Preparing a research proposal

To apply to undertake a higher degree by research (HDR) course at Monash Law School, a research proposal is compulsory.

A research proposal is required when  prospective HDR applicants submit their expression of interest for preliminary assessment by the Faculty and when they are invited to submit their formal application to the Monash University Institute of Graduate Research.

Structure of your research proposal

The statement of your research proposal should be:

1. a short descriptive title of the project. (This does not have to be exactly the same as the title eventually given to the thesis.)

2. a statement of the broad goal or goals of the project (ie. the general ideas) to be explored/discussed.

3. a statement of particular objectives and tasks to be undertaken. This may take the form of a statement of issues and/or matters to be investigated. The statement should indicate the directions the project will take.

4. a statement indicating why you think the project is worth undertaking. (This statement might include reference to existing literature on the subject and an explanation of why you think it is deficient.)

See a good example of a research proposal (PDF, 0.09 MB).


For more information on formulating and writing your research proposal:

Terry C. M. Hutchinson, Researching and Writing in Law (4th ed, Lawbook Co, Pyrmont, 2018).

Chap 7: Formulating a research topic

Chap 8: Refining the Topic and Writing the Research Proposal