At the end of the course, students have generic knowledge on and insight into:
- how to design and formulate a research plan/project
- how to write a research proposal
Relationship with EST labour market (Intended Learning Outcomes [ILO's] as described in the EST programme specific appendix of the EER):
- This course contributes (strongly) to: Research competence
- To a limited extent, this course contributes to: Domain expertise, Academic reflection
The course “Research Proposal’ is scheduled four times a year, during each quartile (1A, 1B. 2A and 2B), in order for students to take the course during the quartile when it best aligns with their EST Final Project. You follow the course Research Proposal after you have found and agreed on a topic for your final project.
Ideally full-time students from the September enrolment take the course in block 1B and students from the February enrolment take it in block 2B, but in case they haven’t found a topic by then, they can defer this course to the next quartile (N.B. choosing this option might cause some study delay!).
Part-time students choose the moment that fits best in their study plan, and of course also after they have found a topic for their final project as well.
A major aim of this course is to guide and scaffold students in preparing their Final Project. Students learn to write a plan for their Final Project (this plan is also called a research proposal). This research proposal forms the blueprint of the Final Project.
Among other things, the following aspects will be addressed during this course:
- Defining the purpose and the key concepts of the research, constructing and discussing a conceptual model, and formulating scientifically relevant research questions based on a review of the literature.
- Choosing and justifying an adequate method of data gathering and data analysis based on the purpose of the research and the research questions through separate structured assignments
- Writing several sections of a research proposal (introduction, conceptual framework, method, etc.) through separate structured assignments
- Reviewing and evaluating the scientific quality of the several sections and the consistency of the research proposal written by fellow students
In other words: during mini-lectures and seminars those factors which determine the quality of the design of a research project and research proposal, such as: information skills, ethics, publication skills, will be dealt with. At the end of the course, students have knowledge on and insight into: how to formulate and design a research plan/project, and how to write a research proposal.
Regular plenary sessions:
- Mini-lectures focused on the design and the writing of a research proposal (see content of the course). These mini-lectures will also address other factors, such as information and publication skills, ethics, etc.
- Workshops in which students provide and gain peer-feedback on their assignments. In addition, the students collaborate in small teams on their research plan and research proposal
The writing of the research proposal will start at the beginning of the quartile (quartile 1A,1B, 2A or 2B). Separate structured assignments are in place to guide and scaffold this process. These assignments are conditional for passing the course. As a conclusion of the course, the student will submit his/her research proposal at the end of the quartile in which the course is followed. It is only allowed to submit a research proposal twice per study year (one first submission plus one submission in case of a retake). The retake must be submitted at the end of the next quartile. The assessment of the research proposal is done by the teacher of the course.
In order to pass the course, the student has (a) to have fulfilled his/her duty to attend all sessions, (b) have actively participated in all sessions (it’s up to the teacher to judge whether this condition is met sufficiently), and (c) the research proposal should be graded a 5.5 or higher. The grade for the research proposal is also the course grade.
Relationship with technology:
The nature and extent of the role of technology in this course is dependent on the topic and is therefore determined by the student together with the final project supervisor.