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Research Proposals - Project Purpose

Purpose of the Project (Aims or Objectives)

This section describes what will be accomplished or tested in the project.

Research proposals usually are focused on a central hypothesis. A good research grant hypothesis is a testable, focused, clear, declarative statement of relationships between variables based on previous observations. Sometimes research questions are used in place of hypotheses, especially if work is in early stages. And sometimes working hypotheses (per aim) are used in place of a central hypothesis. This decision is often based on common practice in the discipline or field.

The objectives (or aims) should focus on outcome as opposed to process. For example, the outcome of the work is “To identify the candidate allele;” while the process of getting there includes “to run several trials on samples.” There should be 2 to 4 outcome objectives per proposal. When writing aims, use active, measurable terms, e.g., to identify, to characterize vs. to study

Next: Plan or Approach

Updated in 2014 by Christine Black.
Originally produced by Don Thackrey.


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