Today's guest is Thibaud Coroller, a graduate student in the Computational Imaging and Bioinformatics Laboratory (CIBL) at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School.
Thibaud’s research focuses on radiomics, a field that uses medical imaging (CT, PET, and MRI scans) to learn about tumors and predict their responses to treatment Find out about the MSc programme in Theoretical Physics or the PhD in Theoretical For a PhD place in the Theoretical Physics group, we usually require a first-class Physics should apply to the Applied Mathematics MPhil/PhD programme. in particular, prospective applicants should write a strong research proposal, .
Thibaud regularly publishes his research in scientific journals, and he’s generously agreed to share his understanding of the publication process with us.
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This will be especially useful for readers who are considering applying to graduate school. We met Thibaud through The Tiny Pharmacist, a blog dedicated to sharing information and experiences about health, careers in pharmacy, and study abroad. The blog's creator, Hoang Ngoc Bich, has been studying in the US for over 10 years.
She’s currently working as a pharmacist and is passionate about sharing her experience with fellow students. * * *What is a Research Proposal?A research proposal explains the need to study a specific scientific problem and presents a concrete plan for carrying out that study.
A research proposal is similar to a scientific publication in structure and intent; the primary difference is that in a research proposal, results are not yet available (or are preliminary and incomplete). Who Writes Research Proposals?If you’re applying to a PhD program, you’ll likely write a research proposal.
Graduate school is the beginning of the adult learning world, where you can fully design your own curriculum and map out a research path. Your research proposal is your chance to explain how you gained an interest in your topic and why you would like to pursue it.
Once you enroll, you’ll find that your schooling years are quite short (yes, even if you end up doing a PhD that never seems to end). You may not have many chances to try new things or expose yourself to new ideas and fields of research; the research proposals that you write during your graduate career are rare opportunities.
They’re also great introductions to life as a professional researcher, whether that’s in an academic context or elsewhere. And, thankfully, the steps you take in writing your proposal can be reused later in your career (i.
What Makes a Good Research Proposal?Quality research proposals reflect several key points: your knowledge of the topic, your aptitude for performing rigorous research, and your enthusiasm for leading a study.
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)Do you have the time and attention to devote to this project right now?Is this a one-time project, or could it potentially be continued later in your career?After you’ve answered these questions, here are some additional issues you’ll want to think about. A research proposal is a big undertaking, and it requires a lot of you, including:A scientifically curious mindset.
You won’t just be sitting in class anymore – instead, you’ll actually be doing scientific research and communicating with other professionals. Your motivation should be apparent in the proposal.
If you are excited by your work, the reader will be as well. You’ll need to ensure that your research hasn’t been done yet; you’ll also need to explain why your approach is feasible and how it differs from that of previous researchers. It doesn’t always have to be drastically different; after all, consistent results will add to your field’s body of knowledge.
Learning how to conduct comprehensive research, manage a bibliography, and plan a scientific experiment.
Demonstrating your problem-solving and critical thinking skills - especially the ability to break complex issues into smaller, more manageable ones. Let’s face it: scientists usually aren’t the best stylists. Improve your writing and communications skills through courses, assignments, and coaching.
Writing a research proposal means following your organization’s submission guidelines (number of pages and figures, reference format, and so on).
Stick to these rules; otherwise, your proposal may be rejected outright.
What Does a High-Quality Research Proposal Include?In this section, we will describe the structure of a research proposal and explain how to write one efficiently How to write an mathematics research proposal Rewriting College Senior 6 hours If you have pay for my math research proposal been dreading to write an .
(Your organization's specific guidelines may differ.
)AbstractIntroductionClearly describes the purpose of the study and how it differs from previous work in your field. (If no work has been done on your topic, explain why.
)The introduction should also include an extensive bibliography, and every statement should be supported by citations. Infographics (charts, graphs) can also help reviewers understand your research (and provide a nice break from blocks of text).
Key Points About the IntroductionContext: Introduce a general idea in your field. Describe how previous researchers approached the problem - and how your approach differs. Competent: Present a clear idea of how to make progress in your field and the potential applications of your results.
Paragraphs should be connected, and the progression of ideas should feel clear and logical. Concise: Long introductions are a quick way to lose your reviewer’s attention.
Compelling: Your reviewer receives hundreds of proposals Scientists have found that molecular oxygen around comet 67P is not produced on Applications should be submitted to the programme: Mathematics Research - G1ZX. How to apply ->Go to our online application site: Apply. Department section (research group); Proposed supervisors: Applied Mathematics – Statistics .
How can you ensure that she'll want to read yours? Consistent, clear, and reader-friendly formatting can have a big impact on a reviewer’s mood. Methods / MaterialsThis is the backbone of your proposal – your opportunity to describe your overall research design. To do so, you’ll draw on your literature review; you'll evaluate methods used by other researchers, as well as methods that haven’t been used - but could be.
