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How to Write a Project Proposal (Examples & Template Included)


Table of Contents

What is a project proposal, types of project proposals, project proposal vs. project charter, project proposal vs. business case, project proposal vs. project plan, project proposal outline, how to write a project proposal, project proposal example, project proposal tips.

  • ProjectManager & Project Proposals

A project proposal is a project management document that’s used to define the objectives and requirements of a project. It helps organizations and external project stakeholders agree on an initial project planning framework.

The main purpose of a project proposal is to get buy-in from decision-makers. That’s why a project proposal outlines your project’s core value proposition; it sells value to both internal and external project stakeholders. The intent of the proposal is to grab the attention of stakeholders and project sponsors. Then, the next step is getting them excited about the project summary.

Getting into the heads of the audience for which you’re writing the project proposal is vital: you need to think like the project’s stakeholders to deliver a proposal that meets their needs.

We’ve created a free project proposal template for Word to help structure documents, so you don’t have to remember the process each time.

example of methodology for project proposal

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Project Proposal Template

Use this free Project Proposal Template for Word to manage your projects better.

In terms of types of project proposals, you can have one that’s formally solicited, informally solicited or a combination. There can also be renewal and supplemental proposals. Here’s a brief description of each of them.

  • Solicited project proposal: This is sent as a response to a request for proposal (RFP) . Here, you’ll need to adhere to the RFP guidelines of the project owner.
  • Unsolicited project proposal: You can send project proposals without having received a request for a proposal. This can happen in open bids for construction projects , where a project owner receives unsolicited project proposals from many contractors.
  • Informal project proposal: This type of project proposal is created when a client asks for an informal proposal without an RFP.
  • Renewal project proposal: You can use a renewal project proposal when you’re reaching out to past customers. The advantage is that you can highlight past positive results and future benefits.
  • Continuation project proposal: A continuation project proposal is sent to investors and stakeholders to communicate project progress.
  • Supplemental project proposal: This proposal is sent to investors to ask for additional resources during the project execution phase.

A project proposal is a detailed project document that’s used to convince the project sponsor that the project being proposed is worth the time, money and effort to deliver it. This is done by showing how the project will address a business problem or opportunity. It also outlines the work that will be done and how it will be done.

A project charter can seem like the same thing as a project proposal as it also defines the project in a document. It identifies the project objectives, scope, goals, stakeholders and team. But it’s done after the project has been agreed upon by all stakeholders and the project has been accepted. The project charter authorizes the project and documents its requirements to meet stakeholders’ needs.

A business case is used to explain why the proposed project is justified. It shows that the project is worth the investment of time and money. It’s more commonly used in larger companies in the decision-making process when prioritizing one project over another.

The business case answers the questions: what is the project, why should it be taken up, who will be involved and how much will it cost? It’s therefore related to a project proposal, but the project proposal comes before the business case and is usually part of the larger proposal.

Again, the project proposal and the project plan in this case are very similar documents. It’s understandable that there would be some confusion between these two project terms. They both show how the project will be run and what the results will be. However, they’re not the same.

The project proposal is a document that aims to get a project approved and funded. It’s used to convince stakeholders of the viability of the project and their investment. The project plan, on the other hand, is made during the planning phase of the project, once it’s been approved. It’s a detailed outline of how the project will be implemented, including schedule, budget, resources and more.

All the elements in the above project proposal outline are present in our template. This free project proposal template for Word will provide you with everything you need to write an excellent project proposal. It will help you with the executive summary, project process, deliverables, costs—even terms and conditions. Download your free template today.

Project proposal tempalte for Word

There are several key operational and strategic questions to consider, including:

  • Executive summary: This is the elevator pitch that outlines the project being proposed and why it makes business sense. While it also touches on the information that’ll follow in the project proposal, the executive summary should be brief and to the point.
  • Project background: This is another short part of the proposal, usually only one page, which explains the problem you’ll solve or the opportunity you’re taking advantage of with the proposed project. Also, provide a short history of the business to put the company in context to the project and why it’s a good fit.
  • Project vision & success criteria: State the goal of the project and how it aligns with the goals of the company. Be specific. Also, note the metrics used to measure the success of the project.
  • Potential risks and mitigation strategies: There are always risks. Detail them here and what strategies you’ll employ to mitigate any negative impact as well as take advantage of any positive risk.
  • Project scope & deliverables: Define the project scope, which is all the work that has to be done and how it will be done. Also, detail the various deliverables that the project will have.
  • Set SMART goals: When setting goals, be SMART. That’s an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. All your goals would be defined by those five things.
  • Project approach: Define the approach you’ll use for the contract. There are several different types of contracts used in construction , for example, such as lump sum, cost plus, time and materials, etc. This is also a good place to describe the delivery method you’ll use.
  • Expected benefits: Outline the benefits that will come from the successful completion of the project.
  • Project resource requirements: List the resources, such as labor, materials, equipment, etc., that you’ll need to execute the project if approved.
  • Project costs & budget: Detail all the costs, including resources, that’ll be required to complete the project and set up a budget to show how those costs will be spent over the course of the project.
  • Project timeline: Lay out the project timeline , which shows the project from start to finish, including the duration of each phase and the tasks within it, milestones, etc.

In addition to these elements, it’s advisable to use a cover letter, which is a one-page document that helps you introduce your project proposal and grab the attention of potential clients and stakeholders.

To make the best proposal possible, you’ll want to be thorough and hit on all the points we’ve listed above. Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing a persuasive priority proposal.

1. Write an Executive Summary

The executive summary provides a quick overview of the main elements of your project proposal, such as your project background, project objectives and project deliverables, among other things. The goal is to capture the attention of your audience and get them excited about the project you’re proposing. It’s essentially the “elevator pitch” for the project life cycle. It should be short and to the point.

The executive summary should be descriptive and paint a picture of what project success looks like for the client. Most importantly, it should motivate the project client; after all, the goal is getting them to sign on the dotted line to get the project moving!

2. Provide a Project Background

The project background is a one-page section of your project proposal that explains the problem that your project will solve. You should explain when this issue started, its current state and how your project will be the ideal solution.

  • Historic data: The history section outlines previously successful projects and those that could have run more smoothly. By doing so, this section establishes precedents and how the next project can be more effective using information from previous projects.
  • Solution: The solution section addresses how your project will solve the client’s problem. Accordingly, this section includes any project management techniques , skills and procedures your team will use to work efficiently.

3. Establish a Project Vision & Success Criteria

You’ll need to define your project vision. This is best done with a vision statement, which acts as the north star for your project. It’s not specific as much as it’s a way to describe the impact your company plans to make with the project.

It’s also important to set up success criteria to show that the project is in fact doing what it’s proposed to do. Three obvious project success criteria are the triple constraint of cost, scope and time. But you’ll need to set up a way to measure these metrics and respond to them if they’re not meeting your plan.

4. Identify Potential Risks and Mitigation Strategies

To reduce the impact of risk in your project, you need to identify what those risks might be and develop a plan to mitigate them . List all the risks, prioritize them, describe what you’ll do to mitigate or take advantage of them and who on the team is responsible for keeping an eye out for them and resolving them.

5. Define Your Project Scope and Project Deliverables

The project scope refers to all the work that’ll be executed. It defines the work items, work packages and deliverables that’ll be delivered during the execution phase of your project life cycle. It’s important to use a work breakdown structure (WBS) to define your tasks and subtasks and prioritize them.

6. Set SMART Goals for Your Project Proposal

The best mindset when developing goals and objectives for your project proposal is to use the SMART system :

  • Specific – Make sure your goals and objectives are clear, concise and specific to the task at hand.
  • Measurable – Ensure your goals and objectives are measurable so it’s obvious to see when things are on track and going well, and conversely, when things are off track and issues need to be addressed. Measurable goals make it easy to develop the milestones you’ll use to track the progress of the project and identify a reasonable date for completion and/or closure.
  • Attainable – It’s important every project has a “reach” goal. Hitting this goal would mean an outstanding project that extends above and beyond expectations. However, it’s important that the project’s core goal is attainable, so morale stays high and the job gets done with time and resources to spare.
  • Relevant – Make sure all of your goals are directly relevant to the project and address the scope within which you’re working.
  • Time-Based – Timelines and specific dates should be at the core of all goals and objectives. This helps keep the project on track and ensures all project team members can manage the work that’s ahead of them.

7. Explain What’s Your Project Approach

Your project approach defines the project management methodology , tools and governance for your project. In simple terms, it allows project managers to explain to stakeholders how the project will be planned, executed and controlled successfully.

8. Outline The Expected Benefits of Your Project Proposal

If you want to convince internal stakeholders and external investors, you’ll need to show them the financial benefits that your project could bring to their organization. You can use cost-benefit analysis and projected financial statements to demonstrate why your project is profitable.

9. Identify Project Resource Requirements

Project resources are critical for the execution of your project. The project proposal briefly describes what resources are needed and how they’ll be used. Later, during the planning phase, you’ll need to create a resource management plan that’ll be an important element of your project plan. Project requirements are the items, materials and resources needed for the project. This section should cover both internal and external needs.

10. Estimate Project Costs and Project Budget

All the resources that you’ll need for your project have a price tag. That’s why you need to estimate those costs and create a project budget . The project budget needs to cover all your project expenses, and as a project manager, you’ll need to make sure that you adhere to the budget.

11. Define a Project Timeline

Once you’ve defined your project scope, you’ll need to estimate the duration of each task to create a project timeline. Later during the project planning phase , you’ll need to create a schedule baseline, which estimates the total length of your project. Once the project starts, you’ll compare your actual project schedule to the schedule baseline to monitor progress.

Now let’s explore some project proposal examples to get a better understanding of how a project proposal would work in the real world. For this example, let’s imagine a city that’s about to build a rapid transit system. The city government has the funds to invest but lacks the technical expertise and resources that are needed to build it, so it issues a request for proposal (RFP) document and sends it to potential builders.

Then, the construction companies that are interested in executing this rapid transit project will prepare a project proposal for the city government. Here are some of the key elements they should include.

  • Project background: The construction firm will provide an explanation of the challenges that the project presents from a technical perspective, along with historical data from similar projects that have been completed successfully by the company.
  • Project vision & success criteria: Write a vision statement and explain how you’ll track the triple constraint to ensure the successful delivery of the project.
  • Potential risks and mitigation strategies: List all risks and how they’ll be mitigated, and be sure to prioritize them.
  • Project scope & deliverables: The work that’ll be done is outlined in the scope, including all the deliverables that’ll be completed over the life cycle of the project.
  • Set SMART goals: Use the SMART technique to define your project goals by whether they’re specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
  • Project approach: Define the methodology that the project manager will employ to manage the project. Also, figure out what type of contract will be used to define the project.
  • Expected benefits: Show how the project will deliver advantages to the company and define what these benefits are in a quantifiable way.
  • Project resource requirements: List all the resources, such as labor, materials, equipment, etc., needed to execute the project.
  • Project costs & budget: Estimate the cost of the project and lay that out in a project budget that covers everything from start to finish.
  • Project timeline: Outline the project schedule, including phases, milestones and task duration on a visual timeline.

Whatever project proposal you’re working on, there are a few tips that apply as best practices for all. While above we suggested a project proposal template that would have a table of contents, meaning it would be many pages long, the best-case scenario is keeping the proposal to one or two pages max. Remember, you’re trying to win over stakeholders, not bore them.

Speaking of project stakeholders , do the research. You want to address the right ones. There’s no point in doing all the work necessary to write a great proposal only to have it directed to the wrong target audience. Whoever is going to read it, though, should be able to comprehend the proposal. Keep the language simple and direct.

When it comes to writing, get a professional. Even a business document like a project proposal, business case or executive summary will suffer if it’s poorly constructed or has typos. If you don’t want to hire a professional business writer, make sure you get someone on your project team to copy, edit and proof the document. The more eyes on it, the less likely mistakes will make it to the final edition.

While you want to keep the proposal short and sweet, it helps to sweeten the pot by adding customer testimonials to the attachments. Nothing sells a project plan better than a customer base looking for your product or service.

ProjectManager & Project Proposals

ProjectManager allows you to plan proposals within our software. You can update tasks for the project proposal to signify where things stand and what’s left to be done. The columns allow you to organize your proposal by section, creating a work breakdown structure (WBS) of sorts.

When building a project proposal, it’s vital to remember your target audience. Your audience includes those who are excited about the project, and see completion as a gain for their organization. Conversely, others in your audience will see the project as a pain and something to which they aren’t looking forward. To keep both parties satisfied, it’s essential to keep language factual and concise.

Our online kanban boards help you think through that language and collaborate on it effectively with other team members, if necessary. Each card shows the percentage completed so everyone in the project management team is aware of the work done and what’s left to be done.

Example Project Proposal Kanban Board

As you can see from the kanban board above, work has begun on tasks such as product documentation and design. Tasks regarding stakeholder feedback, ideation, market research and more have been completed, and there’s a good start on the engineering drawings, 3D rendering, supply chain sourcing and translation services.

A PDF is then attached to the card, and everyone added to the task receives an email notifying them of the change. This same process can be used throughout the life-cycle of the project to keep the team updated, collaborating, and producing a first-class project proposal. In addition to kanban boards, you can also use other project management tools such as Gantt charts , project dashboards, task lists and project calendars to plan, schedule and track your projects.

Project proposals are just the first step in the project planning process. Once your project is approved, you’ll have to solidify the plan, allocate and manage resources, monitor the project, and finally hand in your deliverables. This process requires a flexible, dynamic and robust project management software package. ProjectManager is online project management software that helps all your team members collaborate and manage this process in real-time. Try our award-winning software with this free 30-day trial .

Click here to browse ProjectManager's free templates

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Top 10 Project Methodology Templates with Samples and Examples

Top 10 Project Methodology Templates with Samples and Examples

Vaishali Rai


Project management is confusing. Have you ever been in a situation like this, sitting at your project meeting, perhaps feeling out of your depth, and finding it hard to follow the conversation around you? It may be due to unstructured and unorganized execution of the project's principles. You also might need to apply a suitable project management methodology. 

What is project management methodology?

A project management methodology is a set of principles, techniques, and procedures Project Managers use to execute and manage projects. There are several methodologies and all require different workflows, deliverables, and project management software development. The project management methodologies facilitate team collaboration by directing team members to work for a common objective.

Are your projects complex or straightforward? Whatever the case may be, these Top 10 Project Management Cycle Templates will help you organize and track every bit of it!

When a project is carried out systematically, chances of success are better. Project managers are responsible for planning tasks, tracking progress, and delivering results. Here’s when a project methodology comes in. It includes certain procedures that help you structure your team’s workflow.

There are many project methodologies available for the systematic execution of a project. Choosing the best one among a landscape of methodologies can be overwhelming. Some of these work well in specific projects or industries. However, Product managers select the methodology that best suits the way their teams work. 

Here, in this blog, we'll talk about project methodologies and templates you can use in your projects. 

Let’s explore!

Template 1: Project Management Methodologies PowerPoint Presentation Slides

This PPT displays an elaborative project agenda, including the project brief essential to operate efficiently. The layout also consists of details about the company's products. Showcase the progress summary, and the milestones achieved and reflect on the potential goals. Download now!

project management methodologies powerpoint presentation slides wd

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Template 2: Three Principles of Waterfall Project Methodology

This PPT is designed while keeping in mind the linear approach, meaning that the tasks are organized in a sequence. This template allows you to map the tasks from beginning to end and work accordingly. It includes three essential waterfall project methodology principles: low customer involvement, robust project documentation, and sequential stages that smoothen up the project management process. Download now!

