Our Research Question, and Hypotheses of the Project

Before we begin writing a grant proposal, we should take some time to map out our research strategy. A good first step is to formulate a research question. A Research Question is a statement that identifies the phenomenon to be studied. For example, “What resources are helpful to new and minority drug abuse researchers?”
To develop a strong research question from our ideas, we should ask ourselves these things:
  • Do I know the field and its literature well?
  • What are the important research questions in my field?
  • What areas need further exploration?
  • Could my study fill a gap? Lead to greater understanding?
  • Has a great deal of research already been conducted in this topic area?
  • Has this study been done before? If so, is there room for improvement?
  • Is the timing right for this question to be answered? Is it a hot topic, or is it becoming obsolete?
  • Would funding sources be interested?
  • If you are proposing a service program, is the target community interested?
  • Most importantly, will my study have a significant impact on the field?
Think about the potential impact of the research we are proposing. What is the benefit of answering our research question? Who will it help (and how)? If you cannot make a definitive statement about the purpose of your research, it is unlikely to be funded. A research focus should be narrow, not broad-based. For example, “What can be done to prevent substance abuse?” is too large a question to answer. It would be better to begin with a more focused question such as “What is the relationship between specific early childhood experiences and subsequent substance-abusing behaviors?”

1 comment:

  1. Hi Meenaxi - Please remember to ALWAYS cite your sources:
    http://uum.myeducare2u.com/v2/images/stories/yaacob_kk/Lecture%202A%20The%20Problem%20Statement%20in%20the%20Research%20Paper.ppt. As this consists of a block quote, you should also indicate that - use quotation marks, cite the source, year, page.

    And remember that while inserting block quotes is ok, you need to intro, comment and contextualize this in your own words, using your own ideas.