SSHRC Proposal Example

I and three others got assigned the SSHRC Proposal Example #2, which is a Masters proposal for a research project that examines “the programs and policies of a chapter of Big Sisters,” in relation to body image issues among young girls. I have broken down the structure of the proposal, which I offer here (briefly). The first two sentences of the first paragraph begin with the word “I.” The first describes the student’s future academic affiliation, and the second describes the student’s “keen interest.” The remainder of the paragraph is dedicated to justifying a “space” for the research the student intends on undertaking. The second paragraph is concerned entirely with the student’s academic credentials – i.e. the courses they intend to take. The “purpose of the research” is in bold, and the particular objectives are listed in bullet points. The student then introduces each of the following sections with a subtitle: Background (which is allotted three paragraphs), Methodology (which is again presented in lettered bullet points), Contribution to the Advancement of Knowledge, and Access and Experience. Background and Methodology take up the largest portion of the two page proposal (probably about a page altogether). An interesting question raised during group discussion was the placement of the last section, Access and Experience. It seemed awkwardly placed, and as though it perhaps should follow the second paragraph, where the student lists the courses relevant to the research, and the perceived benefits of her supervisor’s guidance. My guess is that the student believed that, while relevant – and thus necessary to include – the reader would nevertheless judge this section the least “important” and therefore it was placed at the end. Or alternatively, because the student resumes their discussion of him/herself in the first person, he/she wanted to leave the reader with a strong impression of her expertise and trustworthiness. There was, however, a typo in the last sentence; the student writes “I belief my good…” instead of “I believe my good…” making it impressive that this proposal was accepted. Perhaps this was not the final draft.


  1. just wondering who to attribute this excellent analysis forgot to sign your name :)

  2. oops, hi nitzan - did i overlook your name earlier? or did you add it? no's now been properly attributed to you.