The effects of training and experience on brain and behaviour(psychobiology of plasticity)
Project proposals should:
• Be a maximum of 1,500 words in length
• Include the following:
o Title of study
o Aims & Objectives
o Proposed analysis
o Work plan
By its completion, you should have:
1. demonstrated the ability to conduct a literature review
2. demonstrated the ability to formulate hypotheses or research questions
3. demonstrated the ability to design a research project
The project proposal is an essential component of the module as it reflects your progress in
developing your research methods skills and competencies and enables us to assess
whether your project is suitable (academically, practically and ethically). You should develop
your proposal in liaison with your allocated project supervisor. The proposal must be a
maximum of 1,500 words in length, excluding references and appendices. It must be wordprocessed
double-spaced. Do not include any unnecessary pages. Your proposal needs to
be submitted via Moodle.
The proposal must be in the following format with the required sub-headings in bold:
Title of study
The title should express clearly the nature or purpose of the study without using
unnecessary words. For example, it should not be “An experiment to study perception of
complex sounds”, but “Perception of complex sounds”.
Previous research having relevance to your study should be summarised and referenced
here. At the proposal stage, you are only expected to summarise and reference key sources
(normally approximately five references should have been read and cited). You should
always avoid referring to standard textbooks; instead you should be accessing original
journal articles or book chapters. Your summary of key literature should make clear the
psychological issue(s) that you are investigating and the rationale for your study should
follow logically from that. Can your reader clearly identify the topic area you are going to
Aims & Objectives
This section should include a statement of the purpose of the study. It should contain the
reasons for carrying out the study and the specific hypotheses to be tested or research
questions to be addressed.
In this section, indicate how many participants will take part, who they will be and how they
will be selected. However, present only relevant information such as gender, age-range etc.
Include information about any equipment or materials that you will use. Generic terms are
usually appropriate, e.g. “IBM type PC”.
Here you should state clearly and simply any variables you are manipulating, any variables
you are measuring and the overall design of the study. If you are doing a qualitative study,
state the nature of the data you will collect and approach you will use when collecting it.
You need to provide an exact description of the procedures that you will follow. This
description should enable the reader to understand precisely what the participant will
Please note, qualitative proposals may use slightly different sub-headings for the
methodology section. It is suggested these are: Participants, Design, Data-collection, but
discuss with your supervisor.
You need to make clear exactly what statistical tests or analytic approach you intend to
perform. It is not sufficient to state that the analysis will involve using SPSS! In the case of
statistical analysis, you need to state the dependent variable under investigation and the
levels of any factors. For the analysis of qualitative data, you need to state which approach
you will use and describe how to conduct the analysis.
You should agree goals to be attained by each particular date. If you are intending to carry
out a pilot study (recommended), include time for that. Try to be as detailed as possible –
this will not only help your supervisor determine if the proposed project is feasible in the time
allowed, it will also help you to plan your work.
Ensure that these are in APA style. You should only include items in your reference list that
you actually cite in the main body of the text.
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