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Research Proposal Activity 5

You will be reviewing a proposal written by members of one of the other teams.If you missed this email, please contact me at your earliest convenience. Missing my email with instructions does not change tardiness policy for this assignment.

Imagine that you are the reviewer deciding whether this proposal is a good research proposal and deserves to be funded. Follow instructions presented in the attached document.

Review the proposal in the following way.

  1. First, read guidelines for reviewing proposals as presented on the next page of this document.
  2. Next, read the proposal you are reviewing sent to you via email.
  3. Fill out the table in this document and add comments to help authors improve the proposal, if needed. Do not put your name anywhere. It is an anonymous review. Follow guidelines for reviewers. Be constructive and helpful;helpful – means critical in a constructive manner. If you write that the proposal is terrific, this is not very helpful. Even if all you want to write is positive, write specifically what strengths of the proposal did you notice.
  4. Save the document and submit it in this assignment as a document, not as a PDF. I will then compile all your reviews into a single document to share with the authors.

Have fun reviewing. Use this experience to better understand how you should polish your own manuscript!

Reviewer’s Checklist The below guidelines are prepared based on Denscombe’s e-book.

For this activity, put yourself in the reviewer’s shoes and help your colleagues in class succeed.

Evaluate the proposal indicating to what degree each of the standards below has been met.

0 – needs lots of improvement

1 – needs some improvement

2 – satisfactory

3 – excellent (“I am ready to fund this project”)

StandardsEnter score 0-3
1.     Is the proposal succinct? 
2.     Is the proposal precise? 
3.     Is the proposal clearly written? 
4.     Does it clearly describe what will be done? 
5.     Does it convincingly justify why it should be done? 
6.     Does it indicate in enough detail how it will be done? 
7.     Have the potential benefits of the proposed investigation been highlighted (its value, its outcomes, its contribution, its impact)? 
8.     Has emphasis been placed on what is new or original about the proposed research? 
9.     Has the topic been linked to relevant research findings, theoretical issues, conceptual developments, and practical concerns in the field of study (review of literature, sources cited, up-to-date material)? 
10.  Does the proposal acknowledge any limitations relating to the research and the kind of conclusions that can be drawn from its findings? 
11.  Does the proposal reassure readers that the research is feasible (access to data, time)? 
12.  Within the proposal, is there an explicit consideration of potential ethical and legal issues arising from the research? 
13.  Do the outcomes and expected contributions have a potential to create benefit beyond the immediate benefits of the researchers? 
14.  Are contributions and quotes attributed to authors by the use of in-text citations in accordance with APA? 


Please add constructive feedback for things you recommend to be improved
(if you have no recommendations, write “no recommendations”, do not leave this blank):


Please add any additional feedback. Was there something you especially liked about the research idea or the proposal itself?
(if you have no additional feedback, write “nothing to share”, do not leave this blank):


Advice about Critiquing Other People’s Research Proposals

Modified from: Thomas, D. R., & Hodges, I. D. (2010). Preparing and writing a research proposal.

Jerome is a senior academic in a busy mid-city campus. For over 30 years he has conducted research on health and social topics and he has a lengthy list of publications to show for it. He is often asked to review research proposals submitted by students and colleagues for research grants or ethics approval.

Jerome has come to realize that writing a good review of somebody else’s research proposal is something of an art form. He admits that early in his career he was often too quick to condemn other people’s research designs, leading to some bruised egos and ill-feeling among colleagues. Nowadays he feels he has mellowed a bit and is able to provide a more even-handed assessment of the merits of a proposal. He aims to be as positive and encouraging as possible with his feedback, while at the same time clearly indicating where he thinks a proposal is weak and needs improving.

Jerome has a few tips on the art of reviewing other people’s proposals:

  1. Address the person whose proposal is being reviewed as you would like to be addressed yourself.
  2. Don’t get too bogged down in detail. Keep the big picture in mind and aim to ensure that the fundamental design of a proposal is sound.
  3. When criticizing aspects of a research design, suggest constructive alternatives.
  4. Get your facts right. If you opt to find fault, make sure your claims can be substantiated.
  5. Keep a sense of humor. Do not be afraid to tell stories about the times when research went wrong for you.
  6. Model good writing in your review. It can help inspire others.

Last Updated on March 30, 2019

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