Centre collégial de développement de matériel didactique

Research Scholar

INTRODUCTION

  • This form is designed to prepare you to write a Research Proposal.
  • Preview the Research Institute material before starting this form.
  • Each player is expected to complete a form.
  • Much of the first half of the form should contain your own individual responses even if you are producing your Research Proposal with others.
  • Fill in the fields where you see the empty bullet symbol:
  • Your Research Director (teacher) may provide more specific instructions on how to complete this form.
  • You are not “in character” while filling out this form.
  • To print the entire content of this script at once, please click on the PRINTER icon on this page.

 

What is your name?

Which discipline have you been assigned to?

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What are the names of the other students assigned to this discipline?

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What is the dedicated theme for the Research Institute?

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Step 1

GET INTO CHARACTER

Browse for about 15 minutes through an official website (Canadian or American) of the professional association of your discipline. This should help you understand how professionals in your discipline conduct their affairs. Examples include the Canadian or American Psychological Association or the Canadian or American Political Science Association. They are easy to find online. For business, these associations are more specific to areas such as marketing, advertising, finance or accounting.

Do your best to find answers to the following questions individually (not as a team).

  1. What kinds of reasons or stated goals guide their activities as a professional association?
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  2. Provide a few concrete examples of programs, events or activities that they support (e.g., conferences, workshops, scholarships, job postings…).
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  3. Where/how do they appear to conduct their research (geographic locations or in terms of in labs or in the field)?
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Generate a very informal list of about ten keywords that appear to signify the unique concepts or approaches taken by your discipline on the dedicated theme. For example, keywords found in a search on Political Science on the theme of violence are electoral violence, protest movements, decolonization, ethnic conflict and low-intensity wars. 

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Go to one of your library’s periodical databases to generate a list of peer-reviewed scholarly journal article titles. Simply enter your discipline and the theme in the basic search box and scroll through the titles and subjects for ideas. Your Research Director will probably show you how to conduct this type of search.

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Do some research online to find something relevant about your discipline and the theme at a research institute or a university department. Copy the URL below and briefly describe what you found.

Choose a title and an institutional affiliation for your own character (e.g., Dr. [your last name], from University of [name of reputable one in your discipline].) Get ideas for character titles and institutional affiliations by consulting relevant websites such professional associations, research institutes and university departments related to your discipline.

List the character titles and institutional affiliations of your discipline fellows.

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Step 2

SIGNAL APPROVAL OF CODE OF CONDUCT

Review the Code of Conduct under the Rules and Code of Conduct and respond to the questions below.

Which part of the code of conduct do you think you will have no trouble adhering to?

Which part of the code of conduct do you think you may have some trouble adhering to? Why?

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Step 3

WRITE YOUR LITERATURE REVIEW

Start writing up your Research Proposal. Your Research Director will give you the exact details and may even add or remove items in this particular step.

This Research Proposal Parts table is an all-purpose outline for a Research Proposal. Please note that there is no single standard model for a Research Proposal. Requirements vary considerably.

RESEARCH PROPOSAL PARTS
Introduction (Overview & Literature Review)
Method Plan
Bibliographic List of Cited Sources
Appendix (optional) 

 

The Introduction is the first part of a Research Proposal and consists mostly of a Literature Review.

The Literature Review and the Method Plan are the most substantial parts of a Research Proposal and are interconnected. The Literature Review provides the context for the research question that emerges at the end of the review and sets the stage for the Method Plan part of the proposal. The Literature Review provides a brief account of significant literature on a selective area of a topic, while the Method Plan makes a convincing case for how best to address the research question.

The “literature” for the Literature Review should be predominantly, if not exclusively, drawn from your discipline. Your Research Director will provide you with more specific instructions.

View the Writing the Literature Review the Confetti Way video to learn how to write the Literature Review. 

 

Custom-designed for writing Literature Reviews, the Confetti Way is an innovative technique for integrating multiple sources into a blended text. 

Use the table below to summarize your sources the Confetti Way. You may need to add other rows, depending on the number of sources required by your Research Director.

SOURCE SUMMARY WORK SPACE
CITATION INFORMATION FOR SOURCES COLOUR SUMMARY POINTS
  • Generate 12 summary points for each source.
  • Place each summary point in the appropriate area below.
#1 [place citation information (author, titles…) here] red
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#2 [place citation information here] green
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#3 [place citation information here] blue
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ADD OTHER ROWS AS REQUIRED by Research Director    

 

Fill in the Inverted Pyramid Outline Template according to the Confetti Way video and the Research Director’s instructions. 

