual violence, more specific literature on violence against sex workers (of all genders) and violence against particular groups who may be more at risk within the industry (women of colour and trans women, for example), and literature covering different models of sex industry regulation and their implications.
The best research in my field tends to be both policy/society-relevant gaps in the relevant literature. If you’re applying for research funding, your project rationale should also link to the strategic priorities of the funding body. They must be ones which have not been asked before in the particular way you will ask them.
They should usually be open but narrow, focusing on aspects of issues or relationships between phenomena (e.g.
For many academics, each new year brings a flurry of Email enquiries about Ph D supervision.
In my experience these tend to range between a vague notion about a topic (or a few possible topics) and a detailed account of a research idea, usually drawn from a successful MA thesis or an area of professional interest.