Research Proposal Guidelines

To satisfy the research requirement for the distance M.S. program in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, the aspiring student must define a research project and prepare a written proposal describing the nature and goals of the project.

It is suggested that the student in conjunction with their distance research mentor collaborate in the selection of and the definition of the proposed research. The proposal should consist of the following elements:

  • Overall goal or hypotheses
  • Statement of significance of the research
  • Research plan consisting of several specific aims.

The following description serves to define expectations regarding proposal preparation.

Project Title

An appropriate title should be created that describes the overall research topic.

Overall Goal

Write a short statement that clearly defines the scope of the project.

Background and Significance

Become familiar with a published work that is related to your chosen research area. Provide a summary of the background in a manner that demonstrates a knowledge of the area and goes on to describe the significance of the proposed research in adding to and extending existing knowledge.

Specific Aims

The overall project should be envisioned as a series of sub-goals, which as they are individually accomplished, allows results in the achievement of the overall goal.  The specific aims should include a description of the experiments to be conducted. It should be clearly stated what is to be accomplished in each specific aim and how these results relate to the achievement of the overall research goal.


Appropriate literature citations should be provided in each section of the proposal, as justification for the proposed research, and to clearly indicate that the student has familiarized themselves with the research topic.


The M.S. research proposal should be limited to approximately four pages, excluding the bibliographic section.


The proposal preparation will satisfy one credit hour of the research requirement.