SAMPLE OF A RESEARCH PROPOSAL FOR PhD AdvisoryCommitteeDate of enrolment in the programme and expected date of completionDescriptive Title of Your Research ProjectYour nameSupervisor’s nameDepartmentCONTENTSPAGE No.Background3Objective4Scope5Methodology and Approach7Facilities8Budget (PhD students)9Deliverables and Programme Schedule9References10The proposal should be written in size 12 font and should be limited to 15 pages.BACKGROUNDDescribe current state of the art. Why is this research needed? Outline previous work in thisfield (i.e. literature search). How would the results of the proposed research fill this needand be beneficial?OBJECTIVE (s)"The objective(s) of this research project are to ."SCOPE
Following tasks will be undertaken as a part of the proposed research.Task 1Task 2Task 3, etc.METHODOLOGY AND APPROACHThis section needs to answer self-imposed questions and should reflect that the student hasgood understanding of the problem and of the barriers in the path. Some of the questionsthat should be answered include:(a) What are the constraints (if any)?(b) What are the technical challenges and uncertainties?(c) What are the different approaches to this problem?(d) What is your preferred approach and why?Explain your methodology to conduct the research and to obtain the stated objectives.FACILITIES TO BE USEDExplain the facilities to be used.(a) Is all the necessary hardware/software in place?(b) if not, how will it be acquired and how long will it take to put everything in place?(c) Does it have any resource implication? (This must be prepared in view of theBudget below.)BUDGET(a) What is the total budget for the project?(b) Have the funds been already acquired?(c) If not, where is the money coming from?(d) How long will it delay the process?(e) Will it impact the thesis work and/or are there other remedies to the problem?
DELIVERABLES AND PROGRAM SCHEDULEMonth from the Start of the research1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Task 1 x x xTask 2 x x xTask 3 x x xItemise the list of deliverables with specific dates so that you can make concerted effort toachieve them.REFERENCESList all the references here.Research Proposal Sample 1:Research Proposal (Example)To:Professor J. SmithFrom: Chris StudentDate: 1 April 2009Subject: Research proposalProposed Research Topic: A situational analysis of shared leadership in a self-managingteam [provide a brief description or a descriptive title or a research question]Purposes: Alvesson (1996) claims that a situational approach enables leadership to beviewed and studied as “a practical accomplishment” (p. 476) rather than starting with aconceptualisation of leadership as whatever the appointed leader does. This approachseems particularly well suited to self-managing teams (SMTs), in which leadership ispresumably shared. In this project, I will explore how members of a self-managing teamenact leadership in their regular team meetings. In particular, I will focus on how SMTmembers influence the direction of the team as well as the relationships and identities ofindividual members and the identity of the team as a unit, and how their interaction isenabled and constrained by social and cultural influences (eg, organisational culture,
national/ethnic culture, and gender). Such a study should give insights into the workings ofSMTs, an organisational form that is rapidly gaining in popularity and acceptance. Also, thestudy will test the usefulness of a perspective (the situational approach) that isunderdeveloped in the leadership literature.[Expand on the topic/question by describing what you hope to accomplish, and the desiredoutcomes (especially the practical or theoretical benefits to be gained)]Background: I will conduct my study in a team that is within the Roadworks Division withinthe Hamilton City Council. Roadworks has 12 SMTs, each of which is responsible formaintenance of roads within one geographical section of Hamilton. This particular teamincludes four men and a woman. Three of the men are in their thirties and one in his early50s; the woman is in her thirties. They are assigned to an area around Chartwell. They starteach day with a brief (15-45 minute meeting) on an agreed upon site, often just gatheringaround the back of a truck for their meeting. I will attend these three mornings a week forfour weeks, and will stay on to observe their work for approximately 20 hours during thefour week period. My primary focus will be on their interaction in meetings, although I willalso observe (and perhaps enquires about) interactions during their other work.[Describe the context of the proposed research, making it clear how this context will allowyou to accomplish your stated purposes]Scope: I will engage in participant-observation over a six-week period, from 8 April to 22May for approximately four hours per week. I will typically observe the morning meetingsand stay for an hour or so to observe their other work. On some days I may come at othertimes of the day for comparison. I will not schedule structured interviews, but will interviewteam members informally, as needed to clarify and provide insight into specificconversations. [Describe such things as the time you will invest, when the field work willtake place, the number of participants, and the number of interviews you will conduct]Theoretical framework: I will be guided most generally by the interpretive perspective, andmore specifically by Alvesson’s (1996) situational approach. The interpretive perspectiveplaces the focus on interpreting the meanings and perspectives of cultural members, andhow these meanings are negotiated (Trujillo, 1992). I am exploring the meanings the salesstaff and customers have for themselves as individuals and for their relationships, as well asthe meanings sales staff have for the organisation, group, and profession of which they aremembers. The situational approach directs me to choose one or a few specific interactionsto explore in depth. Thus, an appropriate means of investigating the topic from thisperspective is observation of conversation, plus interviewing the interactants to understandthe meanings they have for their symbolic interactions. [Briefly identify and explain thetheoretical framework you will use to guide your investigation, how it fits your purpose andits implications for the research methods]Method:
