Your research proposal should be structured according to the headings
below and should be a maximum of 6 pages (not including cover sheet or
references). Please use sub-headings for specific aspects of your research
proposal as required.
• Introduction, rationale & research question/aims/hypotheses: The
introduction section should provide a clear background and
rationale for the project, including a critique of previous research
and justification for the research topic. Describe the research
question and/or the specific aims and objectives of the project, this
may include a clear statement of the hypothesis (-es) to be tested
(depending on the study type). NB. This section is intended to be a
condensed and updated version of your literature review
(Assessment 1), but be sure not to copy sections directly from your
• Research plan: Outline and justify the methods for the proposed
research plan in detail. When designing the study, think also about
the feasibility of the study. Be mindful of ethical considerations
throughout your research design. You will need to address these in
Assessment 3. This section should include the following sub-
headings as appropriate:
Study design. Describe the design of the study and provide justification
for your choice. For example, is it an observational or
experimental/intervention or an interview study? Is it cross-sectional or
longitudinal/ prospective? Why have you chosen this particular study
Sample. Describe the sample that you will target for your study. What are
the eligibility criteria for participating? How will participants be
recruited? How will consent be obtained? Is what you are proposing
feasible? What is the sample size that you will require? (be clear on how
you have estimated your sample size). Childhood Obesity.
Study procedure and/or intervention (as appropriate). How is the project
going to be conducted? Will participants be allocated to particular groups?
If participants will receive an intervention, then provide sufficient detail
to describe the intervention with justification and reference to previous
literature. If it is a survey or follow-up study, who will ensure
completeness of data collection or minimize attrition?
Data collection. Describe exactly what information and data is to be
collected and how this will be collected (e.g. self-administered
questionnaire, objectively measured, semi-structured interviews, focus
groups etc.). What tools will be used to collect data? Are you using valid
and reliable tools? Are you designing an interview schedule? If yes,
outline the key things you will cover.
Data analysis. How will your data be analysed? How is your analysis
related to your research question or hypothesis? For instance, you might
consider, in the case of a quantitative study, what is your outcome
variable? Is it continuous or categorical? Do you need to account for
confounding? For a qualitative study, you may consider the approach or
method of analysis (e.g. thematic, content, discourse, narrative etc), and
whether there will be (and how) an integration of theory in the analysis.
Timeline. Provide a timeline for the study, including ethics approval (and
any gatekeeper approvals), recruitment, data collection and analysis etc.
• Outcomes & significance: Describe the planned outcomes of the
research plan, and the potential public health significance of the
research. Outcomes of the research should be considered in terms of
the generation of new knowledge, informing future research (e.g.
public health action or program evaluation), translation into public
health policy or practice.
• References: Provide a list of all articles cited in your research
proposal. Your reference list is not counted in the page limit.
Articles should be referenced using Vancouver style. Childhood Obesity.
Obesity is a public health concern facing the world today. Trends show increasing rates
of obesity, especially among children with statistics showing that 8.9% of children between 2-5
years and 20.5% of adolescents in the United States are obese. (13) The same trend is observed
in developing countries where the prevalence of childhood obesity has increased from 8.1% to
12.9% for boys and 8.4% to 13.4% for girls, between 1980s and 2013. (14) There are different
factors that cause childhood obesity including genetic, environmental, and behavioural factors.
Although there is detailed research evidence on different aspect of obesity, the mediating factors
for obesity are not well explored, especially some peripheral factors like ethnic and breastfeeding
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