3 principle of waterfall project methodology

Template 3: 5D Consulting Project Methodology with Implementation

This PPT Template portrays a five-dimensional visualization process for consulting projects. It includes major steps like discovering, designing, developing, designing, and determining while considering budgetary and cost requirements. It also comprises activities like process assessment, tools management, collaboration, etc., that aid in accurate project deployment and maintenance. Download now!

5d consulting project methodology with implementation wd

Template 4: Enterprise Resource Planning Consulting Project Methodology

This template displays an execution method for designing ERP software for both parties; the consulting firm and the buyer. It includes the implementation team, administrative project management, project management team, etc. Ace your resource planning game by organizing, identifying, and listing the resources required to complete a project. Get it now!

enterprise resource planning consulting project methodology wd 4

Template 5: Rotation Process Illustrating Agile Project Methodology

Agile is more of an approach than a methodology. It is collaborative, fast and effective, data-backed, and values individuals over processes. This template lets you analyze processes, provide suggestions, plan & design projects, project construction, and evaluate & monitor processes. Download now!

rotation process illustrating agile project methodology wd

Template 6: Consulting Project Methodology for Supply Chain and Logistics

This template exhibits consulting project methodology for supply chain and logistics. It includes the five-step process of mapping, internal audit, gap assessment, solution design, and implementation. The topics discussed in this slide are gap analysis, solution design, implementation, internal audit, and mapping. Download this versatile template now!

consulting project methodology for supply chain and logistics wd

Template 7: Project Management Methodology Including Planning

This methodology is the one most used by project managers. It portrays the tasks in a chronological manner involving designing, developing, testing, and deploying a project. If you're looking for a comprehensive guide to your next project, look no further than this. Download it now!

project management methodology including planning wd

Template 8: Project Management and Implementation Methodology Overview

Project management and implementation methodology plays a significant role in ensuring successful delivery of projects. This template explains how these methods can be used to ensure the successful delivery of projects, along with some tips for implementing them. They also include a variety of practical examples to help you understand how the methodology can be applied in a real-world scenario. Get it now!

project management and implementation methodology overview wd

Template 9: Waterfall vs Agile Development Methodology for Project

This two-stage process template for projects is explicit and effective. It combines clarity and concise expression to achieve holistic project development by enabling client/stakeholder collaboration. It encourages frequent interaction of team members, making them resolve any complexities and meet requirements before deadlines. Download this now!

waterfall vs agile development methodology for project wd

Template 10: Methodology Five Steps Indicating Project Lifecycle

Strategically important complex projects that are long-term, resource-heavy, and extensive, require flexible project management methodology. This template includes five steps of a project lifecycle that helps bring more cohesion to your project. Keep every team member on the same page with this helpful and 100% customizable template. Download now!

methodology 5 steps indicating project lifecycle wd

Manage Your Projects Well

By choosing the right project management methodology at the right time and the right place, you’ll be able to make your projects more efficient. Finding the perfect project methodology also helps implement processes right for you, your team, and your organization.

We hope that the above set of templates serves as the ultimate tool in your belt!

FAQs on Project Methodology

What is a project methodology.

A project management methodology is a detailed manual to supervise project completion. A project team uses this set of defined processes to initiate, plan, and execute the project. The type of project methodology you choose establishes the way of work organization, prioritization, and completion. 

The project management methodology aims to standardize, structure, and organize work requirements and methods. This helps focus on what works best and enables the repetition of successful aspects and learning from mistakes, resulting in a continuous improvement process.

What are the five project methodologies?

Here are five common project methodologies used by Project Managers to manage workflow:

  • Agile : This method is best suited for projects which require extreme flexibility and speed. It focuses less on documentation and more on customer satisfaction. Agile methodology is good for products with a faster release cycle. 
  • Scrum : Scrum methodology has an iterative project management style. It follows the principles followed in Agile methodology. In this method, the work is done in sessions known as ‘Sprints’. Here, the Scrum Master facilitates the process instead of a Project Manager. 
  • Waterfall : It is based on traditional methods and mainly focuses on following the processes. Here, much emphasis is given to project documentation. 
  • Critical Path Method : This methodology is a step-by-step method and works best for projects with independent tasks. Its key role is to measure and prioritize tasks.
  • Program Evaluation and Review Technique : This method is commonly used along with CPM (Critical Path Method). It is mostly used by businesses that are looking for expansion. It measures progress to create timelines and budgets.
  • Critical Chain Method : A separate classification, this methodology is more advanced than the CPM methodology. Here, goals are created based on constraints while focusing on cost-saving benefits.

What are the three major types of project methodologies?

Here are three major types of methodologies commonly used:

  • Scrum method : Scrum is the most widely used agile methodology for project management. It allows you to do more by scheduling tasks in short cycles named sprints. It enables you to work as a dedicated team to analyze processes, meet requirements, and meet deadlines. It also helps you receive continuous feedback rather than using final evaluations. The scrum methodology is mostly used to develop new projects, compile budgets, and organize annual reports. 
  • Waterfall method : This method is linear and phase-based. It arranges and organizes tasks chronologically, which helps identify major areas of errors. Documentation is a huge part of waterfall methodology. It entails precise details about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. This methodology doesn’t provide any room for flexibility.
  • Lean and Six Sigma method : Lean and Six Sigma method is famous for its ability to manage the resource and time wastage that occurs in other methodologies. It is an approach to continuous improvement that is divided into two types of initiatives- Ongoing improvement initiatives and project-based initiatives. Each of these is associated with a set of methods and tools for you to employ. Ultimately, this methodology is based on the Kaizen principle that aims at making small changes on a daily basis for continuous improvement in small, easy steps.

How do you prepare a project methodology?

A good project method will represent the convergence of many factors, such as your scope, professional experience, and the research done. Here’s how you can prepare a project methodology in five steps:

  • Communicate deliverables : A solid plan requires proper research and pre-planning. So, the first step is to set clear objectives, cost & budget, project requirements, and deliverables to work upon. 
  • Define the process : Choose the project methodology that best suits your team’s workflow and organizational structure. Sit with your team and draft a process that matches your work style and project requirements. 
  • Communicate risks and deadlines : Analyzing the ability to manage risks while meeting project deadlines is the next step in preparing a methodology. You need to observe the level of risk you can handle based on the size of the project.
  • Determine task dependencies : Next, it is important to understand if you can perform tasks while keeping room for flexibility to alter the processes.

Define client/ stakeholder collaboration : Finally, you need to oversee the level of involvement you need from your stakeholders and clients in a project. It also defines team roles and assignments to help break down bigger projects into small and easy tasks.

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  • [Updated 2023] Top 20 One Page Project Plans, Project Proposals, and Executive Summaries for Project Management
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Thesis, major paper, and major project proposals

  • Definitions
  • Introductory section
  • Literature review


  • Schedule/work plan
  • Other potential elements
  • Proposal references
  • Ask for help

example of methodology for project proposal

The methodology section can include (but isn't limited to):

  • A description of the research design and methods
  • A description of data-gathering instruments
  • Methods of data collection
  • Ethical considerations
  • Analysis strategies and techniques
  • Potential participants
  • Rationale for your choice of methodological choices
  • How the methodology is appropriate for the organization or participants
  • The advantages and disadvantages of the methodology
  • References to scholarly literature that support the chosen research design and methods

If you are unsure if including the methodology is required in your thesis, major project, or research paper proposal, please consult with your instructor or advisor.

This information regarding the methodology section of a proposal was gathered from RRU thesis and major project handbooks, current in 2020, from programs in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, the Faculty of Management, and the College of Interdisciplinary Studies. If the details here differ from the information provided in the handbook for your project, please follow the handbook's directions.

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example of methodology for project proposal

  • In SAGE Research Methods Project Planner ; access via this link requires a RRU username and password.

Data Collection

How Do I Write About Theory?

  • In SAGE Research Methods: Writing Up ; look for the How Do I Write About Theory? drop down option. Access via this link requires a RRU username and password.

How Do I Write My Methodology Section?

  • In SAGE Research Methods: Writing Up ; look for the How Do I Write My Methodology Section? drop down option. Access via this link requires a RRU username and password.

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Grad Coach

How To Write The Methodology Chapter

The what, why & how explained simply (with examples).

By: Jenna Crossley (PhD) | Reviewed By: Dr. Eunice Rautenbach | September 2021 (Updated April 2023)

So, you’ve pinned down your research topic and undertaken a review of the literature – now it’s time to write up the methodology section of your dissertation, thesis or research paper . But what exactly is the methodology chapter all about – and how do you go about writing one? In this post, we’ll unpack the topic, step by step .

Overview: The Methodology Chapter

  • The purpose  of the methodology chapter
  • Why you need to craft this chapter (really) well
  • How to write and structure the chapter
  • Methodology chapter example
  • Essential takeaways

What (exactly) is the methodology chapter?

The methodology chapter is where you outline the philosophical underpinnings of your research and outline the specific methodological choices you’ve made. The point of the methodology chapter is to tell the reader exactly how you designed your study and, just as importantly, why you did it this way.

Importantly, this chapter should comprehensively describe and justify all the methodological choices you made in your study. For example, the approach you took to your research (i.e., qualitative, quantitative or mixed), who  you collected data from (i.e., your sampling strategy), how you collected your data and, of course, how you analysed it. If that sounds a little intimidating, don’t worry – we’ll explain all these methodological choices in this post .

Free Webinar: Research Methodology 101

Why is the methodology chapter important?

The methodology chapter plays two important roles in your dissertation or thesis:

Firstly, it demonstrates your understanding of research theory, which is what earns you marks. A flawed research design or methodology would mean flawed results. So, this chapter is vital as it allows you to show the marker that you know what you’re doing and that your results are credible .

Secondly, the methodology chapter is what helps to make your study replicable. In other words, it allows other researchers to undertake your study using the same methodological approach, and compare their findings to yours. This is very important within academic research, as each study builds on previous studies.

The methodology chapter is also important in that it allows you to identify and discuss any methodological issues or problems you encountered (i.e., research limitations ), and to explain how you mitigated the impacts of these. Every research project has its limitations , so it’s important to acknowledge these openly and highlight your study’s value despite its limitations . Doing so demonstrates your understanding of research design, which will earn you marks. We’ll discuss limitations in a bit more detail later in this post, so stay tuned!

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example of methodology for project proposal

How to write up the methodology chapter

First off, it’s worth noting that the exact structure and contents of the methodology chapter will vary depending on the field of research (e.g., humanities, chemistry or engineering) as well as the university . So, be sure to always check the guidelines provided by your institution for clarity and, if possible, review past dissertations from your university. Here we’re going to discuss a generic structure for a methodology chapter typically found in the sciences.

Before you start writing, it’s always a good idea to draw up a rough outline to guide your writing. Don’t just start writing without knowing what you’ll discuss where. If you do, you’ll likely end up with a disjointed, ill-flowing narrative . You’ll then waste a lot of time rewriting in an attempt to try to stitch all the pieces together. Do yourself a favour and start with the end in mind .

Section 1 – Introduction

As with all chapters in your dissertation or thesis, the methodology chapter should have a brief introduction. In this section, you should remind your readers what the focus of your study is, especially the research aims . As we’ve discussed many times on the blog, your methodology needs to align with your research aims, objectives and research questions. Therefore, it’s useful to frontload this component to remind the reader (and yourself!) what you’re trying to achieve.

In this section, you can also briefly mention how you’ll structure the chapter. This will help orient the reader and provide a bit of a roadmap so that they know what to expect. You don’t need a lot of detail here – just a brief outline will do.

The intro provides a roadmap to your methodology chapter

Section 2 – The Methodology

The next section of your chapter is where you’ll present the actual methodology. In this section, you need to detail and justify the key methodological choices you’ve made in a logical, intuitive fashion. Importantly, this is the heart of your methodology chapter, so you need to get specific – don’t hold back on the details here. This is not one of those “less is more” situations.

Let’s take a look at the most common components you’ll likely need to cover. 

Methodological Choice #1 – Research Philosophy

Research philosophy refers to the underlying beliefs (i.e., the worldview) regarding how data about a phenomenon should be gathered , analysed and used . The research philosophy will serve as the core of your study and underpin all of the other research design choices, so it’s critically important that you understand which philosophy you’ll adopt and why you made that choice. If you’re not clear on this, take the time to get clarity before you make any further methodological choices.

While several research philosophies exist, two commonly adopted ones are positivism and interpretivism . These two sit roughly on opposite sides of the research philosophy spectrum.

Positivism states that the researcher can observe reality objectively and that there is only one reality, which exists independently of the observer. As a consequence, it is quite commonly the underlying research philosophy in quantitative studies and is oftentimes the assumed philosophy in the physical sciences.

Contrasted with this, interpretivism , which is often the underlying research philosophy in qualitative studies, assumes that the researcher performs a role in observing the world around them and that reality is unique to each observer . In other words, reality is observed subjectively .

These are just two philosophies (there are many more), but they demonstrate significantly different approaches to research and have a significant impact on all the methodological choices. Therefore, it’s vital that you clearly outline and justify your research philosophy at the beginning of your methodology chapter, as it sets the scene for everything that follows.

The research philosophy is at the core of the methodology chapter

Methodological Choice #2 – Research Type

The next thing you would typically discuss in your methodology section is the research type. The starting point for this is to indicate whether the research you conducted is inductive or deductive .

Inductive research takes a bottom-up approach , where the researcher begins with specific observations or data and then draws general conclusions or theories from those observations. Therefore these studies tend to be exploratory in terms of approach.

Conversely , d eductive research takes a top-down approach , where the researcher starts with a theory or hypothesis and then tests it using specific observations or data. Therefore these studies tend to be confirmatory in approach.

Related to this, you’ll need to indicate whether your study adopts a qualitative, quantitative or mixed  approach. As we’ve mentioned, there’s a strong link between this choice and your research philosophy, so make sure that your choices are tightly aligned . When you write this section up, remember to clearly justify your choices, as they form the foundation of your study.

Methodological Choice #3 – Research Strategy

Next, you’ll need to discuss your research strategy (also referred to as a research design ). This methodological choice refers to the broader strategy in terms of how you’ll conduct your research, based on the aims of your study.

Several research strategies exist, including experimental , case studies , ethnography , grounded theory, action research , and phenomenology . Let’s take a look at two of these, experimental and ethnographic, to see how they contrast.

Experimental research makes use of the scientific method , where one group is the control group (in which no variables are manipulated ) and another is the experimental group (in which a specific variable is manipulated). This type of research is undertaken under strict conditions in a controlled, artificial environment (e.g., a laboratory). By having firm control over the environment, experimental research typically allows the researcher to establish causation between variables. Therefore, it can be a good choice if you have research aims that involve identifying causal relationships.

Ethnographic research , on the other hand, involves observing and capturing the experiences and perceptions of participants in their natural environment (for example, at home or in the office). In other words, in an uncontrolled environment.  Naturally, this means that this research strategy would be far less suitable if your research aims involve identifying causation, but it would be very valuable if you’re looking to explore and examine a group culture, for example.

As you can see, the right research strategy will depend largely on your research aims and research questions – in other words, what you’re trying to figure out. Therefore, as with every other methodological choice, it’s essential to justify why you chose the research strategy you did.

Methodological Choice #4 – Time Horizon

The next thing you’ll need to detail in your methodology chapter is the time horizon. There are two options here: cross-sectional and longitudinal . In other words, whether the data for your study were all collected at one point in time (cross-sectional) or at multiple points in time (longitudinal).

The choice you make here depends again on your research aims, objectives and research questions. If, for example, you aim to assess how a specific group of people’s perspectives regarding a topic change over time , you’d likely adopt a longitudinal time horizon.

Another important factor to consider is simply whether you have the time necessary to adopt a longitudinal approach (which could involve collecting data over multiple months or even years). Oftentimes, the time pressures of your degree program will force your hand into adopting a cross-sectional time horizon, so keep this in mind.