1. Conduct a literature review on leadership and communication in SMTs.2. Observe the group four hours per week for six weeks, focusing mostly on conversations atteam meetings, especially those conversations in which the group addresses changes totheir work processes and issues of team relationships and identity(ies).3. Interview team members to clarify and provide insight into conversations. I will attemptto conduct these interviews shortly after conversations of interest. While the interviewswill not be formal or structured, the kinds of questions I will ask include thefollowing. The general strategy for the interviews is to start off with broad questions andfollow up on the interviewee’s responses, to capture her or his meanings and to avoidimposing my meanings on the interviewee.a. Tell me about the conversation you just had with X.b. What were you thinking during the conversation?c. What do you think she/he was thinking?d. What do you think she/he was trying to do (or accomplish) in the conversation?e. What did you mean when you said, “.”?f. What were you thinking when you said that?g. What do you think she meant when she said “.”?h. When you think about what you did and said in that conversation, how would youdescribe yourself?4. Undertake a situational analysis of the field notes and interview notes, guided byAlvesson’s theory.5. Write a research report that combines my understanding of the relevant theory andprevious research with the results of my empirical research.[Describe in detail the steps you will take in attempting to answer your research question]Timetable:Prepare proposal byComplete literature review byComplete fieldwork byComplete analysis byGive presentation onComplete final report by1 April15 April22 May29 May3 June16 JuneLimitations: Time constraints of the semester require less time than may be ideal for anethnographic study. By being in the organisation for only four hours a week for five weeks,there are bound to be aspects of leadership practice, organisational culture and teamcommunication that will not be revealed during my observations. Being an outsider mayalso limit what is revealed to me. The team members may be guarded in theirconversations around me, especially in my initial observations. [Describe conditions beyond
your control that place restrictions on what you can do and the conclusions you may be ableto draw]Delimitations: I am choosing not to observe multiple teams, even though such comparisonsmight be valuable, in order to allow more depth of understanding regarding the group onwhich I will focus. Additionally, I will not use structured interviews in order to minimise myobtrusiveness and my influence on the team members. [Describe the boundaries of thestudy that you determine]References[List all references cited that are not on the course reading list]Research Proposal Sample 2:PhD research proposalJohn Smith, Autumn 2009 Proposed supervisor: Hugh GrantComputer support of creativity in music compositionfor cinema andtelevisionOverviewMy research will be at the junction of three areas: creativity support, musical compositionand human-computer interaction. I will investigate methods for extending the support ofhigh technology for artists composing music, particularly focusing on music composition forfeature films and advertising. The idea is to provide new ways of interaction with computersthat artists can easily and fully appropriate for themselves and so freely express theircreativity with.IntroductionMusic clearly plays an essential role in film making, as it creates atmosphere and colours thetone of the picture. It is this unique ability to influence the audience subconsciously thatmakes music truly valuable to the cinema and television.Constant evolution of technology tempted many composers to adopt digital tools fromhardware to software (samplers, sequencers, virtual instruments, synthesizers, etc.). Thesetools usually facilitate technical tasks such as making mock-ups, applying sound effects, orediting records and many more.The ProblemAlthough digital tools are more and more powerful and can now perform very complex tasksthey may also restrain music composers. Indeed, the power of these tools tends to reduce
the range of artists’ creativity as they are a lot more complex to utilise. Artists have to learntheir use thoroughly to keep a full control on their work. Thus it may happen, as well as inother forms or art, that technology diminishes the room for maneuver of artistic expression.Moreover, the digital tool support faces more difficult challenges and unpredicted problemsdue to the unique characteristics of the film industry. Indeed, different specific constraintshave to be taken into account. For example the music has to make particular emotionsstand out, either to support the story of a feature film, or to induce adverts viewers to buy acertain product. Another major constraint is time synchronisation, as music must be tightlycoupled with the pictures. It also has to be considered that composers are generally not theonly actors – in fact, film music composition is often a collaborative work achieved bycomposers, music editors, directors and producers.Numerous books and essays have been published about general principles and differentattitudes of music for the film and TV industry by famous composers such as  to , and. These references can give a good guideline as what needs to be taken intoconsideration. Beside these general principles, the state-of-the-art research worksendeavoured in this domain in a larger scope has been also undertaken (see  and ). Formy own work I propose to focus on the creativity aspects similarly to the approach taken by and to the research orientations taken at the Creativity and Cognition Studios, at theUTS.Although music composition for films is a recent art, there is often a certain stigma attachedto film music, accusing cliché-ridden material and lack of creativity. My research is to fill thisgap by providing film composers with tools that genuinely encourage a creative approachrather than a conservative one. I believe that the effective interaction through digital toolsupport can help composers to escape from established conventions and therefore expresstheir personal creativity to shade emotions, lighten or darken moods, heighten sensitivitiesin a way that will make their artistic work original and unique.Research PlanI will conduct my research adopting an empirical and iterative approach.First and foremost, a preparation phase will involve a study through literature of the historyand evolution of the film music composition practice. This initial phase will build an essentialbasis for the rest of my work, as it will provide an overview of the different processes of howmusic can be produced for movies, as well as the different basic rules and conventions thathave been set in this domain. A study of the solutions and reflexions raised by previousresearch endeavours will also be conducted to complete and narrow down the orientation Iwill take for the following steps of my project.
