MASTER'S PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS
length: 3-5 single-spaced pages (including references) in Arial 11 point font,
plus any figures or tables. A human subjects (IRB) application form may not substitute.
Project title, student’s name, chair of committee, committee members,
List the project’s immediate goals in terms of hypotheses to be
tested or research questions to be answered. If desired, the overall purpose of
this line of investigation may be mentioned, in order to indicate the long-term
importance of the specific information being sought through this study. This
section should not exceed ½ page in length and may be much shorter.
Describe the scientific context for the study, briefly summarizing
previous related research. This should
NOT be an extensive literature review.
Keep references to a minimum by
citing only those that are most relevant. This section should identify the gaps
in knowledge which the proposed project will help to fill. It should not exceed 1 page in length.
The format of this section may be tailored to meet the needs of the specific
study being proposed. However, the following sub-headings usually apply, and
their use is encouraged. This should be the longest section of the proposal,
usually 2-3 pages in length.
- Study design: Define a) the study
design, b) the primary exposures to be evaluated (or interventions to be implemented),
c) how the primary exposures would be assessed and quantified (if applicable),
d) outcomes to be assessed and their definition, and e) the key covariates and
- Study setting: Describe the
location, organizational context, clinical site(s), or other setting in which
the research would take place.
- Study subjects: Indicate the
source(s) of study subjects, criteria for eligibility, and the anticipated
number to be studied.
- Data collection: Describe the
sources of key data items. When applicable, the sequence of data collection
activities for a typical subject should be given. A diagram can be helpful when
data will come from several sources or when multiple observations over time are
to be obtained. If there are plans to monitor and assure data quality (such as
duplicate data for some or all subjects, cross-checks of one data source
against another), describe them briefly.
- Data analysis: Describe how the
data will be organized to address each of the specific aims and/or hypotheses
mentioned in section A. Specify the statistical techniques to be used. Dummy
tables or figures may be helpful.
- Study Power: Summarize the
results of statistical power or sample-size calculations.
V. Limitations: Describe any limitations that are beyond
your control (e.g., that have already been decided upon or implemented) that
may affect the ability to test adequately the primary hypotheses, or that may
influence your interpretation of the study results.
VI. Timeline: Provide an approximate timeline for completion
of the project.
VII. References: Provide citations to key literature
references used in the proposal.
Obtain signatures from all committee members and mail signed proposal to Epidemiology Student Academic Services, Box 357236. Alternatively, scan the signature
page as a pdf attachment along with the proposal in Word to email@example.com Electronic sigantures are
This page was last updated on
June 15, 2010