Methodological Choice #5 – Sampling Strategy

Next, you’ll need to discuss your sampling strategy . There are two main categories of sampling, probability and non-probability sampling.

Probability sampling involves a random (and therefore representative) selection of participants from a population, whereas non-probability sampling entails selecting participants in a non-random  (and therefore non-representative) manner. For example, selecting participants based on ease of access (this is called a convenience sample).

The right sampling approach depends largely on what you’re trying to achieve in your study. Specifically, whether you trying to develop findings that are generalisable to a population or not. Practicalities and resource constraints also play a large role here, as it can oftentimes be challenging to gain access to a truly random sample. In the video below, we explore some of the most common sampling strategies.

Methodological Choice #6 – Data Collection Method

Next up, you’ll need to explain how you’ll go about collecting the necessary data for your study. Your data collection method (or methods) will depend on the type of data that you plan to collect – in other words, qualitative or quantitative data.

Typically, quantitative research relies on surveys , data generated by lab equipment, analytics software or existing datasets. Qualitative research, on the other hand, often makes use of collection methods such as interviews , focus groups , participant observations, and ethnography.

So, as you can see, there is a tight link between this section and the design choices you outlined in earlier sections. Strong alignment between these sections, as well as your research aims and questions is therefore very important.

Methodological Choice #7 – Data Analysis Methods/Techniques

The final major methodological choice that you need to address is that of analysis techniques . In other words, how you’ll go about analysing your date once you’ve collected it. Here it’s important to be very specific about your analysis methods and/or techniques – don’t leave any room for interpretation. Also, as with all choices in this chapter, you need to justify each choice you make.

What exactly you discuss here will depend largely on the type of study you’re conducting (i.e., qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods). For qualitative studies, common analysis methods include content analysis , thematic analysis and discourse analysis . In the video below, we explain each of these in plain language.

For quantitative studies, you’ll almost always make use of descriptive statistics , and in many cases, you’ll also use inferential statistical techniques (e.g., correlation and regression analysis). In the video below, we unpack some of the core concepts involved in descriptive and inferential statistics.

In this section of your methodology chapter, it’s also important to discuss how you prepared your data for analysis, and what software you used (if any). For example, quantitative data will often require some initial preparation such as removing duplicates or incomplete responses . Similarly, qualitative data will often require transcription and perhaps even translation. As always, remember to state both what you did and why you did it.

Section 3 – The Methodological Limitations

With the key methodological choices outlined and justified, the next step is to discuss the limitations of your design. No research methodology is perfect – there will always be trade-offs between the “ideal” methodology and what’s practical and viable, given your constraints. Therefore, this section of your methodology chapter is where you’ll discuss the trade-offs you had to make, and why these were justified given the context.

Methodological limitations can vary greatly from study to study, ranging from common issues such as time and budget constraints to issues of sample or selection bias . For example, you may find that you didn’t manage to draw in enough respondents to achieve the desired sample size (and therefore, statistically significant results), or your sample may be skewed heavily towards a certain demographic, thereby negatively impacting representativeness .

In this section, it’s important to be critical of the shortcomings of your study. There’s no use trying to hide them (your marker will be aware of them regardless). By being critical, you’ll demonstrate to your marker that you have a strong understanding of research theory, so don’t be shy here. At the same time, don’t beat your study to death . State the limitations, why these were justified, how you mitigated their impacts to the best degree possible, and how your study still provides value despite these limitations .

Section 4 – Concluding Summary

Finally, it’s time to wrap up the methodology chapter with a brief concluding summary. In this section, you’ll want to concisely summarise what you’ve presented in the chapter. Here, it can be a good idea to use a figure to summarise the key decisions, especially if your university recommends using a specific model (for example, Saunders’ Research Onion ).

Importantly, this section needs to be brief – a paragraph or two maximum (it’s a summary, after all). Also, make sure that when you write up your concluding summary, you include only what you’ve already discussed in your chapter; don’t add any new information.

Keep it simple

Methodology Chapter Example

In the video below, we walk you through an example of a high-quality research methodology chapter from a dissertation. We also unpack our free methodology chapter template so that you can see how best to structure your chapter.

Wrapping Up

And there you have it – the methodology chapter in a nutshell. As we’ve mentioned, the exact contents and structure of this chapter can vary between universities , so be sure to check in with your institution before you start writing. If possible, try to find dissertations or theses from former students of your specific degree program – this will give you a strong indication of the expectations and norms when it comes to the methodology chapter (and all the other chapters!).

Also, remember the golden rule of the methodology chapter – justify every choice ! Make sure that you clearly explain the “why” for every “what”, and reference credible methodology textbooks or academic sources to back up your justifications.

If you need a helping hand with your research methodology (or any other component of your research), be sure to check out our private coaching service , where we hold your hand through every step of the research journey. Until next time, good luck!

example of methodology for project proposal

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This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project. 

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How to Write a Proposal for a Project (With Examples)

An excellent project proposal should address the client’s main concerns and goals, sell your unique approach, and clarify the project process.

If the project is crystal clear to both you and your client, you can reduce confusion, scope creep , and complaints.

In this guide to writing proposals for projects, we dive into what this type of proposal must include and how to write one. Plus, we showcase excellent examples to copy and data-driven best practices to follow.

What’s in this guide:

What is a project proposal?

What to include in a project proposal, how to write a project proposal.

Examples of project proposals

Tips for writing a project proposal

Looking for proposal templates, automated follow-ups, and closing insights? Get a custom Proposify demo .

How to write a proposal for a project

12 min. read

A project proposal is sent by a design, consulting, or other type of firm to a potential client in order to present important project details like deliverables, timelines, expected outcomes, and costs. When the terms of service are included, a signed project proposal can double as a contract for the legal protection of both parties.

A project proposal is not to be confused with a request for proposal (RFP), which is sent by a corporation or government agency to multiple consulting firms in order to receive the maximum amount of proposals and pricing options for a project that they’ve already defined internally.

A project proposal, on the other hand, is created as part of a consultative selling process and can benefit a client even if they don’t move forward with the work because of the helpful project breakdown.

Types of project proposals

There are many different types of project proposals, from different lengths to fee structures.

Project length:

Short, one-time project

Longer, phased project

Retainer or ongoing project

Paid discovery or audit project

Payment type:

Hourly with estimated hours

Hourly with min and max hour range

Hybrid flat rate and hourly (common in interior design, event planning, and other fields with hard costs and hourly costs)


Website design

Graphic design

Architecture and engineering

Construction and property services

Commercial leasing

Interior design

Event planning

Software subscriptions

Administrative management

Payroll and HR management

Market research and analysis

Software development

Product development

Solicitation types:

Solicited proposals sent in response to an RFPs

Unsolicited proposals sent without a prior RFP

A successful project proposal will include all or most of these important sections. You can mix and match them with your own templates or AI writing tools to craft the perfect project proposal outline.

The cover page is the easiest page to write.

It typically includes:

Your company’s name

The client’s name or project name

A photograph or graphic design

You might also choose to include your contact information on the cover page, but this is usually reserved for the About Us page or a dedicated contact page.

Executive summary or letter

The executive summary is where you offer an overview of your methodology and the proposed project. Consider it elevator pitch. Shoot to write approximately 75 - 200 words.

Use this free AI-enabled character counter to help both get through writer's block as well as make sure your executive summary is the right length.

Many other parts of the proposal will be written as bullet points or very short phrases, so use this section to really paint the full picture of the project with language that is on-brand.

Executive summary example for a project proposal

Goals or objectives

You can include the project goals and objectives of the client in the executive summary, in the project summary, or in a section dedicated just for this purpose.

You might write 75 - 150 words describing the goals, or utilize a bulleted list of 3-8 goals.

The approach section can go by a lot of different names, such as “solution” or “methodology.” In this section, you’re describing the strategy behind your approach. It sets the stage for the project details and budget to follow.

This is particularly important when winning over new clients who aren’t familiar with what sets your business apart from the competition.

A catering company might use this proposal page to talk about the sort of experience or quality of food they provide.

Meanwhile, a marketing company might include its brand ethos or core beliefs here.

Project summary and deliverables

While the previous section is about the strategy, this section is all about the specifics. Spell out exactly what you’ll do for the client.

Here’s what you might include in the project summary:

A quick description of the project

A list of project deliverables

A description of project phases with their own deliverables

A project timeline or roadmap

Your project management process

The collaboration or communication software you plan to use

Measurable or specific milestones in the project

A description of the project team and the talent included

Project summary example in a project proposal

About the company

You can write an About Us page, an Our Team page, or both. An About Us page should include a description of what your company does, your target audience, and the results you provide. An Our Team page will feature bios of important people on your team.

An example "About Us" page in a project proposal

You need to spell out the project costs. Depending on the nature of your business, you might show a flat rate project total, your hourly rate alongside the number of estimated hours , or a variety of package options for the client to choose from.

Terms and conditions

Next up: terms and conditions. When using a proposal management software with e-signatures , your proposal can work as a binding contract. Include your master service agreement and allow the project summary to serve as the statement of work.

Social proof and samples

Prospective clients will need some reassurance to help them trust your business.

Consider including:


Star rating averages

Portfolio pieces

Work samples

Mini case studies

Sample of previous work in a project proposal

Ready to pitch a new project? Here’s a step-by-step process to create a winning project proposal.

1. Discover the client’s needs

The first step is to understand the client’s current challenges and goals. As part of your discovery process, you might conduct a single sales call, or several.

Some companies actually charge for a longer discovery or audit process, and use a proposal to sell that introductory service. They will then later upsell that client on a project based on their findings with a custom proposal. However, most firms conduct the discovery process for free and then make project recommendations in their first proposal.

2. Define their core problem and goals

Next, you’ll want to distill everything the client has shared with you. You might take some time to gather your notes, talk it through with a colleague, and then determine the most important objectives. These project objectives will guide all further decisions.

3. Determine the best approach to serve them

Now it’s time to decide which method or approach will lead to project success. If you have a templatized project process and always serve similar clients, you can offer your usual solution.

But if you offer custom work unique to each client, then you’ll need to decide on the approach. For example, an event planner might decide to offer event marketing, registration, setup, and breakdown services if a client doesn’t have any in-house resources, but they might only offer setup and breakdown if the client has in-house marketing and ticketing specialists.

4. Breakdown the project into deliverables, timelines, etc.

Now that you’ve done your research and decided what to pitch to the client, it’s time to break the project down.

Determine the project costs or pricing options, break up work into phases, and clarify deliverables. You can jot this down on a piece of paper or work directly inside of a proposal template .

5. Add all necessary sections and details to your proposal

Write out your proposal and make sure that you’ve covered all of the bases. It’s worth noting that longer isn’t necessarily better. Through our analysis of 1 million proposals, we found that winning proposals have 7 sections and 11 pages on average .

The most common proposal structure is:

Executive summary

Approach or solution


Keep in mind that you can alter and rename these sections to match your services and unique brand voice. Leverage an AI writing generator to help brainstorm content while you work on the sections of your proposal.

6. Send the proposal to the client (with e-signatures)

Now it’s time to send the proposal. You can save time and reduce your software needs by using one software for both proposals and contracts. Just make sure that you’ve included your terms and conditions.

Proposals with e-signatures assigned to both the sender and recipient have a 426% higher closing rate. And if you sign the proposal first (before the client opens it), you’ll increase your chances of closing by a further 36.8%.

7. Handle change requests promptly

Be on hand to make changes per client requests, whether they want to change the project scope or adjust contractual language because of their picky legal team.

Being asked to revise a proposal isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, proposals that are revised a couple of times are more likely to close.

Project proposals that are reviewed more than once are more likely to close

5 examples of proposals for a project

Need some inspiration? These project proposals offer examples of exactly what to include in your next pitch.

1. Printing project with optional items

This printing proposal offers an excellent example of how to clearly communicate your pricing and offer interactive options. When we analyzed 1 million proposals sent with our platform, we found that proposals with fee tables have a 35.8% higher closing rate than those without and that proposals with editable quantities have an 18.5% higher closing rate.

Interactive pricing example in a project proposal

You can use this proposal template with your free trial of Proposify and easily customize it for your unique business offerings.

This example project proposal template includes these sections:

Our Services

Sample Work

Your Investment

2. Marketing proposal with project timeline

A project timeline is an important part of any project proposal. This marketing proposal template offers a great example of how to share this timeline in a simple format.

Timeline example in a marketing project proposal

Break your project down into distinct steps so the client knows exactly what to expect.

This example proposal template includes the following sections:

Overview & Goals

Scope of Services

3. Accounting project with goals and batches of work

Our next example is an accounting proposal .

This proposal stands out because it includes the client’s goals in the Project Summary section. See those short and sweet bullet points? They serve as a smart way to let the client know that you understand their goals and will be able to satisfy them.

Project summary example in an accounting project proposal

This proposal also includes a breakdown of work that is categorized into four different batches, or chunks: QuickBooks Startup, Data Migration, QuickBooks Data Build, Overall (throughout the project). You can use this example when breaking down a project into different stages or services.

Project breakdown for an accounting project proposal

Access this accounting proposal template with a paid subscription or a free trial of Proposify.

The template includes the following sections:

Project Summary

Work Proposal

4. Construction project with project summary and exclusions

Do you need to include exclusions in your proposals? If the type of work you offer is contingent on other service providers or lends itself to complications, then you might want to start adding exclusions. This can help protect your business from the many risks associated with project scope confusion or misaligned expectations.

This construction proposal template , available inside of Proposify, offers a perfect example of an exclusion section, which follows what is included in the project.

An example of a project summary in a construction project proposal

The project proposal template includes the following sections:

Cover Letter

Meet Our Team

Previous Projects

Project Schedule

5. Event management project with hourly work estimates

Event planning is complicated—that’s exactly why the event industry serves as a great example of how to charge for both hourly work and fixed costs at the same time.

You can access this event planning proposal template with your Proposify account (check it out with a free trial ).

In the Budget section, the proposal kicks things off with a fee table including all of the hourly costs .

Hourly work estimate example in an event project proposal

This project proposal also has a second fee table to estimate the hard costs , such as catering and photography, and the hourly costs and hard costs are then added up for the full project total.

Hard cost estimate example in an event project proposal

This template includes the following sections:


Our Understanding of Your Needs

Writing a great proposal is a lot of work.

Here are some project proposal best practices that will help you save time and get better results:

Create templates for different services, projects, or clients. The faster you send a proposal, the more likely it is to close. Try creating a few different templates to make it easy to generate a new proposal based on the clients’ unique needs. And of course, you can always speed up the process by beginning with one of our templates .

Get the client’s opinion on your plan before you turn it into a proposal. Try pitching your project idea to the client at the end of the sales call. Check to see their reaction. If they love what you’ve suggested, turn that into your proposal. If not, ask what they have in mind. This way, you’ll create a proposal that is more likely to close.

Ask the client what they want the proposal to include. If your client has given you a detailed RFP , you’ll know exactly what to include in your proposal. If not, don’t be afraid to ask. Especially when working with large corporations and government agencies, your main point of contact should be able to share what all stakeholders will expect to see in the project plan.

Offer dynamic pricing options. Proposals with both optional rows and editable quantities have a 20.2% higher close rate. Consider add-ons and options that will cater to decision-makers while customizing and perfecting the project scope. Clients should be able to select the options directly in the business proposal to create an accurate project total in real-time and then sign off on it.

Include multimedia content in your proposal. Proposal content shouldn’t just be in a written format. Accompany your writing with mages and videos to help them visualize the project. Proposals with images are 72% more likely to close and proposals with videos are 41% more likely to close. Try including pictures of your team and your previous work and illustrations of your process or typical ROI.