Inverted Pyramid Outline Template

Using the confetti notes and this outline, write up a draft of the Literature Review to the best of your ability. Add the References or Works Cited list. This draft will be copied into a template in Step 7, Draft Research Proposal.

Step 4

RAISE VIABLE RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Once you have written a draft Literature Review using the Confetti Way, you will need to find a viable research question to launch yourself into the next and final part of writing the Research Proposal – the Method Plan. On your own, try to find some answers to the following brainstorm question prompts.

What kinds of gaps, limitations or disagreements did you note as you were writing up the Literature Review?

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Generate at least ten research questions openly and freely. Do not overthink; list questions as they come to mind. Think about the gaps/limitations/disagreements identified above and about the who, what, where, when, and how aspects. Highlight a few of the more promising and discipline-related questions from that open-ended list. Questions that hold the most promise are ones that have no known and ready response.

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Revise one or two of the more promising questions and show the results here:

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Get together with your discipline fellows and share your revised questions with them. Discuss how these questions relate to the literature from the discipline. Roughly write down at least three of the more well-liked questions that emerge in the discussions:

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Get ready to share these well-liked questions in a multidisciplinary panel session.

Step 5

HOLD MULTIDISCIPLINARY PANEL SESSION ON QUESTIONS BY DISCIPLINE

The Multidisciplinary Panel Session will be organized, convened and moderated by the Research Director. The goal of this panel session is to generate a collection of questions that reflects diverse and wide-ranging disciplines. The session should take about 60 minutes to complete and is organized into two parts: 

  1. Panel presentations 
  2. Moderated discussion

For the panel presentations, a panellist from each of the disciplines is invited by the Research Director to briefly present (~5 minutes) the literature and the research questions that emerged from their earlier discussions with their discipline fellows.

For the moderated discussion, the Research Director opens up the floor for a 30-minute interactive exchange of ideas concerning the questions formulated by the separate discipline groups. To be considered: 

  1. How well does the collection of questions reflect the many and varied ways of asking questions across the disciplines? 
  2. Is the range of questions sufficiently diverse? 
  3. Can similar questions be differentiated? Which ones? How?

AFTER THE MULTIDISCIPLINARY PANEL

Briefly summarize how well your discipline question(s) held up in comparison to the others that were presented. How well did your question(s) appear to reflect your discipline? To what extent? In which ways?

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What kind(s) of changes would you consider making to your question? Briefly explain.

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Firm up your question before moving to the next step. If you are having trouble, be sure to discuss this with your discipline fellows or the Research Director.

Step 6

DECISION CIRCUIT ACTIVITY – DEVELOP AND PEER REVIEW method plan

You can start making decisions for the method plan portion of your Research Proposal once you have a viable research question.

RESEARCH PROPOSAL PARTS
Introduction (Overview & Literature Review)
Method Plan
Bibliographic List of Cited Sources
Appendix (optional)

 

Your tool for developing the method plan is the Decision Circuit. The Decision Circuit is a collection of activity boards with an amended glossary that prompts you to make a series of research decisions.

View the video Plan your Research the Decision Circuit Way and listen to the audio recording Developing a method plan with the Decision Circuit to get a sense of how the Decision Circuit works, and how it can be used. 

DEVELOP

Either alone or with your discipline fellows, start using the Decision Circuit. For each of the three Decision Boards, there is a series of numbered question prompts. Follow through on the decisions for each of these questions. If you do not know what the options are, consult the glossary and your course materials.

Enter your decisions for each of the numbered items below and provide brief explanations about the actual applications. For instance, if you decide on content analysis as a technique, explain what you will analyse.  

1. PROBLEM FORMULATION

1.1 Research Question

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1.2 Problem Formulation

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1.3 Approach for Collecting and Analysing the Data

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2. DATA COLLECTION DESIGN

2.1 Forms of Data

2.2 Data Collection Technique

2.3 Data Processing Instruments

2.4 Type(s) of Units

2.5 Sampling Strategy

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3. ANALYSIS, LIMITATIONS, AND ETHICS

3.1 Type(s) of Analysis

3.2 Limitations

3.3 Ethical Dimensions

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PEER REVIEW

The peer review should take about 20 minutes to complete. 

