The 1-2 page prospectus plays an important role in the selection of your research committee. The prospectus allows faculty members to decide whether to participate in the study, based on the area of focus and the integrity of the prospectus. Faculty members typically do not commit to serve on a student's research committee before a written prospectus is presented to them for review. The prospectus may contain the following elements:
1. Your Name
2. Title of Proposed Dissertation
3. Clear Statement of the Problem with Question(s) to be Addressed in the Study
4. Conceptual Framework or Outline of the Design of the Study
a. Provide the anticipated headings of your dissertation chapters (i.e. headings of Paper 1, Paper 2, and Paper 3 if you are planning three publishable papers; one paper can be theoretical or a review of the literature the other two papers must be data-based).
5. Brief Review of the Literature (1-2 paragraphs)
a. What does the prior research indicate?
b. Demonstrate that the topic is sufficiently original.
c. How will your proposed research fit into the body of prior work?
6. Research Study Design / Methodology to be Used (or New Methodology in Biostatistics)
a. Provide a general statement about the methods to be used.
b. Describe your data sources, data collection, instrument(s) to be used, if applicable.
c. Describe the data analysis, including statistical techniques, if appropriate.
7. Explanation of Contribution of your Study to Theory and/or to Practice (1-2 sentences)
a. Include the three journals to be used if you are planning three publishable papers.
8. Bibliography / References (need not be excessively long for the prospectus)
a. Identify key works that are central for your problem.
9. Timeframe (this is your best guess at this point)
a. Prepare a timetable that specifies each stage of your work.
b. Anticipate when you plan to ask the research committee to meet.
c. Include projected deadlines for completion of each chapter.
d. Identify your anticipated date of defense.
10.Institutional Review Board (IRB) Application, if Applicable
a. IRB approval is required for any human subjects research.