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Research Proposal

Specific requirements vary depending on the fellowship that you are applying for. You will be evaluated for your intellectual merit.

This essay can be intimidating because it will be used to determine your eligibility. All applicants need to allocate a large chunk of time for writing and revision.

Have a plan for your proposal. Discuss your ideas with your advisors and subsequent professors. You want to submit a strong research proposal that is not only feasible but also impactful.

As you begin your research, you might want to write a proposal that’s somehow based on work that you have already done or have thoroughly researched. Remember to check for any cross-references and inconsistencies!!! You do not want your credibility to suffer if you have not put enough time into revising and editing your proposal.

Show, don’t tell. Be specific! Discuss a topic that interests you and explain why. Describe how you would propose to conduct research on that specific topic.

Adhere to formatting rules. Follow the prompt. Do not ignore the page length constraints.

Avoid stretching your proposal too far. You do not want to be glib. Most applicants will have to explain how your proposal will benefit society. However, you should not state how your research would advance the globe’s population.

[orange-button link=””]For more advice, see a Synopsis on the Art of Writing Proposals[/orange-button]

ON THE ART OF WRITING PROPOSALS: Some Candid Suggestions for Applicants to Social Science Research Council Competitions
By: Adam Przeworski and Frank Salomon