Write and automate follow-up emails. Proposals with just one automated follow-up email are 35% more likely to close. If you use Proposify, you can easily turn on automated follow-ups for every proposal. You can use our follow-up email templates, or create your own templates for different types of clients or projects.

Next steps: write your own project proposal

An excellent project proposal should include the project roadmap, milestones, budget, and any supplemental information that will help the client really understand the value of the project and secure buy-in.

To make any proposal more likely to close, make sure you include multimedia content, pricing options, and e-signatures.

Proposify’s proposal templates , automated follow-ups, and viewing analytics can take your proposal closing game to a whole new level. Book a demo today.

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  • 6 steps for writing a persuasive projec ...

6 steps for writing a persuasive project proposal

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A project proposal is a written document outlining everything stakeholders should know about a project, including the timeline, budget, objectives, and goals. Your project proposal should summarize your project details and sell your idea so stakeholders buy in to the initiative. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to write a project proposal so you can win approval and succeed at work.

All projects have creation stories, but they don’t start with someone declaring, “Let there be resources!” To move forward with a project, teams must submit a proposal to decision-makers within their organization or to external stakeholders. 

What is a project proposal?

A project proposal is a written document outlining everything stakeholders should know about a project, including the timeline, budget, objectives , and goals. Your project proposal should summarize your project details and sell your idea so stakeholders feel inclined to get involved in the initiative.

[inline illustration] What is a project proposal? (infographic)

The goal of your project proposal is to:

Secure external funding

Allocate company resources to your project

Gain stakeholder buy-in

Build momentum and excitement

Project proposals vs. project charters vs. business cases

Project proposals and project charters serve different purposes in the project creation process, and it’s important to understand the difference between the two. While a project proposal takes place in the initiation phase of the project, the project charter takes place in the planning phase. 

As mentioned above, a project proposal is a persuasive document meant to convince stakeholders why the project should be carried out. A project charter is a reference document that defines project objectives, and it can’t be created until the project proposal is approved.

People also confuse the business case with the project proposal, but the business case also comes after the proposal. Once the project is approved through a proposal, a business case may be used to secure additional funding for the project.

Types of project proposals

There are six types of proposals you may encounter as a project manager, and understanding the different formats can be useful as you write yours. Each type has a different goal.

[inline illustration] Types of project proposals (infographic)

Solicited: You’ll send solicited proposals in response to a Request for Proposal (RFP). An RFP announces a project in detail and asks for bids from qualified teams. Because you’re competing against other companies for this type of proposal, you must do thorough research and write persuasively.

Unsolicited: You’ll send unsolicited proposals without an RFP, meaning no one asked for your proposal. In this case, you won’t be up against other companies or teams, but you’ll still need to be persuasive because you have no knowledge of whether the stakeholder you’re pitching to needs you.

Informal: You may have a client send you an informal request for a project proposal, in which case you can respond with your project pitch. Because this isn’t an official RFP, the rules are less concrete.

Renewal: You’ll send renewals to existing clients in hopes that they’ll extend their services with your organization. In this type of project proposal, the goal is to emphasize past results your team has produced for the client and persuade them you can produce future results.

Continuation: You’ll send continuations as a reminder to a stakeholder letting them know the project is beginning. In this project proposal, you’ll simply provide information about the project instead of persuading the stakeholder.

Supplemental: Similar to a continuation proposal, you’ll send a supplemental proposal to a stakeholder already involved in your project. In this type of proposal, you’re letting the stakeholder know the project is beginning, while also asking for additional resources. You should persuade the stakeholder to contribute more to the project in this proposal.

The tone of voice and content of your project proposal will differ based on the type of proposal you’re sending. When you know your project goals, you can write your proposal accordingly.

How to write a project proposal

These step-by-step instructions apply to most project proposals, regardless of type. You’ll need to customize your proposal for the intended audience, but this project proposal outline can serve as a reference to ensure you’re including the key components in your document. 

[inline illustration] How to write a project proposal (infographic)

1. Write an executive summary

The executive summary serves as the introduction to your project proposal. Similar to a report abstract or an essay introduction, this section should summarize what’s coming and persuade the stakeholder to continue reading. Depending on the complexity of your project, your executive summary may be one paragraph or a few paragraphs. 

Your executive summary should include:

The problem your project plans to solve

The solution your project provides for that problem

The impact your project will have 

You should only address these items briefly in your executive summary because you’ll discuss these topics in more detail later in your proposal. 

2. Explain the project background

In this section, you’ll go into the background of the project. Use references and statistics to convince your reader that the problem you’re addressing is worthwhile.

Some questions to include are:

What is the problem your project addresses?

What is already known about this problem?

Who has addressed this problem before/what research is there?

Why is past research insufficient at addressing this problem?

You can also use this section to explain how the problem you hope to solve directly relates to your organization. 

3. Present a solution

You just presented a problem in the project background section, so the next logical step in proposal writing is to present a solution. This section is your opportunity to outline your project approach in greater detail. 

Some items to include are:

Your vision statement for the project

Your project schedule , including important milestones

Project team roles and responsibilities  

A risk register showing how you’ll mitigate risk

The project deliverables

Reporting tools you’ll use throughout the project

You may not have all these items in your proposal format, but you can decide what to include based on the project scope . This section will likely be the longest and most detailed section of your proposal, as you’ll discuss everything involved in achieving your proposed solution. 

4. Define project deliverables and goals

Defining your project deliverables is a crucial step in writing your project proposal. Stakeholders want to know what you’re going to produce at the end of your project, whether that’s a product, a program, an upgrade in technology, or something else. As the stakeholder reads through your vision, this will be the section where they say, “Aha, this is what they’ll use my resources for.”

When defining your deliverables, you should include:

The end product or final objective of your project 

A project timeline for when deliverables will be ready

SMART goals that align with the deliverables you’re producing

While it’s important to show the problem and solution to your project, it’s often easier for stakeholders to visualize the project when you can define the deliverables.

5. List what resources you need

Now that you’ve outlined your problem, approach, solution, and deliverables, you can go into detail about what resources you need to accomplish your initiative.

In this section, you’ll include:

Project budget : The project budget involves everything from the supplies you’ll need to create a product to ad pricing and team salaries. You should include any budget items you need to deliver the project here.

Breakdown of costs: This section should include research on why you need specific resources for your project; that way, stakeholders can understand what their buy-in is being used for. This breakdown can also help you mitigate unexpected costs.

Resource allocation plan : You should include an overview of your resource allocation plan outlining where you plan to use the specific resources you need. For example, if you determine you need $50,000 to complete the project, do you plan to allocate this money to salaries, technology, materials, etc.

Hopefully, by this point in the proposal, you’ve convinced the stakeholders to get on board with your proposed project, which is why saving the required resources for the end of the document is a smart strategic move.

6. State your conclusion

Finally, wrap up your project proposal with a persuasive and confident conclusion. Like the executive summary, the conclusion should briefly summarize the problem your project addresses and your solution for solving that problem. You can emphasize the impact of your project in the conclusion but keep this section relevant, just like you would in a traditional essay. 

Tips for writing an effective project proposal

Following the steps listed above will ensure your project proposal has all the right elements. But if you want to impress your readers and win their approval, your writing must shine. In addition to the above, a project proposal includes:

Know your audience

As you write your proposal, keep your audience (i.e. the stakeholders) in mind at all times. Remember that the goal of the proposal is to win your audience over, not just to present your project details. For example, if you’re creating a new editing tool for a children’s publishing house, can you determine whether your stakeholders are parents and appeal to their emotional side when persuading them to buy in to your product?

Be persuasive

Persuasion is important in a project proposal because you’re hoping your audience will read your proposal and do something for you in return. If your reader isn’t intrigued by your project, they won’t feel inclined to help you. If you describe your editing tool but don’t mention the many features it will offer, how it will benefit clients, and its positive impact in the industry, your audience will wonder, “Why should I care about this project?” 

Keep it simple

While you should go into detail on your problem, approach, and solution, you shouldn’t make your project proposal overly complex. This means you can discuss the project plan for your proposed editing tool without discussing what codes the engineers will use to make each feature work. 

Do your research

A successful project proposal includes thorough research. Be prepared to back up your problem—and solution—with reputable sources, case studies, statistics, or charts so you don’t leave your audience with questions. When writing your proposal, put yourself in the reader’s shoes and ask:

Why is this a problem?

How is this a solution to the problem?

Has anyone addressed this problem before?

What are the project costs?

If you can answer these questions, then you’ve likely done enough research to support your proposed initiative.

Use project management tools to strengthen your project proposal

Good project proposals require team collaboration . With the right management tools, your team can communicate, share information, and work together on one shared document. 

When you store all your project information in one place, it’s easy to access that data when you need it. Project proposals stem from well-organized and properly planned projects, which is why project management software is a key resource to effectively write a project proposal. Ready to get started? Try Asana .

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Project Management

How to write a project proposal (examples & templates).

Senior Content Marketing Manager

July 13, 2023

Have you ever left a doctor’s appointment feeling uncertain about the treatment plan? It stinks—no one likes being left in limbo when it comes to things that matter to them. 

Clients feel the same type of frustration when they receive unclear project details from agencies. Reassure your customers with a strong project proposal—a statement that clarifies what your agency will do to help the client meet their goals. 

This proposal is basically a “diagnosis” and a “treatment plan.” It shows the client you understand their situation and outlines what project deliverables your agency will create to help the customer meet their objective. 

Boost clients’ confidence in your projects with this guide. It’s packed with proposal writing best practices, project proposal examples, and more to help you strengthen your pitches.

What is a Project Proposal?

Types of project proposals, step 1: research your prospective client’s product and industry, step 2: brainstorm with your internal team, step 3: define deliverables and determine the required resources, step 4: write the project proposal, step 5: add design elements to the project proposal, step 6: present it to your prospective client, step 7: follow up with the prospective client.

document everything ClickUp CTA

A project proposal is a document that outlines what deliverables your agency will create and the objectives you plan to meet through the work. It should describe your diagnostic and prescriptive approach to getting them where they want to be.

Project Proposal Example Outline

A good project proposal should include the Who, What, Where, When, and How of the solution you provide. Specifically, your project proposal needs to include:

  • Table of Contents : An index of what’s to come in the project proposal and page numbers
  • Executive Summary : A statement that describes the project background and gives a brief overview of what’s to come in the proposal
  • Goals : The long-term outcome the client wants to achieve
  • Problem Statement : A summary of the obstacles standing in the way of the client’s goals
  • Value Statement : A summary statement of how your agency’s services and expertise will solve the problem statement and benefit the client
  • Strategy : The high-level proposed solution for how you will reach the client’s goals
  • Project Scope : The services that will be included in your agency’s project approach
  • Project Deliverables : Individual tasks within the services you provide that contribute to the project objective(s)
  • Measures of Success : Metrics that will be used to measure project success (KPIs)
  • Timelines : A roadmap of when the client can expect project deliverables and key milestones along the way
  • Case Studies : Success stories and testimonials from clients you’ve worked with on similar projects
  • Budget : The monetary resources required to complete the project proposal . Include more than one package with a range of pricing to fit different project budgets and goals).
  • Project Summary : A concrete takeaway that summarizes the key details of the project proposal.
  • Next Steps : Don’t forget your call to action! Tell the client how to get started working with you.!

Not sure how to tie all of this together? Don’t worry; we’ll cover that later!

There are a few different situations where you would submit a project proposal to a client:

  • Solicited project proposal : A prospective client approaches you with a Request For Proposal (RFP) , and you submit a proposal in response.
  • Unsolicited project proposal : You identify a prospect in your CRM that fits your ideal customer profile (ICP) and submit an unsolicited project proposal to start a contracting conversation without the prospect reaching out first. 
  • Informal project proposal : A more conversational approach to a proposal or one that wasn’t specifically requested.
  • Renewal project proposal : An existing client is up for renewal. You send this proposal as a prerequisite to resigning so you can reevaluate your current relationship and set new goals.
  • Continuation project proposal : Remind or convince current clients to continue the project or provide details about any outstanding or new tasks that might be needed to complete the project.
  • Supplemental project proposal : You identify the need to expand an existing project’s scope of work and redefine the client relationship.

Related: Business Proposal Templates

The benefits of writing proposals for projects 

A well-written project proposal is a powerful tool for showing clients why hiring your agency is their best chance for success. 

Specifically, project proposals have a few key benefits:

  • Credibility: Provides you a platform to establish your expertise with the prospect
  • Differentiation: Give the prospect something concrete to take to internal stakeholders to compare and contrast your services with others competing for the project and get buy-in from their decision-makers.
  • Alignment: Aligns internal and external teams on what the goals and vision are for the project proposal from the very beginning.

How to Write a Project Proposal in 7 Steps

A project proposal can either be a big selling point or a missed opportunity; the difference comes down to your process for developing one. Before you begin writing a project proposal, centralize your team communication . Then you can establish a clear planning process so nothing falls through the cracks.

Bonus: Project Planning Tools

Your prospective client doesn’t want an impersonal project proposal. They want a statement that shows you understand their history, branding, industry, and customers.  Show the client you get them and what matters to them by conducting research for your project proposal.

While conducting your research, consider the following:

  • What are your customer’s objectives that are driving this project? 
  • What gaps in industry knowledge does your agency have that you need to explore during market research ? 
  • How long will you have to conduct your research?
  • What form of data collection will you use? 
  • Will you conduct a competitor audit, client surveys, or an organizational gap analysis?
  • Once you collect the data, how will you analyze it? 
  • Are there limitations to your research that need to be considered during your planning?
  • Do any themes rise to the top as you conduct your research?  
  • What resources did you use in developing your research?
  • Are the sources credible?
  • Are the sources diverse enough to accurately represent the industry?

ClickUp Research Report Template

Don’t forget to document all of your findings in ClickUp’s User Research Plan Template so you can easily reference your analysis in the following steps of your project proposal!

Armed with your research, rally the troops! It’s time to collaborate with your internal team on how you can solve the client’s needs before you put it on paper. 

Brainstorm together using the mind mapping methodology— a visual diagram of ideas connected by a central concept.  It’s an easy way for your teams to brain-dump ideas and talk through each of their unique perspectives on the project – ultimately coming up with the best ideas. 

For example, developing concepts for a marketing campaign requires inputs from multiple teams in your agency. Using ClickUp’s Mind Map will help subject matter experts from across the agency weigh in on the best approach while keeping the client’s goal as the central concept. 

Corral all that genius in one room with ClickUp’s template for project mapping ! With this resource, you can easily brainstorm and organize ideas visually to identify connections between them quickly.

Once your team has identified the best approach to the project, it’s time to outline the specifics of the solution in a project plan . This includes identifying phases of the project, defining deliverables, and filling in the details of each task. 

Using a project management tool, work with your team to assign the timeline, project budget , and task owners for each deliverable to determine the project’s overall scope. Here are a few ClickUp  project management tools that will help you communicate each of these details:

  • Custom Fields: ClickUp’s custom fields enable you to assign unique values to tasks like budgets, task owners, due dates, and so much more.
  • Gantt Chart: It’s easy to define timelines when you look at tasks in ClickUp’s Gantt chart view , where you can define dependencies between tasks and layout project deliverables in sequential order.
  • Checklists: Sometimes, you just need a simple to-do list to make sure you’ve assigned each piece of the project; that’s where checklists are super handy! Easily tag in task owners, set due dates, and notify the project team of completion with a single click.

Now that you have all the project’s internal details, it’s time to organize them into a concise, personalized proposal statement. Collaborating on all of the ideas in a project proposal whiteboard makes it easy to define your proposal as you go.

Once you have outlined the key concepts on ClickUp’s Whiteboard , it’s time to tag in your copywriting team to round out those ideas and write a cohesive proposal Doc. The copywriting team should reference the Whiteboard, project map, and research document as they write to make sure it’s as personalized to the client as possible.