You’ll describe your specific methodological approaches, your techniques for analyzing data, and any tests of external validity you’re willing to use.
Like the introduction, this section must be well-written and logically organized. (Ideally, the order of the paragraphs should match the Results section.
For example, if you describe your univariate analysis techniques before your multivariate analysis techniques in the Methods / Materials section, you should present them in the same order in the Results section. ) In general, you want to show that you've planned your study carefully, using the best information available.
Your design and methods should also reflect the specific aims of your study. Your methodology should anticipate possible pitfalls, suggest potential controls, and ensure that you have the cleanest, most unbiased data possible.
Example of details worth mentioning in the Methods / Materials section:Statistical methods used. Chemicals used, including concentrations and references. If you include photographs, list the brand, model, and parameters of your camera.
Key Points About Methods / MaterialsDo not give general or trivial information We match your research proposal with the appropriate supervisors to ensure you have the best support during your PhD so before you apply you should find out .
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What makes this data unique? (Are you investigating rare plants? Are patients undergoing a specific treatment?)How is the data investigated? (Are you conducting retrospective or prospective analysis? How many samples will you take? What controls will be in place?)How are the data analyzed? (Qualitative interpretation? Statistical tests? Data transformation?)What are the endpoints of this study?ResultsSince you're writing a research proposal, you may not have results to share. Or, if your study is underway, your results may not be available yet. ) If you do have preliminary results, however, this is the place to share them.
This involves risk, however; your reviewer might disagree with your line of thinking. You’ll want to weigh the potential upsides and downsides of anticipating results on a case-by-case basis.
Key Points About ResultsClearly explain all acronyms. Use graphical elements (plots, tables) to efficiently represent your findings.
Figures should be labeled (titles, legends, axis names, and defined scales). ConclusionThe conclusion is the “take home” message – a final summary of your proposal. Key Points About the ConclusionBriefly summarize your proposal: reiterate the purpose of the study and the research questions it attempts to answer. (How does your work fit into the broader scientific picture?)References / BibliographyYou must cite your sources via references and a bibliography.
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It usually appears at the end of the manuscript (after the conclusion).
Together, your references and bibliography allow readers to delve deeper into the state of research on your topic. They also allow readers to understand your research methods more fully.
Your references should mostly include recent papers - less than 5-10 years old, depending on the field. (In the biomedical world, things move quickly, and studies over five years old might not reflect the current state of research.
In physics or astronomy, by contrast, studies take much longer to complete, so research progresses more slowly. )Nonetheless, citing older papers can still be important – both to acknowledge the impact of pioneering work and to highlight innovations in scientific method (e.
Using Software to Construct Your BibliographyFree applications such as Zotero or Paperpile allow you to efficiently store PDF documents, keep track of papers you've cited, and automatically adapt citation indexes and formats (and avoid painful manual editing!). Additional Feature: FiguresFigures are an important part of scientific papers because they visually summarize complex ideas, experimental designs, and important results.
The easiest tool for creating figures is PowerPoint; if you're skilled in vectorized images, GIMP and Adobe Illustrator are also useful. Key Points About FiguresThe figure should be self-explanatory.
Scales should be adapted to highlight key results without misleading the reader The level of detail required in your initial research proposal will depend on Playwriting Studies, who should submit a play or production that they have written..
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It provides a legend, clearly labeled axes, and helpful explanatory notes. ) You can also check out the Public Library of Science Computational Biology website for more important guidelines.
What Happens Next?As a frequent peer-reviewer for scientific journals, I can share some important insights from the other side of the process.
They generally review proposals and journal articles for free in their personal time.
(Reviewing a proposal or article takes anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. ) Rushed or sloppy proposals can put a reviewer in an unfriendly mood – and might lead him to spend less to spend time discovering the positive aspects of your proposal.
It’s in your best interest to offer a clear and catchy Abstract to keep the reviewer focused. Remember: you’ve been working on your proposal for weeks (or even months); concepts that are trivial to you might be unfamiliar to the reviewer.
Key Points About the Review ProcessIf possible, provide a figure in the Introduction. Doing so engages the reader and offers a clear vision of the experiment/study you hope to conduct.
If all of your ideas are great except one, the reviewer will likely focus on the bad one and lose sight of the rest Annotated Sample Research Proposal: Process and Product. Contents mathematics seems to have been done, it is important if this reform effort is to have..
Explain your methods fully and clearly, but include only the important details. )Back up all of your claims, but don’t overstate them. Include an exhaustive bibliography (including landmark and recent studies).
Say what you know, say what you don’t know, and say what you’re going to do.
Create section breaks, align your text consistently, and select easy-to-read fonts.
I hope this outline has provided a helpful overview of the research proposal process. Good luck on your future endeavors!Applying to University or Graduate School? Let Us Help!Sign up to receive free tips on your application.