  • Review Decision Circuit decisions with your fellow Research Scholar(s), following the Research Director’s instructions. 
  • Using your own responses, take your fellow Research Scholar(s) through the decisions made for each one of the numbered items. 
  • Be sure to start off by referring to your research question and its relation to the literature (your Literature Review). 
  • Briefly explain your method plan to your peer(s) and ask for feedback or pose questions. 
  • Try to justify why the question will make a valued contribution to the Institute’s collection of proposals on the theme.

Identity three concerns about your decisions that your peer(s) may be of assistance with:

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As a result, what will you revise in your original decisions?

What is the most difficult/challenging decision? Why?

What are your takeaways from the peer exchange?

Step 7

DRAFT THE RESEARCH PROPOSAL

This step provides a template that will help you to assemble and write out the various parts of the Research Proposal, most of which can be copied directly from your work in previous steps.

RESEARCH PROPOSAL TEMPLATE

TITLE

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In approximately 12 words, concisely outline the what, where, how and who of the proposal.

INTRODUCTION

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Overview: Write an opening paragraph with a “statement of the problem,” briefly explaining the reasons for researching the problem or issue that has been targeted for study.

Literature Review: Copy and paste the literature review drafted earlier.

method plan

Decision Circuit items with explanations

1.1

1.2

1.3

2.1

2.2

2.3

2.4

2.5

3.1

3.2

3.3

 

CLOSING STATEMENT

Your pitch for being endorsed.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC LIST OF CITED SOURCES 

APPENDICES (if required)

Using the template material, draft a full written account with complete sentences and coherent paragraphs. Follow the Research Director’s specifications for specific assignment requirements. Run the contents of the draft Research Proposal through this checklist.

Draft Proposal CHECKLIST

Place a check mark beside items that are adequately completed.

  • The opening paragraph clearly states the problem and justifies the need for further study.
  • A clear and concrete account of how to go about gathering, organizing and analysing the data/information is provided.
  • The literature review includes a few references to a variety of literature sources in each paragraph.
  • Proper scientific names are used.
  • Paragraphs cohere well and are structured from the general to the specific.
  • Limitations are identified.
  • The final paragraph of the Introduction raises a researchable question.
  • The closing statement provides clear reminders of why this proposal deserves to be endorsed and given the required support to move ahead.
  • The literature provides a credible context for the method plan.
  • A complete and well-formatted bibliographic list of cited sources is included.
  • The question is stated as a focused hypothesis or thesis that is briefly justified/defined in the Problem Formulation portion of the Method Plan. Appendix items, if required, are included.

How do you intend to address items that are not adequately completed?

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Once everything on the checklist is adequately completed, you are ready to move to the Internal Grants Review. This step requires you to have hard copies of your draft Research Proposal to deliver to the assigned reviewers. Your Research Director may also request a consultation on the results of this checklist prior to the review.

Step 8

INTERNAL GRANTS REVIEW

The Internal Grants Review is intended to provide Research Scholars with a competitive advantage in external grant competitions. It connects scholars across disciplines, in multidisciplinary peer exchanges, on Research Institute proposals. It should improve the quality of the proposals and enhance the success rate for grant acceptance in the highly competitive funding environment of the Collegiate Contest.

All Institute proposals must be submitted to this internal review prior to being submitted for formal evaluation and external funding competitions (e.g., the Collegiate Contest).

The Internal Grants Review involves two sessions:

  1. Reviewer Report Sessions
  2. Response to the Reviewer Report Sessions

REVIEWER REPORT PANEL SESSIONS

A Reviewer Report Panel session consists of three Research Scholars from different disciplines. Each panel member’s draft proposal is critically reviewed by the two fellow panellists.

Each Research Scholar is responsible for providing a copy of their draft proposal in advance of the scheduled session.

Each draft proposal is assigned to a few peer reviewers. Using the ten-item Peer Review Report Form, the Research Scholars review the two draft proposals they have received before the scheduled panel session, following the ten-item Peer Review Report Form below and filling in the required fields.

At the panel session, the Review Reports are delivered in hard copy to be presented and discussed for 45 minutes.

The written Reports are required to prepare the Reviewer’s Response.

PEER REVIEW REPORT FORM

What is your name?

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What is your discipline?

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What is the title of the Research Proposal under review?

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What is the name of the fellow Research Scholar whose proposal is under review?

