Writing An Undergraduate Research Proposal

Sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Support Office and the Thompson Writing Program. We will look at some proposals from prior years that got funded, and some that didn't.

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Applying for a fellowship or grant for a summer research project?

Read the guidelines below and attend information sessions and workshops to help you write a winning proposal!

This session will provide answers to these questions: What is a research grant proposal? We will begin by discussing the strengths and weaknesses of sample proposals.

Then we’ll break up into guided groups so everyone can get some feedback on 2-3 of the most important aspects of their proposals.

Research proposals are also used to correctly match you with an appropriate supervisor/supervision team.

If you are interested in the work of a specific potential supervisor, and especially if you have already discussed your proposed project with this person, be sure to make reference to this in your proposal.The proposal should demonstrate why the project is worthy of support, and why the topic is of interest to you, the applicant.Avoid simply writing a summary of what you’ve done (unless specifically asked to do so); rather, focus on your project or research, and what you’re hoping to accomplish.The advice given in this section is geared towards the proposals you will be required to submit when applying for OUR programs and funding opportunities.Though much of this information will be useful when writing proposals or personal statements for non-OUR applications, we recommend you refer to the guidelines in the application you are working on and the advice provided by the UConn Writing Center to guide the development of your proposal.Each application is a different, and you need to carefully read and understand all the questions being asked to assure your proposal addresses them.Stay focused on your topic and make sure to fully answer the questions that are asked.Your research proposal is an integral part of the Research Degree application process, and as such, it is worth investing time and energy to ensure that your proposal is strong, clear and effective.Your proposal needs to outline the nature of your proposed research project, identify your knowledge of existing literature and provide an indication of how you will conduct your research project.Give the reader enough background information to understand the importance of the research or project without overwhelming them with technical details.You can have a well-developed idea or solid research question, but if you fail to clearly articulate how you plan to execute your idea or answer your research question, the feasibility of your proposal will be questioned. If you intend to bring speakers to campus, indicate who you hope to bring and why you chose those individuals.

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