A Step-by-Step Guide to Transform Your Idea into Dissertation Research Proposal

A research proposal greatly influences your research journey. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you transform your idea into a dissertation research proposal.

Have you ever had a brilliant idea that you believed could contribute significantly to your field of study? If so, you’re not alone. Many aspiring researchers begin their academic journeys with an idea but are unsure how to turn it into a concrete dissertation research proposal.

In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of transforming your idea into a well-structured dissertation research proposal.


Proposal Planning Consultation

 A research proposal persuades others that your research project is valuable and that you possess the necessary skills and plan to carry it out. It should answer three fundamental questions: What is your goal, why is it important, and how will you achieve it?

So, the first step is to identify your research interest or the core idea you want to explore. At this stage, it would be extremely helpful if you could find and reach out to your academic advisors or mentors. They can provide valuable insights and help you shape your proposal.

At BINUS University’s DRM (Doctor of Research and Management) program, you will have two opportunities for consultation, where you can meet with advisors to discuss your research idea. To access these consultation sessions, you can schedule an appointment in advance through the BINUS admission department. Ask the DRM (Doctor of Research and Management) Program freely what research roadmap it has if you don’t have a research idea yet.

It’s also important to note that these consultation sessions have a specific deadline. This means that you should plan your preparations and request an appointment well in advance to ensure you can meet this deadline.


Exploratory Research Topics

Once you’ve established a clear research interest and consulted with your advisors, it’s time to start exploratory research topics. Often, initial ideas are broad. So, narrow down your focus to a specific problem you want to investigate.

In this stage, you can start exploring the background of the study to provide an overview of the existing knowledge related to your research topic. This phase is also where you start the introduction to the study, providing a more detailed exploration of your research. Here, you can offer additional insights into the topic and any recent associated developments. It could be that you will conduct initial research or surveys or conduct several interviews to get initial data and insights.

You can use this space to briefly introduce the objectives or goals of your study, offering a preview of what you intend to achieve from the research. In introducing your research objectives, you will also need to formulate the research questions that encapsulate the primary focus of your investigation.

Preliminary Dissertation

 Now that you have determined the research objectives and formulated the research questions, you can start writing your research proposal with a better focus. First, explore the Literature Review to dig into existing academic works to comprehensively understand their chosen research topic. This involves analyzing prior research to identify gaps, unanswered questions, and relevant theories, all of which shape their own research direction.

Next, determine the Research Methodology that will be employed to collect and analyze data. Carefully select research designs, data collection methods, and analysis techniques. Make sure they align with your research objectives.

Lastly, create a structured Outline for the dissertation research proposal, including key components such as the introduction, literature review, and methodology.


SPF (Supervisory Plenary Forum)

 Don’t hesitate to share your preliminary dissertation with your advisors and promotor team for feedback. They can help you refine your proposal and ensure it aligns with academic standards.

Through SPF (supervisory, plenary, forum), your proposal will undergo review, and you will receive feedback, suggestions, and guidance to improve the proposal’s quality. Furthermore, presenting your proposal to a plenary panel allows for a broader research proposal evaluation. And discussing your proposal in forums can lead to valuable insights and further refinement.

Proposal Structure

 Are you ready to write your proposal? Here’s a summary of the key points that should be presented in a research proposal:

  • Title: The title should be concise, descriptive, and informative.
  • Name: State your full name and title (if any)
  • Area of research: State the area of your research. For example: human resources, operations, strategy, marketing, etc.
  • Clear statement of your research topic: This part provides background information and context for the research. It should explain why the research is necessary and relevant, setting the stage for the research question.
  • Brief overview of relevant research: Refer to existing research studies and findings directly related to your proposed research plan. Mention at least 5 international journals so that you can pinpoint gaps or limitations in the existing knowledge or areas where further investigation is needed.
  • Objectives of the research and investigation: Define what the research aims to accomplish.
  • Research methods and plan: The research design, subjects or participants, and the research setting should be detailed. Is it qualitative (interviews/FGD, etc.)? Or is it quantitative (questionnaires, data analysis, etc.)? Or both?
  • Include references to key literature sources used in preparing your proposal and research plan.

Crafting a well-structured proposal is essential for gaining approval and conducting successful research. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be well on your way to writing a proposal that lays the foundation for your future research. Remember, your idea has the potential to make a significant contribution to your field, and the journey begins with a well-crafted proposal.