Common mistakes and problems in research proposal writing: an assessment of proposals for research grants submitted to Research on Poverty Alleviation REPOA (Tanzania)

Common mistakes and problems in research proposal writing: an assessment of proposals for research grants submitted to Research on Poverty Alleviation REPOA (Tanzania)

How can research proposals be improved?

Research methodology courses run by most higher education institutions tend to focus on methodology only, leaving students ill-equipped to write funding proposals. This study describes common mistakes in proposal writing, based on the the findings of a study of a sample of proposals submitted to REPOA. These include:

  • unsatisfactory sampling procedure
  • stating of hypothesese that could not be tested
  • using inappropriate methodology
  • inadequate literature review

The authors suggest institutions of higher learning provide training to both undergraduates and post-graduates in proposal writing with a focus on the most problematic aspects of proposal writing. In addition, potential proposal writers would benefit from access to succesful proposals and guidelines in the form of a proposal writing manual.