The copy needs to be definitive, concise, and measurable as possible. Once the copywriters are done, give your internal project team a chance to review and surface any revisions needed before sending the project proposal on to the next step.

Make sure you clearly define the project budget as well. The last thing a client wants is to see various costs from initial conversations.

Now for the fun part! Tag your creative team to translate that project background document into a beautifully designed project proposal (a.k.a. make it pretty!). If you don’t have an internal design team, there are several drag-and-drop design templates from services like Pitch and Canva . 

Consider standardizing your proposal in a template regardless of whether you have an internal design team or are using one of these services. Your team can simply adapt ClickUp’s Project Proposal Whiteboard Template for each new client to maintain brand consistency and save time.

ClickUp Project Proposal Whiteboard Template

You did it!

The day has finally come—you get to wow your client with your genius. Whether you meet in person or via zoom, send a meeting agenda and a copy of your project proposal via email to your client prior to the proposal presentation.

Providing the proposed project and meeting cadence beforehand will give the client time to consider the proposal, form any questions, and potentially add notes to the meeting agenda. 

CLICKUP PRO TIP Make this step quick, easy, and consistent across teams by developing a standardized email template in ClickUp .

During the meeting, keep detailed meeting notes and assign follow-up tasks immediately so nothing falls through the cracks post-meeting. Easily take notes and assign action items in real-time with the ClickUp Meeting Minutes Template to create the best project proposal.

Make sure to keep your proposal presentation to the point and as brief as possible. You don’t want to bore your audience before they get to the end.

At the end of the presentation, reiterate the next steps you’ve outlined in the proposal and note how much lead time your team will need if the client chooses to sign on. After presenting the project proposal, answer as many questions as possible, and follow up via email with any answers you don’t immediately have.

We’ve all been there. One minute an agency is promising you the world, and the next, they’re ghosting you for the next best client. Don’t let prospects slip through the cracks.

Keep track of every stage of your project proposals so you know who is responsible for reaching out to the prospect, and when your team last contacted them. 

Tracking the client lifecycle in real-time is easy in ClickUp with custom fields. You can define the stages of your project proposals through custom fields, assigning roles, setting due dates for routine follow-ups, and tagging team members. You can also send client emails and comments right from the task window, giving you a clear audit trail of each customer communication.

Related Project Proposal Resources:

  • Project Proposal Templates
  • Professional Services Template
  • Creative Project Plan Template
  • Creative Agency Proposal Planning Template
  • Consulting Project Plan Template
  • Grant Proposal Template
  • Consulting Templates
  • RFQ Templates

Use ClickUp for Your Next Project Proposal

At the core of successful project proposals, there’s a team that collaborates effectively. And that’s exactly what ClickUp enables your agency to do.

We bring all of your tools, documents, teams, dashboards, budgets, and workflows into one project management software. This is all in an effort to put an end to context-switching and siloed workflows from working within multiple tools.

What’s better?

We have over 1,000 app integrations and a full library of free templates built by project management experts that make workflow building easy. You no longer have to spend your precious time creating every process and procedure from the ground up.

It’s already here, just waiting for you in ClickUp. Get started today— completely for free —and see why so many agencies are switching to ClickUp.

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

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12 Project Management Methodologies: Your Guide

Set your project up for success by choosing the right project management methodology.

[Featured image] A project manager stands in an office, smiling.

Your choice of project management methodology defines how you manage a project. Learn about some common options (and how to choose the right one for your project).

What is a project management methodology?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ‘methodology' as “a body of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline” or “a particular procedure or set of procedures” [ 1 ]. In the field of project management, this would be a set of rules and processes that define how you manage a project.

When discussing project management methodologies (PMMs), you’ll likely encounter a variety of terms—some of them are true methodologies and others would be more accurately described as principles or philosophies. For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll consider a variety of terms often referred to as PMMs, even if they don’t technically satisfy the definition.

12 popular project management methodologies

Often one of the first decisions you’ll make as a project manager involves which methodology to follow. As the industry has evolved over the years, so to have the PM methodology options. Keep in mind that there isn’t one best option—the best methodology is the one (or combination) that best fits your project, team, and company. 

Before we discuss how to choose a methodology, let’s take a look at some common options in project management.

Read more: What is a Project Manager? A Career Guide

1. Waterfall

The Waterfall method, first designed by Winston W. Royce in 1970 for software development, is a traditional approach to project management. With the Waterfall methodology, a project flows through a series of steps or phases. Generally, each phase of the project life cycle must be completed before the next can begin. 

Stages of the waterfall model

1. Requirements: In this first phase, you’ll work with stakeholders to clearly define the project scope and requirements.

2. Design: The critical design phase is when you’ll plan what the final product will look like and what steps your team needs to take to get there. 

3. Implementation: This is where all your planning gets put into action. For software projects, this is when programmers will write the actual code. 

4. Verification: During verification, you team tests the product to ensure it meets the requirements laid out in the first phase.

5. Maintenance: After the project is complete, the development team responds to feedback and makes any necessary modifications. 

When to use waterfall

The logical flow of waterfall makes it an excellent option for short, predictable projects where you have a clear vision of the finished product and fixed project requirements that are not likely to change. It’s best suited for teams and PMs that excel at planning and documentation. 

2. Agile methodology

Agile approaches are iterative, meaning they work to continuously improve a product by returning to or repeating as many steps as necessary. The Agile Manifesto was created by several software development industry leaders as a way to adapt to quickly changing technology at the time. 

While not technically a full methodology — adopting Agile won’t give you a comprehensive plan for how to manage your projects — Agile does offer a series of values and principles to promote agility and efficiency in the development process. 

Read more: What Is Agile? And When to Use It

Four foundational values of Agile project management methodology

1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools: Managing a project around your agile team rather than your tools can help make your team more responsive and adaptable.

2. Working software over comprehensive documentation: Robust documentation involved in older software development techniques often led to long delays. You’ll still produce documentation in Agile, but the focus shifts to functionality.

3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation: Instead of working out every detail of a project at the beginning, this method keeps project stakeholders and customers engaged in every stage of the collaborative development process. This is particularly helpful when a customer has unclear or changing requirements.

4. Responding to change over following a plan: Instead of front loading all the planning of a project, Agile encourages short iterations that help make changes an improvement rather than an expense.

When to use Agile

An Agile approach works well on creative projects where requirements might change along the way and the final details of the product are not yet established. It’s also a good option for projects where clients or stakeholders prefer to offer feedback regularly, rather than only when the final product is delivered.

Learn more about PM methodologies in this lecture video from the Google Project Management Professional Certificate .

Scrum is a lightweight Agile framework designed to help self-organizing teams develop more complex projects. The framework includes a set of roles and meetings centered on the values of commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect.

To better understand Scrum, let’s take a look at some of its roles and practices.

Sprint: Short (usually one month or less) development cycle where a team creates a useable and (hopefully) releasable product increment

Scrum master : Team leader responsible for coaching the team in the Scrum method, organizing Scrum meetings and events, and ensuring team members have the support they need to succeed

Daily Scrum: 15-minute stand-up meeting held each day of a sprint where the team plans work for the next 24 hours

Product backlog: Prioritized list of work still to be done on a product

Product owner: Person responsible for maximizing the value of the product by managing the product backlog

Development team: Roles responsible for the actual development work of a project

Sprint review: Informal session where the development team presents their finished iterations to stakeholders for feedback

When to use Scrum

The Scrum method, best for self-managing teams and a culture open to innovation, can help bring products to market more quickly. The short development cycles and frequent stakeholder involvement can often lead to a better-quality product.

Read more: Agile vs. Scrum: Which Should You Use, and Why?

Kanban is an Agile method of project management that helps visualize workflow to improve efficiency. The method got its start in the Japanese manufacturing industry before gaining popularity across many fields.

At the center of the Kanban method is a Kanban board—a physical or digital tool that divides workflow into columns organized by development stage, such as to-do, in-progress, and completed tasks. This helps eliminate multitasking by encouraging teams to focus on only a few tasks at a time. It also makes it easy for both the team and stakeholders to quickly see where the team is in the development process.

Did you know? The word ‘kanban’ means ‘billboard’ in Japanese. The method was developed by Toyota in the 1940s. 

Six kanban practices

1. Visualize the workflow. The Kanban board visualizes a team’s workload in a way that’s easy to understand and execute.

2. Limit work in progress. Restricting the number of tasks a team is working on at any given time helps maintain focus.

3. Manage flow. This method switches the focus from managing people to managing a smooth flow of work.

4. Make policies explicit. Keep them simple, visible, and easy to understand.

5. Use feedback loops. Revisiting project goals regularly helps the team respond to changes and take advantage of new opportunities.

6. Improve collaboratively. Teams with a shared vision can work together to achieve continuous improvement. These evolutions should be based on metrics and experimentation.

Read more: Kanban vs. Scrum: What's the Difference?

When to use kanban

If you want to limit planning and meetings and focus on continuous improvement, kanban could be a good choice. It’s particularly effective in helping teams work through big backlogs or deal with frequent requests from stakeholders.

The Lean methodology focuses on maximizing value by reducing waste and improving efficiency. It’s another method that came from Toyota and has expanded in popularity well beyond manufacturing. 

Five core principles of lean

The Lean methodology centers on five principles, outlined in the book The Machine that Changed the World and Lean Thinking .

1. Understand value. Think about value from the customer’s perspective. What are they willing to pay?

2. Identify the value stream. Use visual techniques to map out the actions required to develop and launch a product. Use this map to identify areas of waste.

3. Create value flow. You can achieve this by eliminating waste due to things like excess inventory, time spent waiting, or performing more work than is necessary.

4. Use a pull approach. Deliver value as the customer requests it. This keeps the focus on delivering what the customer actually wants while eliminating time spent on features that might not be wanted or needed.

5. Continuously improve. Always be seeking perfection by assessing the project regularly for ways to reduce waste and enhance value.

When to use Lean

The focus on waste elimination makes Lean a natural fit for more traditional manufacturing projects. But it can also be effective in other industries, particularly when you want to keep the focus of development on the customer first.

6. Critical Path Method (CPM)

The Critical Path Method defines the longest sequence of tasks that must be completed to successfully complete a project. These are the tasks that, if stalled, could cause delays in the entire project. The method also maps out the dependencies between tasks and an estimate of how long each task will take to complete.

Mapping out these elements can help establish important project deadlines and define a more accurate project schedule.  

When to use CPM

CPM is best for projects with a well-defined series of tasks that need to be performed in a set order (construction projects, for example). It’s a good option to keep projects with a fixed deadline on schedule.

7. Critical Chain Management (CCM)

Where CPM focuses on time, the Critical Chain Method (CCM) shifts the focus to the supply chain. This method is used to map out a critical path based on resource availability. These resources could include people, physical space, equipment, or other physical components. Unlike a CPM map, a critical chain project management map includes scheduled “buffers” to remind a project team that a certain resource is necessary to finish a critical task. 

When to use CCM

CCM is well-suited for projects that rely on limited or time-sensitive resources to complete. Overestimating task durations by building in buffers helps teams meet deadlines even in the face of unforeseen circumstances.

PRINCE2 stands for Projects in Controlled Environments. It’s a process-based project management methodology used to answer certain basic questions in product development:

What are you trying to achieve?

When will you start?

What do you need to complete it?

Do you need help?

How long will it take?

How much will it cost?

While used primarily by the British government, the PRINCE2 method has been applied to projects in a variety of industries around the world. The method is designed to be scalable to fit a variety of projects.

When to use PRINCE2

PRINCE2 is particularly popular outside the US — it’s used in more than 150 different countries. If your project involves multinational stakeholders, it might be worth considering this method. The focus on robust organization makes it more appropriate for complex yet predictable projects.

The Project Management Body of Knowledge, or PMBOK for short, isn’t so much a methodology as a collection of best practices and guidelines outlined by the Project Management Institute (PMI). 

Did you know? The PMBOK Guide is currently in its seventh edition, published in 2021. This edition reflects the full range of development approaches and the evolving profession of project management.

The book, regularly updated by PMI, breaks down projects into the following stages, often referred to as the lifecycle of a project:


Decline / Retirement

For large companies managing multiple projects, PMBOK can help standardize terminology and practices across different departments.

When to use PMBOK

Just about every company and project can benefit from the standardized practices outlined in PMBOK. Project managers who pursue the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification will want to be familiar with the material.

The Projects Integrating Sustainable Methods (PRiSM) model of project management places an emphasis on environmental sustainability. Specifically, the method focuses on minimizing the ecological risks and increasing benefits that may impact the five Ps: people, planet, prosperity, process, and products.

Unlike other methodologies, PRiSM looks at projects beyond the scope of development to consider their impact beyond delivery.

Six principles of PRiSM

1. Commitment and accountability: Organizations should take responsibility for a clean environment, employee well-being, and equal opportunities. 

2. Ethics and decision-making: All decisions should take into account the short and long-term impacts on both society and the environment.

3. Integrated and transparent: Projects should promote financial, environmental, and social benefits at all policy levels.

4. Principal and values based: Projects should use technology to use resources more efficiently.

5. Social and ecological equity: Project managers should evaluate any impact a project many have on vulnerable populations or environmentally sensitive areas using demographic data.

6. Economic prosperity: Fiscal planning should balance the needs of company stakeholders and future generations.

When to use PRiSM

This approach is best for projects with an established environmental impact, such as real estate and industrial projects. It’s not as useful for things like software development, where environmental impact is less of a concern.

11. Six Sigma

Six Sigma, a quality management process developed at Motorola in the 1980s, comprises a set of tools and techniques to eliminate errors in development. This can help reduce costs and customer complaints stemming from errors.

The method generally takes a five-phase approach to improving existing processes:

Define: Analyze a business problem from a customer perspective.

Measure: Measure the problem in terms of data and define a performance metric.

Analyze: Quantify your goals and determine if your process is efficient and effective.

Improve: Find ways to improve process implementation.

Control: Implement and maintain the solution.

When to use Six Sigma

Six Sigma tends to be most effective in large organizations with several hundred or more employees. 

12. Extreme Project Management (XPM)

Doug DeCarlo, the creator of Extreme Project Management (XPM) defines it as “the art and science of facilitating and managing the flow of thoughts, emotions, and interactions in a way that produces valued outcomes under turbulent and complex conditions.”

This flexible approach helps teams adapt to the unknowns that pop up during a project, including frequent changes to requirements and complex project needs. For software development projects, this is sometimes referred to as extreme programming.

When to use XPM

XPM works best for short development cycles with less-defined product specifications. Teams that like to experiment to see what works could thrive with this method.

Hybrid Methodologies

Just as there’s no single “best” method for managing a project, you also don’t have to limit yourself to just one option. Project managers have mixed and matched to come up with new hybrid approaches, such as Lean Six Sigma or Scrumban (Scrum and Kanban).

How to choose a project management methodology

The best project management method for you will depend on your project, team, organization, and tools. Let’s take a quick look at some things to consider and questions you should ask yourself when choosing a PM methodology.

1. Evaluate the project. Does your project have fixed or flexible requirements? Is the finished product well-defined, or will the team take a creative approach to defining it? How complex is it, and how long will it take to complete? What physical resources are involved? Will the stakeholders or clients be readily available, and how involved would they like to be?

2. Consider your team. Some methods work well with small, self-managing teams. Others lend structure to larger cross-functional teams. Also take into account what method your team might already be used to. Would the benefits of implementing a new method outweigh the time cost of teaching it?

3. Look at the organization. What are your company’s goals and values? You’ll want to choose a methodology that aligns with these elements. Some companies may prefer and employ a particular approach that you’ll need to adapt to.