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In reviewing, bear in mind that you are reviewing a draft version of a Research Proposal for an internal review and that this is not a win-lose external form of review. Complete the Report as per the Research Director’s specifications. After a careful reading of the assigned Research Proposal, address the following:

In your own words, what is the main goal of the proposed study?

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Identify two of the most cogent features of the Literature Review.

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How could the literature review be improved?

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Briefly explain how the research question relates to the literature reviewed.

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How could the thesis statement or hypothesis be improved?

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What parts of the Method Plan address the hypothesis/thesis effectively?

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What parts of the Method Plan address the hypothesis/thesis ineffectively?

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Is there a discernible discipline approach (something about the question, the perspective or the techniques that differentiates the proposal from the other disciplines)? Briefly explain.

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As a reviewer, you recommend the proposal be:

  • Accepted with few or no adjustments – rated outstanding
  • Accepted with some minor adjustments – rated excellent
  • Accepted with improvements – rated very good
  • Rejected with an invitation to resubmit after major revisions – rated underdeveloped
  • Rejected with an invitation to consult with the Research Director – rated seriously flawed

What should be the focus of attention for the revisions?

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Deliver the Report to the peers whose proposals you reviewed, following the Research Director’s instructions.

Insert the Reviewer Reports of your own proposal here:

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The Research Director will probably hold panel sessions where fellow peer reviewers verbally deliver their Reports to the peers whose proposals they reviewed.

RESPONSE TO THE REVIEWER REPORT PANEL SESSIONS

Responses to the Reviewers’ Reports are discussed in a follow-up session with the same peers. Each Research Scholar prepares, in advance, a Response to the Reviewers’ Reports, using the eight-item Response Form below. The Responses to Reviewers’ Reports are presented and discussed for 30 minutes.

Each peer should summarize their Response based on their answers to the eight question prompts. Then an open and free exchange of ideas should ensue. The Response session is informal in structure, operating more as a friendly exchange.

After giving the Research Scholars time to process the feedback and write their Responses, the Research Director convenes another set of panel sessions for the peers to respond to the reviewers’ Reports.

RESPONSE FORM

Use the question prompts to formulate a Response to the Reviewer Reports you received. Looking over the Reviewer Reports, answer the following eight question prompts:

Which parts of your proposal were assessed as addressing the hypothesis/thesis effectively? Briefly explain.

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Which parts of your proposal were assessed as addressing the hypothesis/thesis ineffectively? Briefly explain.

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Do you feel that these assessments were accurate and fair? Briefly explain.

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Were any parts of the Reports inaccurate or not useful? Briefly explain.

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What part of the peer feedback was most surprising to you? Briefly explain.

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What feedback do you plan to act on?

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What do you plan to ignore?

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To what extent do you agree with the reviewers’ ratings of your proposal? How would you rate your own proposal? Briefly explain.

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As a reviewer, you recommend the proposal be:

  • Accepted with few or no adjustments – rated outstanding
  • Accepted with some minor adjustments – rated excellent
  • Accepted with improvements – rated very good
  • Rejected with an invitation to resubmit after major revisions – rated underdeveloped
  • Rejected with an invitation to consult with the Research Director – rated seriously flawed

POST-REVISION ACCOUNT

After revising the proposal based on the feedback you received, provide a brief account of what you did and why.

Briefly describe what you revised and how long it took you to do so.

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Which aspects of the Reviewer’s Reports helped with the revision?

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How satisfied are you with the revisions at this point in time?

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Step 9

OBTAIN ENDORSEMENT FOR COLLEGIATE CONTEST

Having your Research Proposal endorsed as eligible for entry into the external competition of the Collegiate Contest is an honour worth pursuing. The Research Proposal can be evaluated based on its grade merit or on the rating system used earlier in the Reviewer’s Report.

As a reviewer, you recommend the proposal be:

  • Accepted with few or no adjustments – rated outstanding
  • Accepted with some minor adjustments – rated excellent
  • Accepted with improvements – rated very good
  • Rejected with an invitation to resubmit after major revisions – rated underdeveloped
  • Rejected with an invitation to consult with the Research Director – rated seriously flawed

Your Research Director will explain exactly how this can be accomplished.

Step 10

COMPLETE AND SUBMIT ASSIGNMENT MATERIAL

  1. Complete this Script Form and submit it and any other required material, as per your Research Director’s instructions.
  2. Consider submitting your Research Proposal to the Collegiate Contest. Eligibility and requirements are posted on this website under the scenario information for the Collegiate Contest.