Writing Your Proposal

After a project area and a faculty sponsor have been identified, the student must prepare a proposal, usually two to three pages in length, as detailed in the MSR Proposal Guidelines.

MSR Project Criteria

As stated above, all projects must have a central, testable hypothesis. This means that data, quantitative or qualitative, will be collected, reduced, analyzed, interpreted and reported. The specific elements that must be addressed for each project include:

  1. Is the hypothesis or question important and clearly stated?
  2. Does the student state why the problem selected is important in the context of other research that has been carried out? Has relevant literature been cited?
  3. Are there specific and appropriate methods that will be carried out to address the question?
  4. Is the Experimental Design section detailed enough to portray a clear understanding of the methodology? Does the student state the possible outcomes of each experiment and how the outcomes will be interpreted with regard to the hypothesis? If questionnaires are being used, are examples attached?
  5. How will the data be gathered and analyzed? Is the method of evaluation of the results presented
  6. Are statistical tests described that will apply to determining the confidence with which the hypothesis can be accepted?
  7. Is the time-line for the project realistic?
  8. Is the research setting appropriate? Are techniques established and / or equipment or subjects available? Is the advisor oversight sufficient?


Helpful links

  • Clinical Research – An institutional resource for various programs supporting patient research at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • Core Facilities and research resources – All facilities and services offered through the College of Medicine that might help you with your project.
  • Research Concierge – Helps Penn State College of Medicine investigators strengthen grant writing skills, form collaborative teams and develop complex research proposals.
  • Research Support – The landing page for the central research administration, support and compliance offices of the College of Medicine.