Then a few months will be dedicated to an analysis phase, during which I will realise asurvey (structured interviews in person and by phone as well as a questionnaire) withcomposers for movies, in Australia and world wide. I compose music myself, and I am amember of a few communities through which I have already contacted many composers inparticular from France, the USA and Australia. Moreover, I am also in relation with somemusic producers and people working in the cinema industry in Sydney, through which I willbe able to reach a lot of professionals of the local industry. These relations will be a goodopportunity to extend the scale of the survey and so collect a maximum of replies. Theprevious preparation phase would have provided me with an orientation for the questionsaiming at bringing out the composers needs and expectations in terms of creativity andcomputer support as well as to learn about the characteristics of the different currentpractices. In a local scope I will organise some meetings, and beside that I will also set up awebsite with the questionnaires so they will be easily and widely accessible.Then, as often, it can be difficult to extract relevant information from questionnaires andinterviews with professionals and especially artists, as they are not used to describe theirthinking process. So I will explore different methods such as protocol analysis  toguarantee the significance of this survey.All the results and relevant outcome will finally be synthesised and published, and afeedback will be given to all participants.As a result of the analysis phase, I will be in a position to identify problems andopportunities for computer support of the creative process. Thus, I will elaborateprototypes integrating the cutting edge tools (software and hardware) available at theCreativity and Cognition Studios, at the UTS, which amongst others are gesture recognition,movement tracking, graphical programming environments (MAX/MSP, Jitter), musicalinstruments and recording devices. The perspective of these prototypes will be to break offfrom conventional tools. They could either be completely original, or propose bindings andpatches with existing tools. Thus, as an imaginary example, we could consider theintegration of gesture recognition to allow the composer to set the volume intensity of avirtual instrument by the way he moves his arms up and down.Every prototype will be evaluated with the partnership of some music composers, ensuringthe participatory and user-centered design approaches of my research, as recommended in. The most interesting prototypes would then be shown in exhibitions at the UTS or in artgalleries of Australia. Videos, music files and descriptions will be publicly accessible from theinternet.The evaluations will aim at revealing new concepts and reorienting the research to anotheranalysis phase and so starting a new cycle. Thus, this process will be iterated along my thesis
(analysis – prototypes – evaluations), each iteration aiming at focusing on the interestingideas, developing new ones, and finally refining and enhancing the different prototypes.Therefore, at the end of my PhD, I expect to come out with a set of evaluated tools to beshown in exhibitions, and also develop some packages that may be commercialised and/orutilised in further research projects on related domains. The tools and demonstrations willillustrate the conceptual advances made within the PhD as well as providing an approach toevaluating those advances in practice.References Fred Karlin, Rayburn Wright, John Williams. On the Track: A Guide to Contemporary FilmScoring. Richard Davis. (1999). Complete Guide to Film Scoring. The Art and Business of WritingMusic for Movies and TV. Tony Thomas, Music for the movies, 2nd edition. George Burt. The Art of Film Music. Jeff Rona. (2000). The Reel World, Scoring for Pictures. A Pratical Guide to the Art,Technology and Business of Composing for Film and Television. Candy, L., and Edmonds, E., ed. Explorations in Art and Technology: Intersections andCorrespondence. London: Springer Verlag, 2002. Abrams, S., Bellofatto, R., Fuhrer, R., Oppenheim, D., Wright, J., Boulanger, R., et. al.(2002). QSketcher: An environment for composing music for film. Proceedings of Creativity& Cognition, October 14-16, Loughborough, UK.New York: ACM Press. Sloboda, J.A: Composition and Improvisation, in The Musical Mind, chapter 4, Oxford,pp.102--150, 1985. Anders K. Ericsson, Herbert A. Simon: Protocol Analysis: Verbal Reports asData, Cambridge,MA: MIT Press, 1993. Robynn J. Stilwell: Music in Films. A Critical Review of Literature, 1980-1996, in: TheJournal of Film Music.
only actors – in fact, film music composition is often a collaborative work achieved by composers, music editors, directors and producers. Numerous books and essays have been published about general principles and different attitudes of music for the film and TV industry by famous composers such as  to , and .