4. Think about your tools. Some project management tools are flexible enough to work with various different methodologies. Others might be more specific to a particular approach. Make sure the tools and project management software you’re proficient in are a good match for whatever methodology you select.

Explore project management with Coursera

Taking online courses can be a great way to gain job-ready skills and get hands-on experience with different project management methodologies. Start learning today with one of Coursera's top-rated courses:

To build foundational knowledge in this field , consider the University of Virginia's Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management course. This course takes about nine hours to complete and covers how to sequence project tasks, determining a critical path, address risks, and execute a project.

To learn Six Sigma and Lean approaches , consider the University System of Georgia's Six Sigma Yellow Belt Specialization . In about a month, you'll learn methods that help improve business processes and performance and apply these methods to a course project.

To explore project management more broadly and earn a credential , consider the Google Project Management Professional Certificate . In as little as six months, you'll learn about traditional and Agile methods, access career resources, and get connected with top employers through the Google hiring consortium.

Article sources

Merriam-Webster. " Definition of methodology , https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/methodology." Accessed July 17, 2023.

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  • Knowledge Base
  • Dissertation
  • What Is a Research Methodology? | Steps & Tips

What Is a Research Methodology? | Steps & Tips

Published on August 25, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on November 20, 2023.

Your research methodology discusses and explains the data collection and analysis methods you used in your research. A key part of your thesis, dissertation , or research paper , the methodology chapter explains what you did and how you did it, allowing readers to evaluate the reliability and validity of your research and your dissertation topic .

It should include:

  • The type of research you conducted
  • How you collected and analyzed your data
  • Any tools or materials you used in the research
  • How you mitigated or avoided research biases
  • Why you chose these methods
  • Your methodology section should generally be written in the past tense .
  • Academic style guides in your field may provide detailed guidelines on what to include for different types of studies.
  • Your citation style might provide guidelines for your methodology section (e.g., an APA Style methods section ).

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Table of contents

How to write a research methodology, why is a methods section important, step 1: explain your methodological approach, step 2: describe your data collection methods, step 3: describe your analysis method, step 4: evaluate and justify the methodological choices you made, tips for writing a strong methodology chapter, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about methodology.

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Your methods section is your opportunity to share how you conducted your research and why you chose the methods you chose. It’s also the place to show that your research was rigorously conducted and can be replicated .

It gives your research legitimacy and situates it within your field, and also gives your readers a place to refer to if they have any questions or critiques in other sections.

You can start by introducing your overall approach to your research. You have two options here.

Option 1: Start with your “what”

What research problem or question did you investigate?

  • Aim to describe the characteristics of something?
  • Explore an under-researched topic?
  • Establish a causal relationship?

And what type of data did you need to achieve this aim?

  • Quantitative data , qualitative data , or a mix of both?
  • Primary data collected yourself, or secondary data collected by someone else?
  • Experimental data gathered by controlling and manipulating variables, or descriptive data gathered via observations?

Option 2: Start with your “why”

Depending on your discipline, you can also start with a discussion of the rationale and assumptions underpinning your methodology. In other words, why did you choose these methods for your study?

  • Why is this the best way to answer your research question?
  • Is this a standard methodology in your field, or does it require justification?
  • Were there any ethical considerations involved in your choices?
  • What are the criteria for validity and reliability in this type of research ? How did you prevent bias from affecting your data?

Once you have introduced your reader to your methodological approach, you should share full details about your data collection methods .

Quantitative methods

In order to be considered generalizable, you should describe quantitative research methods in enough detail for another researcher to replicate your study.

Here, explain how you operationalized your concepts and measured your variables. Discuss your sampling method or inclusion and exclusion criteria , as well as any tools, procedures, and materials you used to gather your data.

Surveys Describe where, when, and how the survey was conducted.

  • How did you design the questionnaire?
  • What form did your questions take (e.g., multiple choice, Likert scale )?
  • Were your surveys conducted in-person or virtually?
  • What sampling method did you use to select participants?
  • What was your sample size and response rate?

Experiments Share full details of the tools, techniques, and procedures you used to conduct your experiment.

  • How did you design the experiment ?
  • How did you recruit participants?
  • How did you manipulate and measure the variables ?
  • What tools did you use?

Existing data Explain how you gathered and selected the material (such as datasets or archival data) that you used in your analysis.

  • Where did you source the material?
  • How was the data originally produced?
  • What criteria did you use to select material (e.g., date range)?

The survey consisted of 5 multiple-choice questions and 10 questions measured on a 7-point Likert scale.

The goal was to collect survey responses from 350 customers visiting the fitness apparel company’s brick-and-mortar location in Boston on July 4–8, 2022, between 11:00 and 15:00.

Here, a customer was defined as a person who had purchased a product from the company on the day they took the survey. Participants were given 5 minutes to fill in the survey anonymously. In total, 408 customers responded, but not all surveys were fully completed. Due to this, 371 survey results were included in the analysis.

  • Information bias
  • Omitted variable bias
  • Regression to the mean
  • Survivorship bias
  • Undercoverage bias
  • Sampling bias

Qualitative methods

In qualitative research , methods are often more flexible and subjective. For this reason, it’s crucial to robustly explain the methodology choices you made.

Be sure to discuss the criteria you used to select your data, the context in which your research was conducted, and the role you played in collecting your data (e.g., were you an active participant, or a passive observer?)

Interviews or focus groups Describe where, when, and how the interviews were conducted.

  • How did you find and select participants?
  • How many participants took part?
  • What form did the interviews take ( structured , semi-structured , or unstructured )?
  • How long were the interviews?
  • How were they recorded?

Participant observation Describe where, when, and how you conducted the observation or ethnography .

  • What group or community did you observe? How long did you spend there?
  • How did you gain access to this group? What role did you play in the community?
  • How long did you spend conducting the research? Where was it located?
  • How did you record your data (e.g., audiovisual recordings, note-taking)?

Existing data Explain how you selected case study materials for your analysis.

  • What type of materials did you analyze?
  • How did you select them?

In order to gain better insight into possibilities for future improvement of the fitness store’s product range, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 8 returning customers.

Here, a returning customer was defined as someone who usually bought products at least twice a week from the store.

Surveys were used to select participants. Interviews were conducted in a small office next to the cash register and lasted approximately 20 minutes each. Answers were recorded by note-taking, and seven interviews were also filmed with consent. One interviewee preferred not to be filmed.

  • The Hawthorne effect
  • Observer bias
  • The placebo effect
  • Response bias and Nonresponse bias
  • The Pygmalion effect
  • Recall bias
  • Social desirability bias
  • Self-selection bias

Mixed methods

Mixed methods research combines quantitative and qualitative approaches. If a standalone quantitative or qualitative study is insufficient to answer your research question, mixed methods may be a good fit for you.

Mixed methods are less common than standalone analyses, largely because they require a great deal of effort to pull off successfully. If you choose to pursue mixed methods, it’s especially important to robustly justify your methods.

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Next, you should indicate how you processed and analyzed your data. Avoid going into too much detail: you should not start introducing or discussing any of your results at this stage.

In quantitative research , your analysis will be based on numbers. In your methods section, you can include:

  • How you prepared the data before analyzing it (e.g., checking for missing data , removing outliers , transforming variables)
  • Which software you used (e.g., SPSS, Stata or R)
  • Which statistical tests you used (e.g., two-tailed t test , simple linear regression )

In qualitative research, your analysis will be based on language, images, and observations (often involving some form of textual analysis ).

Specific methods might include:

  • Content analysis : Categorizing and discussing the meaning of words, phrases and sentences
  • Thematic analysis : Coding and closely examining the data to identify broad themes and patterns
  • Discourse analysis : Studying communication and meaning in relation to their social context

Mixed methods combine the above two research methods, integrating both qualitative and quantitative approaches into one coherent analytical process.

Above all, your methodology section should clearly make the case for why you chose the methods you did. This is especially true if you did not take the most standard approach to your topic. In this case, discuss why other methods were not suitable for your objectives, and show how this approach contributes new knowledge or understanding.

In any case, it should be overwhelmingly clear to your reader that you set yourself up for success in terms of your methodology’s design. Show how your methods should lead to results that are valid and reliable, while leaving the analysis of the meaning, importance, and relevance of your results for your discussion section .

  • Quantitative: Lab-based experiments cannot always accurately simulate real-life situations and behaviors, but they are effective for testing causal relationships between variables .
  • Qualitative: Unstructured interviews usually produce results that cannot be generalized beyond the sample group , but they provide a more in-depth understanding of participants’ perceptions, motivations, and emotions.
  • Mixed methods: Despite issues systematically comparing differing types of data, a solely quantitative study would not sufficiently incorporate the lived experience of each participant, while a solely qualitative study would be insufficiently generalizable.

Remember that your aim is not just to describe your methods, but to show how and why you applied them. Again, it’s critical to demonstrate that your research was rigorously conducted and can be replicated.

1. Focus on your objectives and research questions

The methodology section should clearly show why your methods suit your objectives and convince the reader that you chose the best possible approach to answering your problem statement and research questions .

2. Cite relevant sources

Your methodology can be strengthened by referencing existing research in your field. This can help you to:

  • Show that you followed established practice for your type of research
  • Discuss how you decided on your approach by evaluating existing research
  • Present a novel methodological approach to address a gap in the literature

3. Write for your audience

Consider how much information you need to give, and avoid getting too lengthy. If you are using methods that are standard for your discipline, you probably don’t need to give a lot of background or justification.

Regardless, your methodology should be a clear, well-structured text that makes an argument for your approach, not just a list of technical details and procedures.

If you want to know more about statistics , methodology , or research bias , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • Normal distribution
  • Measures of central tendency
  • Chi square tests
  • Confidence interval
  • Quartiles & Quantiles


  • Cluster sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Thematic analysis
  • Cohort study
  • Peer review
  • Ethnography

Research bias

  • Implicit bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Conformity bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Availability heuristic
  • Attrition bias

Methodology refers to the overarching strategy and rationale of your research project . It involves studying the methods used in your field and the theories or principles behind them, in order to develop an approach that matches your objectives.

Methods are the specific tools and procedures you use to collect and analyze data (for example, experiments, surveys , and statistical tests ).

In shorter scientific papers, where the aim is to report the findings of a specific study, you might simply describe what you did in a methods section .

In a longer or more complex research project, such as a thesis or dissertation , you will probably include a methodology section , where you explain your approach to answering the research questions and cite relevant sources to support your choice of methods.

In a scientific paper, the methodology always comes after the introduction and before the results , discussion and conclusion . The same basic structure also applies to a thesis, dissertation , or research proposal .

Depending on the length and type of document, you might also include a literature review or theoretical framework before the methodology.

Quantitative research deals with numbers and statistics, while qualitative research deals with words and meanings.

Quantitative methods allow you to systematically measure variables and test hypotheses . Qualitative methods allow you to explore concepts and experiences in more detail.

Reliability and validity are both about how well a method measures something:

  • Reliability refers to the  consistency of a measure (whether the results can be reproduced under the same conditions).
  • Validity   refers to the  accuracy of a measure (whether the results really do represent what they are supposed to measure).

If you are doing experimental research, you also have to consider the internal and external validity of your experiment.

A sample is a subset of individuals from a larger population . Sampling means selecting the group that you will actually collect data from in your research. For example, if you are researching the opinions of students in your university, you could survey a sample of 100 students.

In statistics, sampling allows you to test a hypothesis about the characteristics of a population.

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Before your team can take action and start working towards project goals, you need a project proposal to highlight the value of your project, outline what you hope to achieve, and secure stakeholder buy-in.

Read on to learn about project proposal templates, their importance, how to create one, and even DOWNLOAD your FREE project proposal template.

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What is a Project Proposal?

A project proposal is a written document outlining a project’s details and essential information, such as the timeline, budget, scope, objectives, and goals. Beyond just providing project details, the project proposal should paint a clear picture of the project, its’ importance, and why stakeholders should buy in. 

Why is a Project Proposal Important?

The project proposal is the cornerstone of the pre-project process and it is a prerequisite to beginning project work. During the pre-project phase, the project proposal serves as a vessel, translating ideas about the project into a concrete plan that’s easily relayed to stakeholders. However, once stakeholder buy-in is secured, the project proposal continues to serve as a valuable resource for the project team, by laying the framework for other essential documents, such as the project charter and business case. 

How is a Project Proposal Different from Other Documents? 

While project proposals are often confused with project charters, they are distinctly different. The project proposal is drafted and presented to key stakeholders before the project lifecycle ever begins. The project charter includes many of the same components as a project proposal, including the expected timeline, budget, stakeholders, scope, and potential risks, but it’s delivered after stakeholder approval to start the project is secured. Project proposals are also commonly confused with project proposals because of their close association with each other, yet, business cases, similar to project charters, are drafted after the project lifecycle has begun. 

Parts of a Project Proposal

The presentation and delivery of a project proposal may vary based on the type of proposal, but overall, it should include a few universal components that speak to crucial questions about the project itself, such as:


The introduction of your project proposal provides a quick overview of the project without going into granular detail. While this portion of the proposal is usually under 500 words, it should provide a general roadmap of what you plan to accomplish with some context about the project itself. 

The Problem

The problem portion of your project proposal, also considered the background phase, should detail what problem your project aims to solve while highlighting the significance of this project in comparison to your organization’s unique goals and history. 

The Solution

The solution phase is the time to roll out the details of your project, the advantages that it will bring your organization, and how you plan to make the project successful. Be sure to make clear connections between your project solution and existing company pain points, while highlighting how your project can address them. As you outline the advantages of the project, also include details about potential risks and mitigation strategies. 

Deliverables & Goals

The deliverables and goals segment should clearly outline the SMART goals you have set in place to accomplish key project goals, as well as how those goals relate back to organizational needs. Now is the time to also outline key deliverables, as well as the tentative timeline for them to be delivered.

When it comes to project planning, resource management is an essential part of the process. You’ll need to consider a wide variety of resource types: from team members to external contractors, tangible resources (such as software), and financial resources. During this portion of the proposal, you should outline a budget for the project while detailing the resources you will require. 

Closing Remarks

The closing remarks section should quickly summarize the information you’ve presented while tying up any loose ends. Consider that stakeholders will likely have follow-up questions, which you should be prepared to answer. 

Types of Project Proposals

There are numerous types of project proposals based on their intended use:

Solicited project proposals are sent in response to a request for a proposal document sent expressing interest in a project or initiative. This type of project proposal is often used to compare proposals from multiple vendors who are both under consideration for a job, which is common in bid-focused industries such as construction. 


Unsolicited project proposals allow you to bring a new idea to the table to solve a company problem or optimize an existing process. While this type of proposal is not asked for, it gives you a chance to advocate for a new project that might have otherwise been overlooked. 

An informal project proposal is a simple outline of a project that does not follow the formal format. Informal proposals can come in a variety of formats but ultimately need to be much more succinct than a formal proposal, conveying only the essential details and getting to the point quickly.

A project renewal proposal is common in a circumstance where a project needs to restart again. This type of proposal is typically used to convey the success of a previous project and highlight why similar results can be achieved if a renewal is granted. 


A project continuation proposal, similar to a project renewal proposal, is sent to request additional time or resources to prolong the project. For example, if a project needs additional resources to be completed, a continuation is the best choice of proposal. 

How to Write a Project Proposal 

  • Understand the Problem

In order to write a proper proposal, you need to highlight your understanding of the problem and how the project addresses those problems. 

  • Flush Out the Solution & Endgoals

When writing a proposal, it’s helpful to reverse engineer your thinking to identify your end goals first, working backward to create a plan for making those goals possible. 

  • Outline Your Deliverables 

Create a comprehensive list of deliverables that you expect to deliver, considering what order they will need to be delivered in. This stage can also help you flush out task assignments and deadlines as you move into the action phase of the project after stakeholders give the green light. 

