Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Guidelines for PhD. Research Proposal

Structure of Research Proposal

Your proposal should include the following:

  1. Title

Title should be concise and descriptive.

  1. Introduction

(Explain what your research topic is. Provide latest trends and patterns (from secondary sources) of the social variables which are of prime importance for your research. While doing so also explain what your OWN research is, in which the focus will be on responding to; what are the themes you will be focusing on in your OWN research?)

2.1 Statement of the Problem (SoP)

Provide a narrative of the problem in which the focus will be on explaining to your readers about the problem you will focus in your research in a way that reader finds your research researchable and also explore-able (an important issue to be explored). 

2.2 Research Questions

State your questions (3-5). Explain each if you find explanation relevant/important.

2.3 Objectives of the Research

State your research objectives (3-5). The number of RQs and ROs must be in-line with each other.

2.4 Units of Data Collection

State and reason the UDCs (sources of data; individuals, documents, signs, symbols, images etc.) as chosen by you in the current research. If your research is quantitative in nature then focus on model and explain its variables.  

  1. Research Methodology

3.1 Research Strategy

State and reason your chosen research strategy (qualitative, quantitative or mixed-method research) and give reasons.

3.2 Research Design

State and reason your chosen research design.

3.3 Methods of Data Collection

State and reason your chosen research methods.

3.4 Sampling

State and reason your sampling techniques.

3.5 Analysis

State and reason your tool of analysis.

  1. Locale

(Compulsory if primary data is collected)  

  1. Conceptual Framework

5.1 Conceptual Framework (both pictographic and textual explanations are mandatory).

  1. Significance of Research

6.1 What is the theoretical, methodological, analytical or policy significance of your research?)

6.2 Highlighting policy relevance is mandatory.

  1. References
Formatting Instructions
  1. The appropriate length of a research proposal should be around 5 pages long.
  2. All headings in Time New Romans (font size 14, bold, non-italic), subheading should be in Time New Romans (font size 13, bold, non-italic), and rest of the text in Time New Romans (font size 12, regular, non-italic). All text should be justified with line spacing 1.5. Page Size: A4 with margins 1² on all sides.
  3. Only the proposals submitted according to the given framework and formatting will be entertained.