  • Consider Any Obstacles or Challenges

Don’t get so caught up in the positives of your project that you forget to consider any risks, obstacles, or challenges you may encounter. 

  • Create a Plan for Tackling the Project (Schedule/Budget/Etc)

While the plan itself will likely change after the proposal phase, you need to present a rough idea of the schedule, budget, resources needed, and for larger projects, the phases your project will follow. 

  • Polish It Up 

After you’ve drafted your proposal, take the time to step away from it and come back later with fresh eyes to edit. Polish it up by adding in any final details, reformatting any hard-to-read sections, and considering questions that stakeholders may have.

Download Your FREE All-In-One Project Proposal Template

Featured partners: project management software, {{ title }}, what are some top tips for writing a project proposal.

  • Work better together: Whenever possible, having a second set of hands (and eyes) on deck to make brainstorming, drafting, and editing the proposal easier is ideal. 
  • Plan ahead of time: The last thing you want to do when drafting a project proposal is to procrastinate. Plan ahead to ensure that you have enough time to properly draft and edit your proposal without being under a time crunch. 
  • Don’t overanalyze: While it’s important to compile a credible and thoughtful proposal, know that details are subject to change if approval is given.

What are some commonly asked questions when presenting a proposal?

While specific questions will vary based on project specifics and industry, there are a few common questions you should expect, for example:

  • How will this project affect the status quo? (Considering the current team workload, resource budgeting, and company pain points)
  • How will this project improve our organization?
  • What will success look like in the context of this project?

How can I decide what project proposal format is best for my team?

The most important factor in deciding which project proposal format is the intention behind your proposal. If you’re looking to extend an existing project, for example, a project continuation proposal is the best fit. However, contemplating a formal vs informal proposal, for example, can be a harder choice. 

Ultimately, the best way to decide is to consider your unique situation while taking into account project proposals that have had success previously. For example, if your organization prefers a more informal approach, then a less formal proposal might be the best fit.

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Q: How do I write the methods section of a research proposal?

Asked on 08 May, 2019

The methods section of a research proposal contains details about how you will conduct your research. It includes your study design - the methodology and methods that you plan to use - as well as your work plan - the activities that you plan to undertake to complete your project.

The methods section of a research proposal must contain all the necessary information that will facilitate another researcher to replicate your research. The purpose of writing this section is to convince the funding agency that the methods you plan to use are sound and this is the most suitable approach to address the problem you have chosen.

You must also demonstrate your understanding of alternative methods to show that you have made a sound and well-calculated judgment. The methods section of your research proposal should answer the following questions:

  • What is your study design and why did you choose it?
  • Is the study qualitative or quantitative?
  • What are the methods you will use to collect data?
  • Who will be the participants of your study?
  • What procedures/activities will the study involve?
  • How long will the experiments/study take to get completed?

You might find this course helpful: How to write the perfect methods section

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  • How to write a statement of problem for your research proposal
  • Top tips for researchers on how to avoid grant proposal rejection
  • 15 Key tips for writing a winning grant proposal
  • 10 Tips to write an effective research grant proposal

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Home » How To Write A Proposal – Step By Step Guide [With Template]

How To Write A Proposal – Step By Step Guide [With Template]

Table of Contents

How To Write A Proposal

How To Write A Proposal

Writing a Proposal involves several key steps to effectively communicate your ideas and intentions to a target audience. Here’s a detailed breakdown of each step:

Identify the Purpose and Audience

  • Clearly define the purpose of your proposal: What problem are you addressing, what solution are you proposing, or what goal are you aiming to achieve?
  • Identify your target audience: Who will be reading your proposal? Consider their background, interests, and any specific requirements they may have.

Conduct Research

  • Gather relevant information: Conduct thorough research to support your proposal. This may involve studying existing literature, analyzing data, or conducting surveys/interviews to gather necessary facts and evidence.
  • Understand the context: Familiarize yourself with the current situation or problem you’re addressing. Identify any relevant trends, challenges, or opportunities that may impact your proposal.

Develop an Outline

  • Create a clear and logical structure: Divide your proposal into sections or headings that will guide your readers through the content.
  • Introduction: Provide a concise overview of the problem, its significance, and the proposed solution.
  • Background/Context: Offer relevant background information and context to help the readers understand the situation.
  • Objectives/Goals: Clearly state the objectives or goals of your proposal.
  • Methodology/Approach: Describe the approach or methodology you will use to address the problem.
  • Timeline/Schedule: Present a detailed timeline or schedule outlining the key milestones or activities.
  • Budget/Resources: Specify the financial and other resources required to implement your proposal.
  • Evaluation/Success Metrics: Explain how you will measure the success or effectiveness of your proposal.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the main points and restate the benefits of your proposal.

Write the Proposal

  • Grab attention: Start with a compelling opening statement or a brief story that hooks the reader.
  • Clearly state the problem: Clearly define the problem or issue you are addressing and explain its significance.
  • Present your proposal: Introduce your proposed solution, project, or idea and explain why it is the best approach.
  • State the objectives/goals: Clearly articulate the specific objectives or goals your proposal aims to achieve.
  • Provide supporting information: Present evidence, data, or examples to support your claims and justify your proposal.
  • Explain the methodology: Describe in detail the approach, methods, or strategies you will use to implement your proposal.
  • Address potential concerns: Anticipate and address any potential objections or challenges the readers may have and provide counterarguments or mitigation strategies.
  • Recap the main points: Summarize the key points you’ve discussed in the proposal.
  • Reinforce the benefits: Emphasize the positive outcomes, benefits, or impact your proposal will have.
  • Call to action: Clearly state what action you want the readers to take, such as approving the proposal, providing funding, or collaborating with you.

Review and Revise

  • Proofread for clarity and coherence: Check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
  • Ensure a logical flow: Read through your proposal to ensure the ideas are presented in a logical order and are easy to follow.
  • Revise and refine: Fine-tune your proposal to make it concise, persuasive, and compelling.

Add Supplementary Materials

  • Attach relevant documents: Include any supporting materials that strengthen your proposal, such as research findings, charts, graphs, or testimonials.
  • Appendices: Add any additional information that might be useful but not essential to the main body of the proposal.

Formatting and Presentation

  • Follow the guidelines: Adhere to any specific formatting guidelines provided by the organization or institution to which you are submitting the proposal.
  • Use a professional tone and language: Ensure that your proposal is written in a clear, concise, and professional manner.
  • Use headings and subheadings: Organize your proposal with clear headings and subheadings to improve readability.
  • Pay attention to design: Use appropriate fonts, font sizes, and formatting styles to make your proposal visually appealing.
  • Include a cover page: Create a cover page that includes the title of your proposal, your name or organization, the date, and any other required information.

Seek Feedback

  • Share your proposal with trusted colleagues or mentors and ask for their feedback. Consider their suggestions for improvement and incorporate them into your proposal if necessary.

Finalize and Submit

  • Make any final revisions based on the feedback received.
  • Ensure that all required sections, attachments, and documentation are included.
  • Double-check for any formatting, grammar, or spelling errors.
  • Submit your proposal within the designated deadline and according to the submission guidelines provided.

Proposal Format

The format of a proposal can vary depending on the specific requirements of the organization or institution you are submitting it to. However, here is a general proposal format that you can follow:

1. Title Page:

  • Include the title of your proposal, your name or organization’s name, the date, and any other relevant information specified by the guidelines.

2. Executive Summary:

  •  Provide a concise overview of your proposal, highlighting the key points and objectives.
  • Summarize the problem, proposed solution, and anticipated benefits.
  • Keep it brief and engaging, as this section is often read first and should capture the reader’s attention.

3. Introduction:

  • State the problem or issue you are addressing and its significance.
  • Provide background information to help the reader understand the context and importance of the problem.
  • Clearly state the purpose and objectives of your proposal.

4. Problem Statement:

  • Describe the problem in detail, highlighting its impact and consequences.
  • Use data, statistics, or examples to support your claims and demonstrate the need for a solution.

5. Proposed Solution or Project Description:

  • Explain your proposed solution or project in a clear and detailed manner.
  • Describe how your solution addresses the problem and why it is the most effective approach.
  • Include information on the methods, strategies, or activities you will undertake to implement your solution.
  • Highlight any unique features, innovations, or advantages of your proposal.

6. Methodology:

  • Provide a step-by-step explanation of the methodology or approach you will use to implement your proposal.
  • Include a timeline or schedule that outlines the key milestones, tasks, and deliverables.
  • Clearly describe the resources, personnel, or expertise required for each phase of the project.

7. Evaluation and Success Metrics:

  • Explain how you will measure the success or effectiveness of your proposal.
  • Identify specific metrics, indicators, or evaluation methods that will be used.
  • Describe how you will track progress, gather feedback, and make adjustments as needed.
  • Present a detailed budget that outlines the financial resources required for your proposal.
  • Include all relevant costs, such as personnel, materials, equipment, and any other expenses.
  • Provide a justification for each item in the budget.

9. Conclusion:

  •  Summarize the main points of your proposal.
  •  Reiterate the benefits and positive outcomes of implementing your proposal.
  • Emphasize the value and impact it will have on the organization or community.

10. Appendices:

  • Include any additional supporting materials, such as research findings, charts, graphs, or testimonials.
  •  Attach any relevant documents that provide further information but are not essential to the main body of the proposal.

Proposal Template

Here’s a basic proposal template that you can use as a starting point for creating your own proposal:

Dear [Recipient’s Name],

I am writing to submit a proposal for [briefly state the purpose of the proposal and its significance]. This proposal outlines a comprehensive solution to address [describe the problem or issue] and presents an actionable plan to achieve the desired objectives.

Thank you for considering this proposal. I believe that implementing this solution will significantly contribute to [organization’s or community’s goals]. I am available to discuss the proposal in more detail at your convenience. Please feel free to contact me at [your email address or phone number].

Yours sincerely,

Note: This template is a starting point and should be customized to meet the specific requirements and guidelines provided by the organization or institution to which you are submitting the proposal.

Proposal Sample

Here’s a sample proposal to give you an idea of how it could be structured and written:

Subject : Proposal for Implementation of Environmental Education Program

I am pleased to submit this proposal for your consideration, outlining a comprehensive plan for the implementation of an Environmental Education Program. This program aims to address the critical need for environmental awareness and education among the community, with the objective of fostering a sense of responsibility and sustainability.

Executive Summary: Our proposed Environmental Education Program is designed to provide engaging and interactive educational opportunities for individuals of all ages. By combining classroom learning, hands-on activities, and community engagement, we aim to create a long-lasting impact on environmental conservation practices and attitudes.

Introduction: The state of our environment is facing significant challenges, including climate change, habitat loss, and pollution. It is essential to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to understand these issues and take action. This proposal seeks to bridge the gap in environmental education and inspire a sense of environmental stewardship among the community.

Problem Statement: The lack of environmental education programs has resulted in limited awareness and understanding of environmental issues. As a result, individuals are less likely to adopt sustainable practices or actively contribute to conservation efforts. Our program aims to address this gap and empower individuals to become environmentally conscious and responsible citizens.

Proposed Solution or Project Description: Our Environmental Education Program will comprise a range of activities, including workshops, field trips, and community initiatives. We will collaborate with local schools, community centers, and environmental organizations to ensure broad participation and maximum impact. By incorporating interactive learning experiences, such as nature walks, recycling drives, and eco-craft sessions, we aim to make environmental education engaging and enjoyable.

Methodology: Our program will be structured into modules that cover key environmental themes, such as biodiversity, climate change, waste management, and sustainable living. Each module will include a mix of classroom sessions, hands-on activities, and practical field experiences. We will also leverage technology, such as educational apps and online resources, to enhance learning outcomes.

Evaluation and Success Metrics: We will employ a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Pre- and post-assessments will gauge knowledge gain, while surveys and feedback forms will assess participant satisfaction and behavior change. We will also track the number of community engagement activities and the adoption of sustainable practices as indicators of success.

Budget: Please find attached a detailed budget breakdown for the implementation of the Environmental Education Program. The budget covers personnel costs, materials and supplies, transportation, and outreach expenses. We have ensured cost-effectiveness while maintaining the quality and impact of the program.

Conclusion: By implementing this Environmental Education Program, we have the opportunity to make a significant difference in our community’s environmental consciousness and practices. We are confident that this program will foster a generation of individuals who are passionate about protecting our environment and taking sustainable actions. We look forward to discussing the proposal further and working together to make a positive impact.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Should you have any questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at [your email address or phone number].

About the author

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Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

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National Academies Press: OpenBook

An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program: Project Methodology (2004)

Chapter: annex b sample proposal.

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Annex B: Sample Proposal NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL Capitalizing on Science, Technology, and Innovation: An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program Proposal to the National Institutes of Health (Sample) I. Overview A. Summary The Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) is one of the largest government-industry partnerships in the United States. At approximately $1.2 billion annually, it will continue to expand with increases in federal funding for research. In anticipation of this expansion, the relevant Congressional Committees believe that the SBIR program would benefit from an objective review of the program's operation. As part of the recent renewal of the SBIR program, the Congress mandated (H.R. 5667: Section 108) that the National Research Council (NRC) undertake a comprehensive study of how the SBIR program has stimulated technological innovation and used small businesses to meet federal research and development needs at the five agencies which have SBIR programs larger than $50 million annually. The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) SBIR program is included within these legislated parameters. The NRC is tasked with carrying out this study and must contract with the relevant agencies no later than 20 June 2001. To comply with this legislation, the NRC hereby proposes a study of the SBIR program at the NIH, for an initial period of three years.76 This study is to be carried out in close cooperation with NIH officials and program managers. Results of the study will be integrated, as appropriate, into a broader report on the contributions of the SBIR program as a whole to federal research and development needs. B. Statement of Task The program for the NIH, currently funded at approximately $410 million annually, is one of the larger components of the SBIR program. Moreover, as the importance of the NIH’s SBIR program continues to expand, it can help the NIH maximize the return on its R&D budget. The study will: • Satisfy the Congressional mandate for an objective, external assessment of the program; • Provide an empirical analysis of the operations of the SBIR program, including both quality of research and commercialization of awards, for NIH officials and program managers; • Address research questions relevant to the program’s operation and evaluation that emerge in the course of the study of the NIH SBIR program; • Contribute to a comprehensive assessment of the program and to Congressional understanding of its accomplishments, challenges, and ongoing contributions. This study will review the NIH program with regard to parameters such as the quality of the research projects being conducted under the SBIR program, the commercialization of the research, and the program’s contribution to accomplishing the NIH missions. To the extent possible, the evaluation will 76 The legislation calls for a six-year study. In agreement with the NIH, the NRC proposes an initial three-year effort to be followed by a review and agreement as to the requirements for the second phase of the analysis. 36

include estimates of the benefits, both economic and non-economic, achieved by the SBIR program, as well as broader policy issues associated with public-private collaborations for technology development and government support for high technology innovation, including benchmarking of foreign programs to encourage small business development. Where appropriate, operational improvements to the program will be considered. The project will assess the contributions of the SBIR program with regard to economic growth, technology development and commercialization, and contributions by small business awardees to the accomplishment of agency missions, while seeking to identify best practice for the operation of the SBIR program. The project will encourage cross-fertilization among program managers, agency officials, and participants by convening national experts from industry, academia, and the public sector to review and discuss research findings. II. Background A. NRC and Technology Policy Since 1991, the National Research Council has undertaken a program of activities to improve policy makers' understandings of the interconnections of science, technology, and economic policy and their importance for the American economy and its international competitive position. The NRC's activities have corresponded with increased policy recognition of the importance of technology to economic growth. New economic growth theory emphasizes the role of technology creation, which is believed to be characterized by significant growth externalities. In addition, many economists have recognized the limitations of traditional trade theory, particularly with respect to the reality of imperfect international competition. Recent economic analysis suggests that high-technology is often characterized by increasing rather than decreasing returns, justifying to some the proposition that governments can capture permanent advantage in key industries by providing relatively small, but potentially decisive support to bring national industries up the learning curve and down the cost curve. There is also growing attention given to the potential of science-based economic growth derived from clusters of universities, laboratories, leading corporations, and dynamic small businesses. Recognition of these linkages and the corresponding ability of governments to shift comparative advantage in favor of the national economy provides the intellectual underpinning for government support for high-technology industry and especially small business. B. Policy Context The creation of new high technology business is a central concern of policymakers around the world. Starting in the late 1970s and accelerating in the 1980s, a growing body of empirical evidence began to indicate an increasing role for small business in job creation and innovation.77 A recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) confirms policymakers’ perceptions that small and medium-sized enterprises are major sources of economic vitality, flexibility, and employment.78 In the United States, programs to support high technology business were launched during a time of increasing concern over the ability of U.S. companies to commercialize R&D results. A prominent element in the diagnosis of America’s economic ills during this period involved the country’s failure to successfully commercialize new technologies developed by researchers. A recent report by the National Research Council recalls how the “gloomy picture of U.S. industrial competitiveness” in the 1980s was frequently cast in terms of American industry’s failure “to translate its research prowess into commercial advantage.”79 One of the strategies adopted by the United States in response to its loss, or 77 Zoltan J. Acs and David B. Audretsch, Innovation and Small Business. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991. For specifics on job growth, see Steven J. Davis, John Haltiwanger, and Scott Schuh, “Small Business and Job Creation: Dissecting the Myth and Reassessing the Facts,” Business Economics, vol. 29, no. 3, 1994, pp. 113-22. 78 Small business is especially important as a source of new employment, accounting for a disproportionate share of job creation. See OECD, Small Business Job Creation and Growth: Facts, Obstacles, and Best Practices. OECD, Paris, 1997. 79 David C. Mowery, “America’s Industrial Resurgence (?): An Overview,” in David C. Mowery, ed., U.S. Industry in 2000: Studies in Competitive Performance. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1999, p. 1. This volume examines 11 economic sectors, contrasting the improved performance of many industries in the late 1990s with the apparent decline that was subject to much scrutiny in the 1980s. Among the studies highlighting poor economic performance in the 1980s include Dertouzos, et. al., Made in America: The MIT Commission on Industrial Productivity, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1989 and Eckstein, et al., DRI Report on U.S. Manufacturing Industries, New York: McGraw Hill, 1984. 37

perceived loss, in competitiveness in some sectors was to encourage greater cooperation among companies and between industry and government. The rapid growth of small firms into large, sometimes very large firms is one of the defining features of the late eighties and the nineties. These new firms have been instrumental in bringing new products and processes to the market. As the allocation and relative shares of the U.S. research and development budgets continue to evolve, small business is recognized as a major source of economic growth and technological innovation. Improved understanding of the policy questions associated with programs to encourage the commercialization of research by small business is therefore important. Indeed, the interrelationship among universities, industry, and government is a central element of the national innovation system, and one in which the SBIR program plays an increasingly salient role. From an international perspective, understanding the benefits and challenges of this type of program is also valuable insofar as they have been, and remain, a central element in the national development strategies of both industrial and industrializing countries. Recent data collected by the OECD suggests that worldwide government expenditure on support for high-technology industry and small business continues to rise. The proliferation of these programs provides a rich base of experience and underscores the current policy relevance of national programs to encourage small business development. C. Recent National Research Council Contributions The NRC has demonstrated its capability in the area of research and technological innovation by small companies through its major study on Government-Industry Partnerships for the Development of New Technologies. This multiyear, multifaceted study reviews the drivers of industry-university-government cooperation for technology development, current partnership practices and challenges, sectoral differences, means of evaluation, and the experience of foreign-based partnerships. Under this project, the NRC conducted an overview of the SBIR program80 and initiated the first large-scale, independent assessment of the SBIR program at the Department of Defense.81 The extensive research carried out by the National Research Council’s team of nationally recognized scholars has achieved substantial progress in terms of research techniques, understanding of SBIR program objectives, and the development of promising lines of inquiry for additional research. One of the major recommendations of the recent Academy analysis was the need for additional research.82 The Congressional mandate, joined with the NRC’s established methodology and the tacit knowledge acquired by the research team, offer a unique opportunity for an informed assessment of the NIH SBIR program. D. Steering Committee Oversight Drawing on the considerable public and corporate interest in these issues, the NRC will assemble a multidisciplinary Steering Committee to oversee the project and the review of the NIH’s SBIR program. The Committee will include industry leaders, expert academics, successful entrepreneurs with experience in the SBIR program, and experienced public policy makers with extensive knowledge of the SBIR program as well as issues associated with R&D and business development. To address the broad range of issues taken up by the project, the Committee will convene a series of fact- finding workshops, symposia, and conferences, and commission analyses of existing partnerships to establish the basis for a consensus report by the Academies. In light of the interest in the issues under review by the project, the Committee will issue intermediate reports as required to highlight important issues for the program and enable the Committee to respond to research questions as they emerge. III. Goals, Methodology, and Deliverables A. Overall Goals of the Study 80 See National Research Council, The Small Business Innovation Research Program: Challenges and Opportunities. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1999. 81 National Research Council, The Small Business Innovation Research Program: An Assessment of the Department of Defense Fast Track Initiative. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, October 2000. 82 Ibid 38

A major advantage of this project is that although it will be carried out as a separate activity, the analysis will be conducted in the context of a multiyear, multifaceted assessment of the SBIR program in the five agencies accounting for 96 percent of program expenditure, as called for in H.R. 5667. Combined with the Academies’ current work on government-industry partnerships, this brings substantial benefits in terms of the expertise, experience base, and related work already undertaken. The two publications by the NRC on the SBIR program, cited above, illustrate this advantage. For the study as a whole, the overall goals are to develop: 1. Improved understanding of the conditions associated with successful and unsuccessful outcomes for the SBIR program. This includes but is not limited to mission-related R&D including procurement, small business development and growth, and the commercialization of new products and processes; 2. Best practice principles of operation, based on U.S. and foreign experience, for the SBIR program to support high technology small business and entrepreneurship. The SBIR program continues to grow as the federal R&D budget rises. This expansion highlights the need for better understanding by public policymakers and private participants alike of the rationale for public contributions and the conditions most likely to ensure successful programs. In the context of these goals, the study will seek to provide an objective review of: 1. The operations and effectiveness of the SBIR program with regard to: • agency missions; • support for R&D and innovation; • commercialization of new products and processes; • small business development and job growth; 2. General issues of importance, such as the rationale and national benefits to be derived from government support to small business to help bring new technologies to market; the principles which should guide such cooperation, demarcating the role and contribution of the public authorities, including the government’s role in supporting university-industry research; the current practices and policies of foreign governments designed to encourage the development of small business both as a point of reference and comparison; and the relationship of different types of cooperative programs which affect the operations and prospects of small firms, including the rationale for strategic alliances among firms and universities in sectors supported by publicly funded programs. B. Project Methodology for the NIH SBIR Assessment Accordingly, the NRC proposes to the NIH the following research strategy, to be carried out in close consultation with responsible program managers, for a review of the NIH’s Small Business Innovation Research program. The NRC research team, in cooperation with leading economists, relevant program officials, responsible NIH managers, and small business representatives, will develop the following: 1. Definition of Success: An operational definition(s) of SBIR success for the NIH, taking into account the diverse goals of the NIH mission; 2. Survey Instrument: A survey instrument to be applied to a significant sample of SBIR award recipients. The survey instrument will be designed to gather information on firm development, technological progress, and the operations of the SBIR program; 3. Case Study Template: A series of questions for use in conducting case studies of NIH SBIR award recipients to provide greater detail and depth on selected SBIR award recipients. The case studies will focus on the award process, intermediate achievements, indicators of project success, and long-term impact, including, inter alia, measures such as papers, patents, products, sales, and acquisitions of awardees; 4. Survey and Case Development, Execution, and Evaluation: A group of leading academics in small business development and innovation policy will be commissioned to conduct original field research and analyze that research. In order to examine the NIH SBIR program from multiple perspectives, the project will include a triangulation of case studies, surveys, and empirical 39

analysis. Where required, an original survey of a wide selection of firms which have participated in the NIH SBIR program will be undertaken.83 There is virtually no academic literature on the NIH SBIR program. The National Academies’ study will be one of the first independent, external reviews of the program as a whole. C. Tasks: In carrying out this study, the NRC will: • Assemble A Research Team: Assemble a research team of qualified academics to assist the NRC in carrying out its research; • Develop Metrics: Convene a small workshop(s), which will include the NRC research team and relevant NIH program managers, to develop operational definitions of program success and appropriate metrics, and review emerging issues for the program in light of new the NIH missions or needs; • Prepare A Methodology for the NIH: Drawing on the experience of the NIH program managers, the NRC will prepare a methodology for assessment of the NIH SBIR program using input from the NRC research team and discussion at the workshop(s), which will include a case study template, a survey instrument, and appropriate focus areas; • Identify Case Categories: Identify appropriate categories of firms for case studies involving both promising technologies and/or research results; • Conduct Case Studies: Carry out, via the research team, case studies of a significant subset of the NIH SBIR awardees, employing the case study template developed in cooperation with the NIH; • Survey: Conduct a survey of a significant subset of NIH SBIR awardees employing the survey instrument developed by the research team in cooperation with the NIH. • Organize Symposium: Organize a substantial symposium to discuss new orientations/initiatives for the NIH program and to review publicly the results of the research; D. Deliverables Under the study, the NRC would commit to: • Prepare annual progress reports; • When the initial phase of research is completed, prepare a report based on the research, providing an overview of the current NIH SBIR program and identifying accomplishments, emerging challenges, and possible policy solutions; • Prepare a Summary Report including the NIH-specific research to submit to Congress. IV. NRC Dissemination The process of holding a number of high profile events, bringing together national experts from industry, academia, and the public sector, should itself contribute to an improvement of the quality of the national debate on these subjects. The policy recommendations, with supporting evidence and analysis, will be addressed to SBIR program managers and agency leadership, members of Congress and the Executive Branch, industry leaders, and major associations as well as relevant international organizations. An important and distinctive element of the work of the Academy is its well-developed dissemination process designed to maximize the policy impact of the findings and recommendations of its projects. Normally, the process includes several phases. The NRC’s publishing arm, National Academy Press, produces high quality final publications with a wide audience. At the moment of publication, the Academy staff also produce a series of accompanying press reports 83 In cooperation with the NRC, BRTRC, Inc. conducted a similar survey for the National Research Council's review of the Department of Defense SBIR Fast Track initiative, a study conducted in 1998-1999. That survey had an unusually high response rate compared to similar surveys, and provided a wealth of new data on the program. BRTRC is a highly qualified consulting firm located in the D.C. area, and has done extensive work on the SBIR program over the last several years, on contracts with the Department of Defense, the Small Business Administration, and the National Academies. 40

and other dissemination materials. When the project report is released, a formal press conference, attended by national and international publications, and discussion seminars may be organized by the Academy. The National Research Council also undertakes a concerted effort to disseminate the project's findings and conclusions. Opinion articles will be prepared for newspapers and influential journals, presentations and discussion will be organized at the Academy and other academic and policy forums as well as briefings, speaking engagements for key participants, and testimony before appropriate legislative bodies. Reports resulting from this effort shall be prepared in sufficient quantity to ensure their distribution to the sponsor and to other relevant parties, in accordance with Academy policy. Reports may be made available to the public without restrictions. V. Public Information A. FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT The Academy has developed interim policies and procedures to implement the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. § 1 et seq. (FACA), as amended by the Federal Advisory Committee Act Amendments of 1997, H.R. 2977, signed into law on December 17, 1997 (FACA Amendments). The FACA Amendments exempted the Academy from most of the requirements of FACA, but added a new Section 15 that includes certain requirements regarding public access and conflicts of interest that are applicable to agreements under which the Academy, using a committee, provides advice or recommendations to a Federal agency. In accordance with Section 15 of FACA, the Academy shall deliver along with its final report to the NIH, a certification by the Responsible Staff Officer that the policies and procedures of the National Academy of Sciences that implement Section 15 of FACA have been complied with in connection with the performance of the contract /grant/cooperative agreement. B. Public Information About the Project The NRC will post on its web site (http://national-academies.org) a brief description of the project, as well as committee appointments with short biographies of the members, meeting notices, and other pertinent information, to afford the public greater knowledge of our activities, and an opportunity to make comments. The website will also include an ongoing record of compliance to the requirements of Section 15 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1997, and a certification of compliance will be provided when the study is completed. 41

In response to a Congressional mandate, the National Research Council conducted a review of the SBIR program at the five federal agencies with SBIR programs with budgets in excess of $100 million (DOD, NIH, NASA, DOE, and NSF). The project was designed to answer questions of program operation and effectiveness, including the quality of the research projects being conducted under the SBIR program, the commercialization of the research, and the program's contribution to accomplishing agency missions. This report describes the proposed methodology for the project, identifying how the following tasks will be carried out: 1) collecting and analyzing agency databases and studies; 2) surveying firms and agencies; 3) conducting case studies organized around a common template; and 4) reviewing and analyzing survey and case study results and program accomplishments. Given the heterogeneity of goals and procedures across the five agencies involved, a broad spectrum of evaluative approaches is recommended.

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Methodology in Research Proposal Example

Methodology in Research Proposal Example

If you are writing a thesis or dissertation , you will have to compose the methods you used for research. The methodology chapter will explain what you did in your research and how you did it. This will also help readers to find the validity of your research or they may feel more motivated to read it. 

So, your  methodology in the research proposal example  must include: 

  • The research type you did 
  • From where you have collected the data. 
  • How you are analyzing your data 
  • What are the tools or references you took to help? 
  • Why you choose these methods 

The methodology section in your research should be written in the past tense. Also, before you start writing, do read the guidelines provided by your university and stick to those specific guidelines. 

Step 1: Discuss Your Methodological Strategy

Start writing by introducing your research approach and what problem or issue you have investigated. For instance, whether you have described the features of something on an under-research topic or whether you have established a cause-and-effect relationship. And, most importantly what type of data you are aiming to achieve?

Step 2: Define Your Methods of Data Collection

After you have introduced the methodological approach, you should mention the full details of your data. 

  • Quantitative methods

Collect quantitative data for a valid result and describe your methods of research in detail so that other researcher can gather some data for their study.  

  • Qualitative methods

Here you should reflect on your approach more as the methods are more flexible and subjective. You can explain some choices that you have made. 

Step 3: Define Your Methods of Study

Now you can indicate and tell how you have processed and analyzed your data . Avoid going into so much detail as you are not presenting or discussing the results here. 

The quantitative approach of your research will include numbers and data and you might include: 

  • How you develop the data before analyzing such as checking any missing data, changing the variables, etc.
  • Mention the software you used to analyze data such as SPSS, Stata, or R.
  • Which statistical tests you have used in your data such as t-test, simple linear, etc.

Your analysis largely depends upon your language, images, observations, etc. You must include: 

  • Do content analysis such as the number of words, phrases, sentences, etc. 
  • Examine coding and data in your research.
  • Study the description of the research and find meaning in your social context.

Step 4: Verify Your Methodological Decisions

After completing your methodology   dissertation , you should make a case study mention why you chose these methods, and also discuss why other methods were not appropriate. You can show a collective approach, new information, or perception.

Tip - While discussing your approach, you can acknowledge the limitations and weaknesses of your approach along with strengths that overpower that weakness.

With these steps, you can easily create the best  methodology in the research proposal example .

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